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Lentz Replaces Clarvoe as OCCA Board president

June 8, 2011

Lentz Replaces Clarvoe as OCCA Board president

COOPERSTOWN – Effective June 1, 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 in order 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, Hartwick to encourage main street development in their home town.

“I have really enjoyed my time as president,” said Clarvoe. “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 our county.

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

Clarvoe replaced Win McIntyre as OCCA president in 2008 and is well known in the environmental community for her efforts in the areas of recycling and energy conservation. 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 position statement.

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. She has been instrumental in setting organizational policy, including the position statement on gas 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.”

A biologist specializing in the immunology of the large-mouth bass and a tenured professor at SUNY-Oneonta, Lentz joined the OCCA Board in January of 2007. As president, Lentz would like to see OCCA continue to expand its role countywide. 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,” said Lentz. “I think that, while we are faced with issues that require our immediate attention, OCCA should not lose sight of long-term 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.”

Lentz is originally from southern Indiana. With her husband, Edward Lentz, she lived in the Philadelphia area for 25 years. During her undergraduate years she attended Indiana State University, the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Delaware, and did graduate work in plant biogeography at Rutgers University in Camden, later obtaining a PhD in immunology from the University of Pennsylvania. Lentz and her husband are the owners of Fox Falls Farm and CSA in New Lisbon, specializing in meats, eggs, sheep, wool, grains, and whole wheat flour.

A resident of Hartwick, Clarvoe was elected to the OCCA Board in 2000. She has a long history of involvement in environmental concerns and, since joining the Board, spends 20 hours or more weekly as an OCCA volunteer. Clarvoe has played a key role in OCCA program areas including recycling, alternative energy, light pollution and energy conservation. As special projects manager, Clarvoe encouraged the Village of Cooperstown to create its Sustainability Committee and to sign on to the ICLEI-Cities for Climate Protection Campaign; is a member of the Bassett Green Team; has been a key figure in the continuation of the Recycling Agricultural Plastics Program; is a founding member of Otsego Regional Cycling Advocates, a subcommittee of OCCA; and, most recently, has promoted the Small Business Energy Efficiency Program with EnerPath/NYSEG.

For Clarvoe it will be OCCA business as usual. She 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 hands-on experience to direct us in these new areas.”

Under the OCCA bylaws, the president can appoint a replacement to serve out an unexpired term. Official Board appointments are voted upon and confirmed each year by OCCA members at the Annual Dinner.

Otsego County’s oldest environmental conservation organization, OCCA is a private, non-profit membership group dedicated to promoting the enjoyment and sustainable use of Otsego County’s natural resources through education, advocacy, resource management, research, and planning. For more information on OCCA, or to donate, visit

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