Conservationist of the Year announced

ADIRONDACK - A property-owners' group was awarded recently for its members' stewardship of natural resources.

Warren County Soil and Water Conservation District Chairman Frank Thomas, of Stony Creek, presented the East Shore Schroon Lake Association (ESSLA) with the District's 2010 Conservationist of the Year Award at the regional agency's recent annual meeting.

The Conservationist of the Year award is presented annually to an individual or organization that has demonstrated excellence in working to protect and improve the natural resources of Warren County.

ESSLA worked with the District agents and others in developing the new Schroon Lake Watershed Management Plan, which is now being viewed as a model by state government agencies and lake groups statewide.

ESSLA President Bill McGhie is now heading up a new committee focused on undertaking the many recommendations in the plan. McGhie said he and his group envision the management plan as a long-term mission, and want to assure that this important document doesn't just sit on a shelf.

"The plan is the framework, but it doesn't benefit the lake if we don't act on it and get those recommendations into action," he said.

McGhie accepted the award along with members Jane Smith and Vince Blando, who District agents said are very dynamic and involved in Schroon Lake projects such as a milfoil scouting program and Adopt-a-Highway litter cleanup.

"The East Shore Schroon Lake Association has such a positive impact on Schroon Lake," Conservation District Manager Dave Wick said. "Bill and his organization's members are tremendously active, and these local volunteer lake groups are really the core of conservation activities on our beautiful lakes."

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