Current Status of NYSTA

July 17, 2016

Greetings NYSTA Members and Fellow Trappers,

More than a year of adjustments and changes within your organization have been taking place.  There have been some potentially damaging issues to be dealt with.  Evidently, some of those issues have prompted the spread of negative rumors that, at best, contain half truths.  I believe the members are entitled to the truth and to know that their organization is on solid ground, with solid leadership.

First, rest assured that there is a contingent of extremely dedicated Officers and Directors of NYSTA who are looking out for the best interests of all trappers in the State of New York and beyond.  We proudly have one of the strongest state organizations of any in this country.  We are fortunate to have our Executive Director, Dave Miller, who spends a large share of his time at the LOB and at NYSDEC Headquarters in Albany, to insure the future of trapping here in New York.  Dave has dedicated over 20 years of his life to these efforts that benefit us all.

Some time ago the NYSTA Officers and Board of Directors recognized that there were some internal problems within our Association.  Most of these problems surrounded the handling of memberships and membership applications.  These problems had previously been blamed mostly on computer glitches, and when brought to the attention of those responsible, were soon reported as “fixed”.  Across time it was proven that this simply was not true and that there were even more problems than we realized.  However, both the Board and the membership have been regularly assured that membership issues have been “fixed”.  Although some parts of the problem were addressed and corrected, certainly not all had been “fixed”.   Corrections had to be made.

Recently there was a movement to circumvent the legislative efforts of our Executive Director without his knowledge.   I will not speculate as to why those individuals did what they did, but the fact existed and the end result was that our credibility, NYSTA’s credibility, and the integrity of our Executive Director was dealt a severe blow by those involved.  Our cable restraint bill that had been slowly gaining ground each year has now been reported as doomed to never see the light of day in the legislature because of  these careless, rogue individuals who tried their own hand at getting law changed. 

These issues prompted the NYSTA Board of Directors to identify both the problems and the causes thereof.  A course of action was set.  It takes time to make changes and adjustments.  Meetings have to be held and proper procedure followed, hurdles cleared and snags navigated.  Changes in some leadership positions were necessary as were the creation of new positions, with competent people, to adequately service our most valuable assets – our members. 

Although some issues have been completely rectified, I cannot report that everything is “fixed” at this time.  What I can report is that there have been significant changes made in the past few weeks and your NYSTA is moving forward in a positive direction.  Everything WILL be fixed in due time and safeguards are being put in place so that some of the concerns of the past should never happen again in the future.


John Rockwood, President

New York State Trappers Association

Phone: 315-415-4946