Gene Chague: County League of Sportsmen honorees announced



John Mange of Stephentown, N.Y., will receive the County League of Sportsmen's 2013 Sportsman of the Year Award.

According to the Stockbridge Sportsmen's Club nomination, Mange first joined the SSC as the then-president of the Buckhorn Archers, located in Housatonic. When the archers joined forces with the SSC, it was starting construction on its clubhouse and shooting ranges. John's enthusiasm for shooting, hunting and building soon became apparent to all.

His leadership skills were evident in everything that he became involved with, starting with his first love, archery. Since the early 1980s, he has led the SSC Archery Committee, the 300 Round League shoots, Youth Archery, and much more. He has served for many years as the club's representative to the Tri-State Archery League as well as a delegate to the County League. He always answers every call to action with a smile and can-do attitude. Although primarily an archer, John is usually the first to offer his carpentry skills on any project at the club (most recently the enclosing of the rifle range building and the reconstruction of the center house on the skeet range). John has dedicated more than 30 years to the SSC, the shooters and especially the youth of Berkshire County.

Fran Majchrowski of Dalton will receive the John Zuber Lifetime Achievement Award. For more than 37 years, Fran has been involved teaching an environmental class and running an outdoor club at Nessacus Middle School (grades 6 to 8). Subjects included orienteering, wildlife habitat, safety, techniques of fishing, identifying tracks of wildlife, history of land, importance of protecting the environment and more. All of the outdoor activities featured full day adventures. In the fall, they cover backpacking, hiking, maps, compass and more.

In 1999, he was awarded the Commonwealth of Mass Secretary's Award for Excellence in Environmental Education. He has been personally recognized by Congressman Silvio O. Conte as well as President Ronald Reagan. The work that he and his volunteers have done over the years is so amazing that I will cover them again in a future column.

Dennis Regan of Hinsdale, Berkshire County director of the Housatonic Valley Association, will receive the Sportsmen's Appreciation Award. Under Regan's leadership, and working hand-in-hand with TU, BEAT and Mass DER and DFW, they are heavily involved with the River Continuity Program here in the Berkshires to reduce impediments to the movement of fish and other wildlife.

With the help of various partners and grants, they have overseen the construction of four new boat access points on the Housatonic River. They provide access for fishing, duck hunting, canoeing, etc., and are located in Sheffield, Lenox, Lee and Pittsfield. Working with Crane Paper, other partners and volunteers, they oversaw the creation of The Old Mill Trail in Hinsdale/Dalton, which provides access to approximately 11 2 miles of scenic and historic riverfront along the East Branch of the Housatonic River.

Dennis was an important partner in the FERC relicensing of the Glendale Dam on the Housatonic River, resulting in minimum flows to enhance fish habitat in the bypassed reach of the river downstream of the dam. He is working on a portage around the dam take-out/put-in and fishing access sites above and below the dam parking area.

With his assistant, Berkshire Outreach Program Manager Alison Dixon, they head up the local RIFLS Program dealing with observed and/or measured flow alterations in streams, especially those coming out of lakes. They have been working with the grade schools focusing on biodiversity, both chemical and biological water quality monitoring, mapping, storm drain awareness and understanding the PCB situation and cleanup. They are leading macro-invertebrate studies on streams throughout the entire watershed, bank stabilization programs, dam removals, canoe rides, river clean-ups, oversight of ACEC's, and active members of the CCC (Citizens Coordinating Council) dealing with the PCB clean-ups on the river.

A posthumous award will be given to the late Sarah "Sally" Bell of Lenox. She played important roles in the acquisition of several parcels of land by the DFW here in the Berkshires. For more than 60 years she was an environmental activist. She was a former chairman of the Massachusetts Board of Environmental Management and was a consultant to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council and, on an informal basis, to many other planning and environmental organizations She was a founding director of the Massachusetts Outdoor Heritage Foundation and the Lenox Land Trust.

The richly deserved awards will be presented at the annual Silvio O. Conte Memorial Banquet at the Cheshire Rod and Gun Club on April 19. Tickets can be obtained from any BCLS delegate.


The Lee Sportsmen's Club (LSA) is having an NRA pistol course on March 24 and 27 from 5:30-9:30 p.m. Both sessions are mandatory. Successful completion qualifies candidates to apply for a Mass. LTC Class A or FID. The cost of $100 includes an individual 2014 membership to LSA. Call Larry K. at 442-7807 to pre-register.

If you know a young athlete between fifth and 12th grades who would like to learn to shoot a shotgun in a safe environment, the LSA has five NRA certified shotgun coaches. Click onto its website and then LSA Buckshots on the top bar, or visit Watch the LSA website for the informational meeting, coming up in March, or contact Head Coach Vicki White at (413) 442-8107 or

The Lenox Sportsmen's Club will begin its Ham Shoots next Sunday, and will run Sundays until April 13. Tickets go on sale at 12:30 p.m., and shooting begins at 1 p.m. $3 per shot.

The Cheshire Rod & Gun Club is having Ham Shoots on Sunday March 30, April 6 and April 13 starting at 1 p.m. at the club. $3 per shot.

To reach Gene Chague:,
or (413) 637-1818.


If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.

Powered by Creative Circle Media Solutions