Coraopolis, PA – The Ruffed Grouse Society is proud to announce that its Executive Director and CEO Michael D. Zagata, was recently inducted into the New York State Outdoorsman’s Hall of Fame (NYSOHOF).
One of 11 new inductees, Zagata, a native of Otsego County, NY has served as Commissioner of New York’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), and, as was duly noted by the selection committee, he was, (as Commissioner) “…a strong supporter of programs to increase participation in outdoor sports by youth and women.”

In making the announcement, NYSHOF president Leo Maloney said, “Mike Zagata was selected as an outdoor professional who as DEC Commissioner made significant contributions to our outdoor heritage beyond what the job required. During his tenure he supported many programs to increase participation by women and youngsters including Free Fishing Days and Becoming an Outdoors Woman.”
“He was also active in supporting stream access projects for the physically handicapped; emergency legislation to stop the spread of whirling disease in state fisheries, banning the snagging of salmon in Lake Ontario’s tributaries, and the introduction of stocking larger two year old trout. These initiatives and his many other achievements will have a positive impact on future generations of outdoorsmen and women,” Maloney said.

In learning of his induction, Zagata thanked the Board, his wife Beth for her unquestioning support, all those who supported his nomination, the sportsmen and sportswomen of New York for their support during his tenure as DEC Commissioner, and New York’s Environmental Conservation Officers for the great job they do in protecting the environment and the fish and wildlife that depend upon it for their survival.

“This is truly a great honor, but with every honor comes a responsibility and being elected into the NYSOHOF is no exception,” Zagata said. “Because of that newfound responsibility, I invite my fellow hall-of-famer’s to come together, for the good of the natural resources we are charged with stewarding for future generations, and work through the organizations we represent to:

  • Push for increased support for, and proper use of, the Conservation Fund,
  • Educate the public and legislature about the environmental and economic benefits that derive from healthy fish and wildlife populations and,
  • Educate the public and legislature about the need to properly manage our waterways, fields and forests to provide for a diversity of wildlife – both hunted and non-hunted.

Celebrating its 25th Anniversary, the New York State Outdoor Hall of Fame is an organization dedicated to preserving the outdoor heritage and tradition recognizing the people who have made important contributions to it, recognizing those individuals for their long service to the cause of conservation and the continuation of outdoor sports such as hunting, trapping, and fishing.

Each of the new inductees will be honored during the Ceremonial Banquet in Canastota, NY on Saturday, April 26, 2008.

Established in 1961, the Ruffed Grouse Society is the one international wildlife conservation organization dedicated to promoting conditions suitable for ruffed grouse, American woodcock and related wildlife to sustain our sport hunting tradition and outdoor heritage.

Information on the RGS, its mission, management projects and membership can be found on the web at: www.ruffedgrousesociety.org .