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Annual Meeting, Award Ceremony & Coyote Lecture
Sunday, November 17, 4–7 p.m.

Please join us as we celebrate another great year with friends of the land. At our 2019 Annual Meeting we will honor this year's honorees and hear a fascinating lecture from Dan Bogan on the topic of coyotes.

General tickets $30 per person, please consider joining our Host Committee to help underwrite the costs of this event at $100 per person. All Host Committee members will be listed in the program as a special thank you.

Buffet dinner included, cash bar • Location: Brown’s Brewing Co.’s Revolution Hall, free street parking.

RSVP ONLINE HERE

2019 Honorees

Frank SorrentoVolunteer of the Year Awarded to Frank Sorrento, one of our dedicated Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve Volunteers.

Frank Sorrento, a lifelong outdoorsman, grew up in New York spending his time hunting and fishing in the area since his youth. In recent years, he purchased a piece of property in East Nassau, where he began to spend much of his time and quickly discovered RLT’s Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve. Frank met David Gaskell, Kinderhook’s preserve steward, while enjoying the woods. At that point Frank shared with David his love and appreciation for the preserve and offered to help in any way possible. David quickly enlisted Frank and his backhoe in the building of the two creeks trail and clearing down trees to make the trails more accessible. Frank’s time spent with David and working at the preserve has given Frank an opportunity to learn more about the different trees, mushrooms, animal habitat, and to deepen his understanding of how important land conservation is to future generations.

One of Frank’s greatest pleasures is being able to share his knowledge and experiences at Kinderhook Creek with his daughter Olive. The preserve has been a great influence in the molding of her childhood, creating many precious memories, and developing an appreciation for nature. Frank also finds it very rewarding to see all the wonderful visitors being able to enjoy the land as he does.

Over the last few years Frank has made so many friends at Kinderhook Creek that he started The Friends of the Kinderhook Creek Preserve Facebook page. On this Facebook page, Frank can connect with visitors and inform them of preserve news or animal activity and people can share their experiences as well. Kinderhook Creek’s following growing and is a destination for many people each week and even daily. Frank is looking forward to seeing the ridge top trail completed and being a life-long volunteer with RLT and friend of Kinderhook Creek Nature Preserve.

TeriWilliam Niemi Conservation Leadership Awarded to Teri Ptacek, Executive Director of Agricultural Stewardship Association

Teri Ptacek has been involved in farmland conservation since 1992 when she first started volunteering for the Agricultural Stewardship Association (ASA). ASA was founded by farmers and conservationists as a land trust nearly 30 years ago. To date, the organization has conserved nearly 22,400 acres of farms and forests throughout Washington and Rensselaer counties.

“I fell in love with this area because of its farms and farm community and am passionate about the work ASA is doing here in the greater Capital Region.”

Teri joined ASA’s board of directors in 2002 and became ASA’s first executive director in 2003, after working as a project coordinator in Saratoga Springs for American Farmland Trust (AFT) for eight years. While at AFT, Teri was charged with the development of Rensselaer County’s Agricultural and Farmland Protection Plan, giving her an opportunity to become acquainted with the farm community.

ASA began working in Rensselaer County in 2003 shortly after Teri became the executive director. During Teri’s tenure, the organization has conserved over 19,000 acres on 104 properties including 7,169 acres on 40 farms in Rensselaer County. ASA is currently in the process of protecting another 2,370 acres on seven farms in Rensselaer County that have been awarded state farmland protection grants.

Farms in Rensselaer County have received a total of $13.3 million in farmland protection awards since ASA first began working in the county in 2003. This success would not be possible without the support from the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets and the Rensselaer County Legislature, Office of Economic Development and Planning and Agricultural and Farmland Protection Board.

Lecture 

DanBogan Headshot 2019 Edited 1 Investigating Eastern Coyote (Canis latrans) Diet Ecology in Suburban Albany and Rural Rensselaer Landscapes

The coyote (Canis latrans) is a wild canine predator species that only recently became an inhabitant of northeastern States. Here in New York, coyote ecology is not fully understood, which leaves knowledge gaps regarding their interactions with other species across landscapes gradients. As a major component of my research agenda at Siena College, I am investigating the diet ecology of coyotes in two regions of New York: The Albany Pine Bush Preserve and the Rensselaer Plateau. I am actively working with project partners, citizen scientists, and Siena College undergraduates to collect scat (feces) as a non-invasive method to evaluate diet ecology while simultaneously assessing relative abundance of coyotes and other carnivores. I predict diets from the urban study area will have lower diet diversity in comparison to the more natural, rural study region. Predator ecology is important within the larger context of considering the forces that shape and influence these important conservation areas.

Dan Bogan is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Siena College. His research investigates behavioral ecology of wildlife and interactions with humans, carnivore ecology and conservation, and urban wildlife ecology and management. Dan holds a PhD from Cornell University, a MS from SUNY University at Albany and a BS from SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry.


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