Chapter Awards Presented at November Meeting
Forbes Trail Chapter of Trout Unlimited held its monthly meeting last evening at the Nimick Education Center in west Ligonier. Forbes Trail used the event to recognize several outstanding members for their service. The Chapter has a selection of formal awards they present to TU members and other individuals and businesses from the community.
Their Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award is reserved for individuals who have gone above and beyond in volunteering their time and talents. This year, the award was presented to Angie Schultheis from Latrobe, and Milt Claney from Greensburg.
Angie chair’s the Chapter’s Diversity Committee and also serves on the Board of Directors. Angie has worked very hard over the years to develop programs for both ladies and youth, including STREAM Girls. STREAM Girls is an outdoor watershed experience for middle school aged girls that employs STEM-based education (science, technology, engineering, math), recreation and arts to explore a local stream. She has also organized fly tying, fly casting and fly fishing trips for the Chapter’s lady members. Angie’s entire family is involved in TU activities.
Milt Claney, a TU member since 1989, was also a recipent of our Russ Mowry Memorial Silver Trout Award. Milt is a retired teacher with the Westmoreland IU…but he has never stops teaching. He’s aways looking for new ways for the Chapter to reach out and recruit young conservationists, including starting new programs in local schools. Milt serves on the Chapter’s Membership Committee and is always present at meetings to welcome and introduce new members and guests. Milt also serves on our Board of Directors.
The third award of the evening was the B. Drew Banas Education Award for outstanding service in the field of education and was presented to Joe Bilotta. Joe serves as Chair of the Chapter’s Education Committee. Joe coordinates all of the Chapter’s outreach and education activities with local schools, scouts, 4-H, and community groups and has developed working relationships with each. He also maintains the Chapter’s supply of equipment and materials for various programs.
Forbes Trail applauds the award winners for their dedication to TU’s mission and for their generous donation of time and talent to make all of TU’s programs and activities successful!
Special Guest Speaker at March Meeting
Former Pennsylvania Waterways Conservation Officer and Outdoors writer Bob Steiner will be our special guest at the chapter’s March meeting on Wednesday, March 1st at 6:00 pm at the Nimick Center in Ligonier.
Bob is the author of “River Boots, A Fish Warden’s Tales of Pennsylvania Fish and Game Law Enforcement”.
From Amazon: RIVER BOOTS is a career synopsis, a training manual, a history book and one conservation officer’s slightly twisted view of a quarter century in the business. It is a sometimes “belly laughing” look at a profession that can turn deadly serious in a second and can leave tears running down your face from laughter a few minutes later.
The 253 stories in RIVER BOOTS were written for fishermen, hunters, boaters, conservation officers and their deputies, all law enforcement officers and anyone that has an interest in the outdoors.
For conservation officers it is a textbook, with the how-tos and the how-not-tos, the whys and the why-nots. For conservation agency folks, it is a bit of nostalgia with a smirk. Other law enforcement officers will see a little deadly serious, perhaps lifesaving thinking, coupled with a “Barney Miller” attitude. Folks considering a job in the agencies will get an on-the-spot look at what they are asking for and will come away eagerly awaiting their turn to join in.
The license-buying hunter, fisherman or boater will get a firsthand look at how their license fees are spent for the good of the sport, the environment and the fish and game resources. Sorry, no statistics or charts included. You will laugh at the scofflaws and the conservation officers alike. Mostly, like reading “Notes from the Stream” or “Field Notes” produced by our fish and game agencies, you will grin and laugh and ponder.
To answer the question, the RIVER BOOTS were green 10-inch leather boots the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission issued with those snazzy green-and-brown uniforms we wore. They leaked.
Bob will have autographed books for sale.
This month’s meeting will feature representatives from local organizations who will speak on conservation work in our area. Represented at the meeting will be The Loyalhanna Watershed Association, Powdermill Nature Reserve, Linn Run State Park, Ligonier Township, PA Fish & Boat Commission and The Westmoreland Conservation District.
Here’s a rare opportunity to get up-to-date information on conservation efforts in our local area.
Meeting starts at 6:00 pm at the Nimick Education Center in Ligonier on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. See the side-bar for directions.
Our next monthly meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 6 at 6:00 PM and it will be at the Bear Rocks Community Center east of Mt. Pleasant. The Center is on Big Spring Road. Coming from Mt. Pleasant east on Rt. 31, go up 3-mile hill and turn right near the top before a brown building, which is Doug and Michele’s new fly shop, then turn left at the Pizza Shop. Continue to the Bear Rocks Community brown, wooden sign. The club is on the right, parking on the left. We are not requiring masks but some may prefer to wear them.
This is also our Annual Membership Meeting. We will hold an election to fill two vacancies for Directors positions. We have changed the format of our meetings somewhat. The Executive Committee will conduct business in advance of the monthly meetings and report significant decisions to the members. That, we hope, will minimize the length of the business meetings. Committees will still need to be prepared to give their reports and we’ll update members on all upcoming activities. Then, at the end of each meeting we will allow time for socializing and provide light food and soft drinks. This will allow members more time to catch up on fishing and other activities. Our November monthly meeting will be back at the Loyalhanna Watershed barn in Ligonier.
