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Academy of Model Aeronautics
5161 East Memorial Drive
Muncie, Indiana 47302
(765) 287-1256 - Business
(765) 289-4248 - Fax
(800) 435-9262 - Membership Services
hftp://www.modelaircraft.org

January 15, 2002

All AMA District I Club Presidents/Contacts

We need your help.

As some of you may know, for several years now we have been fighting the battle to regain use of the former Army Training Facility at Galeville, NY as a model flying site. This site was used primarily by our Free Flight members for almost 30, years, until 1995. During that period-Galeville was also used for several activities in addition to model flying and was under the administration of West Point Military Academy. In 1995 West Point decided they no longer needed/wanted control of the property and 566 acres eventually transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The facility is now used for "the protection and management of a migratory bird habitat, with a special emphasis on grassland dependent birds." Modelers, who enjoyed use of the property for almost three decades, with no documented evidence of harm to either the habitat or the birds who migrated there, were summarily banned from flying models at Galeville. Despite expert testimony contradicting the U.S. F&WL's assertions that modeling is detrimental to wildlife, the ban still exists today.

Late last year, at the request of the U.S. Department of Interior, the management of the Galeville facility issued a "Draft Compatibility Determination" (CD) regarding the flying of model airplanes at Galeville. This study may be read by visiting the AMA District 2 Website at http://www.amadistrictii.org. We are now in a period of public response to this study, which lasts until February 8, 2002.

This is where we need your help, as time is very short. Please take a moment to respond with your written support requesting a return of modeling activities to the Galeville facility. Comments may be submitted in several ways: by letter form to: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge, 1547 County Route 565, Sussex, NJ 07461-4013; or by fax to (973) 702-7286. Please also send a copy to: Dave Mathewson, AMA Vice President District 2, 7271 State Fair Blvd., Baldwinsville, NY 13027, via email to dmathewson@mindspring.com, or fax to (315) 635-1039. In the subject line of your email please put Ref-. Shawangunk Draft Compatibility Determination.

Numbers count and your voice needs to be heard now! You may use the enclosed sample as written, modify it, orjust write your own response of support. Please pass this on to members of your club and to any other modelers you know and ask them to express their objection to the banning of modeling activities at Galeville.

If you have any specific questions please feel free to call me at (315) 727-4275.

Thanks in advance for your efforts!

Sincerely,


Don Krafft AMA Vice President, District I

Example Letter:


Address
City/State/Zip
Date

United States Department of the Interior
Fish and Wildlife Service
Wallkill River National Wildlife Refuge
1547 County Route 565
Sussex, New Jersey 07461-4013

Dear Mr. Kahl:

This is my personal response to your letter dated November 26, 2001 to the Academy of Model Aeronautics regarding the Agency's draft Compatibility determination (CD) on model airplane flying at Shawangunk Grassland National Wildlife Refuge. As an AMA Member and a modeler I object to the negative and erroneous content of the CD. Please accept this as my request to reconsider and restore model airplane flying at the former Galeville property.

Sincerely,