Membership Message from the President
I have often been cautioned that most people never read the entirety of a long letter or statement. I have tried to keep this as brief as possible, yet provide enough material for folks to understand the issues NYSTA is trying to correct, the monumental task that is before us, and the events leading up to recent changes and decisions. I ask that you please read this entire message so that maybe you can be part of the solution. Thank you!
In February of 2015 I became painfully aware that there could potentially be a large number of trappers who had joined NYSTA during the previous few years and whom may not have received everything they were entitled to after paying for their membership. In fact, some may have never received anything from NYSTA, not even a membership card.
I brought this issue up at the next NYSTA Board of Directors Meeting in April of 2015. Some new committees were formed and some good people put into position to look into the problems. They would be looking for both causes and solutions. At the conclusion of this meeting the new NYSTA officers were installed.
I personally made our new President aware of the membership problems and indicated where I thought those problems were stemming from. Thus the need for the new committees to function as charged by the Board. The Board also created a new position: Membership Secretary. Bob Samuelson graciously offered to take that job. The NYSTA Board was moving forward…..or so we thought.
A short time later the Board learned that our newly elected President was determined to handle all of this himself and ordered the committees to stand down and take no action. This was done immediately after taking office. At the same time our newly appointed Membership Secretary was stripped of his duties as well, by the President.
15 months went by. Progress was made with renewals being handled more efficiently. BUT, the other problems were never addressed and continued to accumulate. Overall, things were getting worse, not better. Something drastic had to change.
An emergency Executive Session meeting was held in May, 2016 and a regularly scheduled Board of Directors meeting was held in July of 2016. Many, many changes were effected by the Board during those two meetings. Now NYSTA can move forward in a positive direction.
The problems we have to address are many and I ask for your patience and understanding as we move forward to rectify every membership problem we can find. I will not go into great detail regarding why these problems existed and why they have existed for so long. It suffices to say that someone was not doing their job properly and the rest of the NYSTA Board was given answers that were not entirely truthful when we asked questions. Those responsible have been removed and replaced.
We now need YOUR help to fix the membership problems. Please contact us if you, or someone you know, joined NYSTA and did not receive their magazine subscription to the Trappers Post and proper membership credentials, etc. between May 2012 and now. We do not know who has had this problem if you don’t let us know. Those responsible in the first place kept no records. We trust in your honesty to inform us properly. We will provide you with what you paid for. The right people are in place to handle these issues and the wrongs of the past will be made right. By doing so, we hope to once again restore your confidence, regain your trust, and instill pride in the only statewide organization that promotes and protects your interests. The NYSTA has championed your rights and privileges as trappers in New York State for over 75 years and, with your continued support, will continue to do so into the future.
The proper person to contact to resolve any membership issues is:
Bob Samuelson, Membership Secretary
New York State Trappers Association
3889 Westside Drive
Churchville, NY 14428
I would like to add here that almost everyone who holds an office or position in NYSTA does so as a volunteer. They all have families, many hold full time jobs, some hold multiple jobs, and ALL give their best to NYSTA. Please respect the fact that the phone could be busy so you have to leave a message, that an email may not be addressed for a day or two, that occasionally some research into your question has to be done in order to answer properly, and that because of these things it could take longer to get back to you than you may anticipate. However, I give you my word and promise that you will receive answers and the problems we are made aware of will be corrected as quickly as humanly possible.
John Rockwood, President
New York State Trappers Association
114 County Route 30A
Williamstown, NY 13493