FTTU Treasurer Monty Murty of Laughlintown was presented with the Don Robb Award at the chapter’s May meeting at the Bear Rocks Community Center near Acme PA. The Don Robb Award is given in recognition of long term and outstanding service to the chapter. From chapter President to litter clean-ups Monty has done it all with FTTU. He has served multiple terms as chapter Treasurer and President. He was instrumental in starting the Trout in the Classroom program in the Forbes Trail Chapter area. He has spent countless hours with our Youth Education program, the fly fishing program for women, stream improvement projects on Mill Creek, organizing banquets and fundraisers and filing grant applications and annual reports. Most recently Monty has been putting in a lot of work with chapter President Larry Myers on organizing the Linn Run Watershed Conservation Plan as well as doing boots-on-the ground work there at Linn Run State Park. Monty has also been a great advocate for the chapter working with the media and doing numerous presentations promoting FTTU and cold water conservation.
In addition, he has served as Regional Vice President with The Pennsylvania Council of TU and on the National Leadership Council where he attended national meetings all over the country.
FTTU owes a great deal of gratitude to Monty Murty. Our chapter is thriving today due in large part to his dedication and hard work.
Don Robb (for whom the award is named) owned and operated a fly fishing shop in Ligonier for decades beginning in the 1920’s. Many local residents learned fly tying, rod building and how to fly fish from Don. He was one of the founders of Forbes Trail Trout Unlimited and is credited with naming the chapter. The Don Robb Award is the Chapter’s highest honor.
Forbes Trail Chapter TU invited Eric Harder as a guest presenter at one of its recent meetings. The link you see will take you to that presentation which was recorded on Zoom.
Many of us enjoy the Yough River and its tributaries for fishing, rafting, kayaking and boating. And of course many of you are familiar with the Yough River Trail, part of the Great Allegheny Passage that parallel’s the river from Confluence to McKeesport. The Yough River stretches from beyond Deep Creek Lake to where it enters the Monongahela River in McKeesport. It is 134 miles long and stretches through WV, MD and PA.
Eric Harder, AKA the “Youghiogheny Riverkeeper” with Mountain Watershed Association, discusses the Association’s advocacy, conservation, and outreach initiatives within the Laurel Highlands region. Specifically, Eric covers water quality concerns within the Yough Watershed and ways residents can help “Defend the Yough”!
Trout Unlimited works closely with watershed organizations like MWA across the Commonwealth and across the US to help preserve and restore our precious coldwater fisheries.
If your organization is interested in having Eric make a similar presentation, contact Eric at email@example.com or 724-455-4200 2#
You can view the entire meeting on Facebook FTTU Youghriverkeeper Meeting.
Due to the recent increase in local COVID cases, our monthly meetings will be conducted via Zoom until further notice.
Those on our Active Members list will receive an email with instructions on how to join.
The next tentatively scheduled in-person meeting will be Wednesday, February 3, 2021. Check back for more details and for time and location.
At our annual meeting on October 7, 2020, members approved the proposed line-up of Directors and Officers for the next 2-year term.
Directors – 1-year term
Hank Balles – Ligonier
Lou Izzo – Jeannette
Directors – 2-year term
Rod Cross – Acme
Doug Yocabet – Acme
Directors – 3-year term
Milt Claney – Greensburg
Ron Rodgers – Greensburg
Tom Evans – Ligonier
Ralph Koscianski – Greensburg
Drew Banas – Ligonier
Bob Shusko – Ligonier
President – Larry Myers – Greensburg
Vice President – Denny Hess – Irwin
Treasurer – Monty Murty – Laughlintown
Secretary – Scott Minster – Bradenville
Finance – Bob Shusko – Ligonier
Conservation – Denny Hess – Irwin
Rock Run – Ralph Koscianski
Women & Diversity – Angela Schultheis – Latrobe
Loyalhanna Watershed Association Liaison – John Albright – Youngwood
Newsletter/Website – Scott Minster – Bradenville
Facebook/Social Media – Doug Yocabet – Acme, Angela Schultheis – Latrobe
Fundraising – Monty Murty – Laughlintown
Veterans – Larry Myers – Greensburg
Youth Education – Drew Banas – Ligonier
Education – Rod Cross – Acme
Membership – Bonnie Robinson – Ligonier
FTTU’s Annual Meeting will be held on Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 6:00 pm at the Bear Rocks Community Club, 161 Big Springs Road, Acme, PA. Note that the location has been changed from the Nimick Center in Ligonier as listed in the Trails newsletter. We realized we would need a larger room to allow for more distancing. Attendees are asked to wear a face covering.
At this meeting we will elect a new slate of officers and directors, review a budget for the next year, and discuss possible projects for 2021.
Click HERE for directions.