A pair of grants announced today by the state Department of Environmental Conservation could benefit Livingston County volunteer firefighters and fowl hunters.
Due August 10, the Volunteer Fire Assistance grant program is available specifically to smaller departments serving rural areas. Last year, the program, which is funded by the U.S. Forest Service, provided $1,500 grants to 319 separate departments serving communities with less than 10,000 people. Each department can apply for up to $1,500 but must match the funds provided through the grant.
According to the DEC, only expenses directly related to fire suppression efforts — purchase of portable pumps, portable backpack pumps, hand tools, hoses, light-weight fireproof clothing (Nomex), hard hats, turnout gear, portable radios, generators and dry hydrants — are eligible for funding. Items not directly related to firefighting, such as search and rescue, acquisition of land, construction of buildings and facilities, major apparatus purchases and maintenance items are not eligible for funding.
A second grant, due Sept. 1, will help local hunters or hunting clubs sponsor pheasant hunts as a way to bring hunting to youth, women, novices, veterans, and people with disabilities. The state DEC raises 30,000 pheasants for New York hunting at its Reynolds Game Farm in Ithaca and raises an extra 2,000 birds for the sponsored hunts. According to the DEC, through their participation, volunteers teach novice hunters the importance of hunting safety, hunting ethics, and the tradition of pheasant hunting in New York.
“Through the dedication of local hunters and conservation organizations who sponsor these events, people new to hunting can experience pheasant hunting in a controlled setting with the assistance of mentors,” said Basil Seggos, DEC Commissioner. “I appreciate the dedication of experienced volunteer hunters who donate their time to share their experience and love of the outdoors with others.”
For more information on or to apply for the sponsored pheasant hunt, visit http://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/49071.html or call the DEC’s local Avon office at (585) 226-5380. For more information on or to apply for the Volunteer Fire Assistance Grant, go to http://www.dec.ny.gov/regulations/2364.html or call (518) 402-8839.