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The Otsego County Conservation Association is seeking nominations for its annual Conservationist of the Year award. The award will be given to an individual, citizens’ group or grassroots organization, governmental body, non-profit organization with 501 (c)(3) standing or a business that has made a positive difference in environmental protection, preservation or education in Otsego County. OCCA will present the award at their Annual Picnic on September 10th at Gilbert Lake State Park.

OCCA Executive Director Leslie Orzetti says “The Conservationist of the Year award is a wonderful way to recognize citizens and organizations that do so much not only for the environment itself, but also in educating our citizens on the importance of natural resource conservation.” In 2016, Tom Salo of Burlington was named Conservationist of the Year for his work with DOAS on reducing accidental lead poisoning of bald eagles.”  OCCA is now seeking nominations for the 2017 awardee(s). Nominations must be submitted by August 18.

Preference will be given to nominees residing in Otsego County. Environmental professionals and businesses are not eligible to be nominated based on achievements accomplished for their compensated employment or profit making enterprise. Nominations may be made by individuals, citizens’ groups or grassroots organizations, governmental bodies, non-profit organizations with 501 (c)(3) standing or businesses. The OCCA Board of Directors will review nominations and designate the Conservationist of the Year.

No monetary award will be given to the recipient of the award; however the recipient(s) will be the guests of OCCA at its annual picnic and will be publically recognized at this event. A press release will be issued announcing the recipient, and an announcement will appear in first annual OCCA Annual Report at the end of the year.

To obtain a nomination form, contact OCCA at 547-4488 or e-mail director@occainfo.org.  Forms may also be downloaded from the OCCA website at: http://occainfo.org/coy/.

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