After three years, Martha Clarvoe is stepping down as president of the Otsego County Conservation Association Board of Directors and is transferring the leadership role to current Board Secretary Vicky Lentz.

Following careful consideration Clarvoe, whose term expires in January 2012, has decided to relinquish her duties as president, according to a media release from the OCCA. Clarvoe plans to dedicate more time toward special projects for OCCA and to the building that she and her husband, Paul, are renovating. They are refurbishing an 1840s storefront on County Route 11 in Hartwick to encourage main street development in their home town. “I have really enjoyed my time as president,” Clarvoe said in the release.

“OCCA is a wonderful organization which offers many ways for its members to get involved with community conservation programs. I look forward to continuing on the Board and concentrating my efforts on energy conservation projects and to promoting  alternative energy options for ourcounty.

“The OCCA Board of Directors is dedicated to protecting, preserving and  improving the environment of OtsegoCounty and we will continue on that path,” she said.

Clarvoe replaced Win McIntyre as OCCA president in 2008 and is wellknown in the environmental community for her efforts in the areas of recycling and energy conservation, the release stated. Under Clarvoe’s direction, OCCA continued the Otsego Lake Challenge Campaign – picking up where McIntyre left off – which has funded more than $300,000 in major Otsego Lake and Upper Susquehanna Watershed initiatives.

Other highlights of Clarvoe’s tenure are the Otsego County “Natural Gas Well Locations and Leased Properties” map, establishment of the Willard N. Harman OCCA Biological Field Station Internship Endowment Fund, and finalization of OCCA’s  alternative energy positionstatement.

Clarvoe will continue as the organization’s special projects manager focusing on energy conservation and recycling efforts and will assume the duties of secretary on the OCCA Executive Board, in the position vacated by Lentz.

“I believe Vicky’s four years of service on the Board have proven her to be a dedicated conservationist, and her interest in alternative energies and locally-produced foods will help guide OCCA in its future educational programs,” Clarvoe said.

“An organization’s goals must change with the times. I believe OCCA will be adding new focus items to its strategic plan, and Vicky is the person with handson experience to direct us in these new areas.”

Serving as OCCA secretary since 2008, Lentz is also chair of the nominating committee and a member of the executive, audit, and natural gas committees.

According to the release, she has been instrumental in setting organizational policy, including  the position statement ongas drilling, board member job descriptions and board member nominating procedures. Most recently, Lentz assisted in an OCCA-funded riparian buffer rehabilitation project on the Butternut Creek.

“Not only does OCCA find the funding for projects like this, we also provide the opportunity for interested people to lend a hand with the work,” Lentz said. “This project was a collaborative effort between OCCA, Otsego County Soil & Water Conservation District, the Upper Susquehanna Coalition, and the Butternut Valley Alliance. It was fabulous to see the community come together to help stabilize the creek bank. I will enjoy watching the trees grow as I drive by every day on my way to work.”

Lentz is a biologist specializing in the immunology of the large-mouth bass and a tenured professor at SUNY-Oneonta. She joined the OCCA Board in January of 2007. As president, Lentz would like to see OCCA continue to expand its role countywide, the release stated. Her particular areas of interest and concern are natural gas drilling, preservation of natural areas, and sustainable farming practices

“I am very excited about this opportunity to expand my role with OCCA,” Lentz said in the release. “I think that, while we  are faced with issues that requireour immediate attention, OCCA should not lose sight of longterm environmental concerns in the region. We also need to continue our ongoing conservation efforts throughout the county, and I look forward to serving as president of the board.”

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