Tuesday, October 25, 2016                                                             


Contact: Leslie Orzetti, (607) 547-4488,

 Salo named OCCA Conservationist of the Year


COOPERSTOWN—The Otsego County Conservation Association will present its 2016 “Conservationist of the Year” award to Tom Salo of Burlington. Salo will receive the award at OCCA’s Annual Dinner on Tuesday, November 15.

“I am delighted that Tom Salo is receiving the OCCA Conservationist of the Year Award,” said OCCA President Vicky Lentz. “He deserves recognition for the many wonderful environmental projects he has worked on throughout the years.”

Salo has been involved in environmental issues and politics since the first Earth Day in 1970. A long-time member of the Delaware-Otsego Audubon Society (DOAS), he joined the DOAS board in the 1980s and has served the organization as president, secretary, education chair and field trip chair. Currently, Salo is co-chair of the Franklin Mountain Hawkwatch, and is the New York State coordinator of the Appalachian Eagle Project, which uses baited wildlife cameras to define the winter distribution of scavengers, especially golden eagles. He has written articles for The Conservationist and several ornithological journals. He lives in Burlington with his wife, Jo, in a passive solar house they built in 1982.

For the past decade, Salo has focused on understanding and conserving raptors in New York, particularly golden eagles. He is currently spearheading a DOAS effort to reduce accidental lead poisoning in bald eagles by promoting the use of non-lead ammunition for deer hunting.

“Ever since I was a teen, I felt compelled to leave the world a better place,” said Salo. “I’m one of seven billion now, and still trying to do my tiny part.”

OCCA has been awarding the Conservationist of the Year since 1989. The award is given to an individual, citizens’ group or grassroots organization, governmental body, non-profit organization or business that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County.

Salo will be honored at OCCA’s Annual Dinner and Meeting, which will be held at Templeton Hall in Cooperstown. The event includes a silent auction fundraiser, an overview of OCCA’s activities for the year, and a member vote of OCCA Board of Directors. Doors open at 6 p.m. with cocktail hour and silent auction preview. Dinner will be served at 7, with awards presentation to follow. For information on the dinner, contact OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti at (607) 547-4488.

Founded in 1968, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the appreciation and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit