Ruffed Grouse Society to host Sportsmen’s Banquet in Williamsport

WILLIAMSPORT — The Susquehanna River Valley Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society will hold its second annual Conservation & Sportsmen’s Banquet Saturday, March 10, at the Genetti Hotel, 200 W. 4th St., Williamsport.

A social hour will begin at 5:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. The evening will feature live and silent auctions, raffles, drawings and door prizes, highlighted with a selection of firearms, artwork and collectibles. In addition, three special guest speakers will deliver brief talks during the event:

r Dr. Linda Ordiway, regional wildlife biologist with the Ruffed Grouse Society, will discuss the organization’s efforts to create and enhance wildlife habitat on public land in Pennsylvania.

r Lisa Williams, program specialist for ruffed grouse and webless migratory game birds for the Pennsylvania Game Commission (PGC), will address the status and management of the ruffed grouse population in Pennsylvania. Williams leads ongoing research examining the link between West Nile Virus and a statewide decline in ruffed grouse numbers.

r Brian Laudermilch, a forester with the Pennsylvania Department of Natural Resources’ Bureau of Forestry, will discuss an ambitious habitat improvement initiative within Loyalsock State Forest that he spearheaded, with project planning assistance from the PGC and funding provided by the Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS). Sponsored by the Susquehanna River Valley RGS chapter, the Nettle Ridge Habitat Project is a multi-year pilot program that began in the fall, with a goal of creating young forest habitat on Loyalsock State Forest in Sullivan County.

Proceeds from the March 10 fund-raising banquet will be used to enhance and create high-quality habitat for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and other forest wildlife on public land.

The Susquehanna River Valley Chapter of the Ruffed Grouse Society focuses its habitat work and member-recruitment efforts in the counties of Lycoming, Sullivan, Clinton, Potter, Tioga, Bradford, Columbia, Montour, Northumberland, Union and Snyder.

Individual membership and dinner tickets for the fund-raiser are $70. Dinner may also be purchased without a membership for $40. There also is a membership and spouse package with two dinners for $105, as well as a variety of discounted meal pricing for youths age 17 and under. Banquet, Conservation and Sustaining sponsorship packages are also available at $295, $550 and $1,000 respectively.

“We had a very good turnout for our inaugural banquet last year, and, with continued support from area sportsmen and women, we are hoping to build on that positive momentum for our second annual banquet,” said Seth Heasley, chapter president. “We received a lot of positive comments on the quality of the venue, the meal, the items for raffle and auction and the informative presentations that were offered.”

“Our chapter committee and members care deeply about the condition of the public forests in our region, both how they’re managed for overall health, as well as their ability to host an abundance of wildlife,” Heasley added. “If you have an interest in healthy forests, abundant wildlife and preserving our region’s rich sporting history, please consider attending this banquet. It’s a fun time for a great cause that any outdoor enthusiast will enjoy.”

For more information or to purchase tickets, contact ticket chairman Jeff Fetzer at (570) 885-6112 or by email: jfetz.jf@gmail.com.

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