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For Release: Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Stan Pascoo Receives DEC's Annual Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence

Award Recognizes Outstanding Participation in DEC's Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Program

The NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) awarded Mr. Stan Pascoo of Rockland County with its first annual DEC Region 3 Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence recognizing Mr. Pascoo's outstanding participation in DEC's Volunteer Hunter Safety Instructor Program.

"Stan Pascoo has proven to be an invaluable asset to the NYS DEC Sportsman Education Program, the DEC in general and the community which he serves," said Tom Rudolph, Acting DEC Regional Director. "Stan is a worthy recipient of the first annual DEC Region 3 Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence," said Rudolph.

Stan Pascoo became a Volunteer Sportsman Education Instructor in 1998 and continues to conduct multiple classes every year. All first-time hunters, bowhunters and trappers must pass one or more courses before they can get a hunting license in New York State. Trained instructors certified by DEC, such as Mr. Pascoo, teach safe and responsible outdoors practices while stressing the important role of hunters and trappers in conservation. Volunteer Instructors provide invaluable support to the implementation of New York State's Sportsman Education Program.

Stan serves as a Sportsman Delegate to the Region 3 Fish and Wildlife Management Board (FWMA), a volunteer advisory board that offers guidance to DEC on topics such as habitat management and public access for hunting, fishing and other wildlife related activities. In 2012, Mr. Pascoo organized a Rockland County event celebrating National Hunting and Fishing Day and works with the Wounded Warriors Program to help organize and provide support for hunting opportunities for members of the U.S. Armed Forces who have been wounded in action in defense of our nation. Stan has also been active in the New York State venison donation program, which was established to make good use of venison to help feed needy people across the state.

Though the number of hunters is declining in the state, the hunting incident rate (incidents per 100,000 hunters) is falling much faster. Since the 1960s, the number of hunters has declined about 20 percent, while the incident rate has plunged more than 70 percent. The past five-year average is 5.3 incidents per 100,000 hunters, compared to 19 per 100,000 in the 1960s. The 2012 New York hunting season had the lowest number of hunting-related shooting incidents on record in part due to more than 60 years of dedicated efforts of more than 2,500 volunteer Sportsman Education Instructors.

The award is named for Wayne Jones, the Sportsman Education Program Administrator for New York from 1992 - 2008. Wayne was instrumental to the program and during his tenure achieved many significant accomplishments for the Sportsman Education Program, not the least of which was his work on the international level to develop online educational tools and national standards for course contents.

The award recognizes active Volunteer Instructors who have demonstrated and contributed to the advancement of the Sportsman Education Programs through enhancing students understanding and enjoyment of our wildlife resources; creating awareness of responsibilities and instilling respect towards habitat, wildlife, non-hunters, hunters and themselves; and by enhancing public understanding and acceptance of hunting and trapping as legitimate public recreation activities and as proper wildlife management practices.

Instructors are nominated by their peers based on a set of criteria including: 1) achieving substantial improvements or innovations to program operations or classroom activities; 2) collaborate with other groups across traditional program boundaries to expand the audience of the Sportsman Education Program; 3) work above and beyond required job descriptions, exceeding expectations and achieving noteworthy results in and accelerated or impressive timeline; and 4) apply or develop innovative techniques or approaches that demonstrate best practices and/or serve as a model to inspire others to outstanding achievement.

Again, congratulations to Mr. Stan Pascoo for receiving the first annual DEC Region 3 Wayne W. Jones Award of Excellence.

Hunting safety is a priority for the Cuomo Administration and is part of the NY Open for Fishing and Hunting Initiative. Just last month, a new program was enacted to support firearm safety with grants to not-for-profit shooting ranges.

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