Fish & Boat Commission Presents Awards At Quarterly Meeting

As part of its quarterly business meeting held Tuesday, the Fish and Boat Commission presented several awards to staff and partners.  The following awards were presented:

Special Recognition Award: A Special Recognition Award was presented to four partners for their roles in the purchase of the Sandy Run wetlands located in Antis Township, Blair County. These wetlands have been classified as exceptional value wetlands for water quality purposes and therefore are entitled to the highest level of protection.

The award was presented to Bill Anderson, representing the Little Juniata River Association; Donna Fisher and Jim Eckenrode of the Blair County Conservation District; Jerry Green, representing the John Kennedy Chapter of Trout Unlimited; and Duke Pepper and Jim Spontak of the Department of Environmental Protection.

Mr. Anderson was instrumental in bringing together the various partners and the landowner, Bowman Realty, LP, and kept the project moving when it seemed like it might come to a halt.  DEP provided funding to the TU Chapter and the Conservation District through a settlement agreement relating to the development of the Logantown Center and provided advice and guidance to the Commission throughout the acquisition process. The TU Chapter donated $90,000 to purchase the property.

The Blair County Conservation District greatly aided the Commission by overseeing administrative details, such as the environmental assessment, subdivision and recording documents, and by funding a stewardship fund in the amount of $35,000 for the future long-term maintenance and stewardship of the property.

“Without the hard work and dedication of our partners, the Commission would not have been able to acquire and maintain this property for future generations,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway.

Pennsylvania Angler & Boater Confluence Award: In geographic terms, a confluence is defined as a meeting of two water bodies to form a new water body. In this instance, the Commission is appropriating the term to mean the confluence of an esteemed Pennsylvania Angler and Boater contributor's authorship and the distribution flow of the magazine that, in turn, nourishes and sustains its readers for many years.

This award has been established to recognize contributors to Pennsylvania Angler and Boater who have exhibited a long-term commitment to promoting recreational fishing or boating within the pages of the magazine and beyond. It is with this commitment that those receiving this award are acknowledged for both angler and boater recruitment, and helping to assure success and enjoyment with their guidance and knowledge.

The first recipient of this award is Charles R. Meck. Mr. Meck is a life-long resident of Pennsylvania and has authored for Pennsylvania Angler and Boater for more than 40 years. Starting with the June 1972 edition, Mr. Meck cast a fly that has reached more than a million-and-a-half subscribers and countless millions through second-readership.

Heralding from Pennsylvania Furnace in Huntingdon County, he is a prolific author with numerous books to his credit.

“Pennsylvania Angler and Boater and its readers have been truly blessed to have such a talented pen and a craftsman,” said PFBC Executive Director John Arway. “His fly-tying articles have launched many bait anglers to try their hand at fly-fishing, along with many others who spend their winters, tying the next season's flies in an effort to reach his level of talent.”

State Boating Officer of the Year: Fish and Boat Commission Waterways Conservation Officer Anthony Quarracino received the 2011 Pennsylvania Boating Officer of the Year award from the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators. The award recognizes outstanding public service, unmatched professionalism in marine law enforcement and personal commitment to ensuring safe and enjoyable recreational boating.

WCO Quarracino began serving with the PFBC in July 2001 and is currently assigned to the Southern Huntingdon district.

Outstanding Service Award: Outstanding Service Awards were presented to two recently retired employees in recognition for their years of service.

Tom Kamerzel retired as director of the Bureau of Law Enforcement with 30 years of state service. A Kutztown University graduate, he began his career with the PFBC in 1976 as a Deputy Waterways Conservation officer. Following two years in the Army, he joined the PFBC full time in 1982 as a Waterways Conservation Officer. In 1989, Mr. Kamerzel was honored as Officer of the Year. He was named acting director of Law Enforcement in 1997 and was promoted to director in 1999.

Gary Moore retired in May as Special Assistant to the Deputy for Administration after 32 years of service to the Commonwealth. He began his career with the PFBC as a Waterways Patrolman in 1980, was promoted to Assistant Regional Supervisor in the SC Region in 1985, and was promoted to WCO Manager in the NW Region in 1991. In 2001, Mr. Moore joined the Harrisburg headquarters as the Legislative Liaison.

“Wave of Excellence” Award: In keeping with Executive Director Arway’s interest in recognizing a job well done, the PFBC recently announced a new employee recognition program entitled the “Wave of Excellence” Award. The concept is for employees to recognize other statff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty in performing their work or who have provided extraordinary customer service.

“I am pleased to announce that Amos Ferguson is the first recipient to receive the “Wave of Excellence” Award or the “WE” Award,” said Mr. Arway. “Amos was nominated by his fellow co-workers and received the most nominations. He is known to put ‘we’ - the Commission - above ‘me’.”

Mr. Ferguson works as a civil engineer in the Bureau of Engineering. As winner of the “Wave of Excellence” Award, he will be permitted to keep the award for 6 months before passing it on. The Pennsylvania brook trout sculpture is extremely unique and was specially designed by local artist Brad Gebhart.  The base is made of blue river rock and is meant to simulate a brook trout swimming in water.


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