Jacqueline Swift President
Robert J. Sienkiewicz Vice President
William Cain Secretary
Suzanne Pilon Treasurer
Steve McCabe Newsletter Editor
Ruby Merritt Website Editor
Join Our Team
William Cain, Recording Secretary, has served for more than 20 years as the preserve manager for The Nature Conservancy's (TNC’s) Deer Lick Conservation area, a 398-acre preserve on the South Branch of Cattaraugus Creek. He is a former trustee of TNC’s Western and Central New York Chapter. For the past six years, Cain has been a substitute teacher for the Gowanda Central School District, teaching in every subject area and every grade level from kindergarten through twelfth grade. From 1974 to 2003, he was a career employee for the New York State Department of Labor, with five years as an unemploy-ment insurance claims examiner and 24 years as a field investigator, detecting and prosecuting fraud in the Department’s programs. Cain was a union steward and treasurer for the Public Employee's Federation, Division 221, from 1999 to 2003, and his military experience included two years performing background investigations for security clearances for the US Army. Cain holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Fredonia State University College and a master’s degree in guidance counseling from St. Bonaventure University.
Jacqueline Courtney Swift, President, is a nutrition-herbalist, naturalist and co-owner of Rainbow’s End Herb Farm in Perrysburg, New York. Her love of nature and herbs began as a child in southeastern Indiana with farming parents and grandparents who gathered wild foods in the ridge country along the Ohio River. In the early 1970’s, she began studying the medicinal aspects of herbs with emphasis on the works of Christopher and Levy. She later took courses in botany and nutrition at Buffalo State College, graduating with a BS degree in Dietetics/Food Systems Management in 1985. During her college summers, Jacqueline led hikes and presented programs as an SCA Interpretive Ranger for the Cape Cod National Seashore, where she received an outstanding rating for children’s seashore programs. Earlier college experience involved studies in art at the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Art and Architecture.
Jacqueline’s professional teaching experience includes providing workshops and talks at the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens, NYS Direct Marketing Association, SUNY Fredonia Migrant Tutorial Program, Hopevale School, Lexington Food Co-op, WNY Herb Study Group, Herb Society of America, Fredonia Farmer’s Market, senior citizen groups, and numerous units in the Eighth District of Federated Garden Clubs. She served on the Board of the Botanical Gardens in the mid-80’s, where she did research and development for Marketplace – The Children’s Learning Garden, organized gardening festivals and plant sales.
Since 1978, Jacqueline has operated a business specializing in culinary and medicinal herbs. The family-owned organic farm features an 1840’s farmhouse shop, nine production and display gardens as well as homestead animals. Fine herb products are made on the farm and way too much garlic is grown. Tours and special events are featured throughout the growing season.
An avid backpacker, Jacqueline served as a hike leader and project naturalist for the Fredonia Middle School backpacking club for 13 years, retiring in 2015. Her many travels on foot or by pedal include a bicycle tour from Boston to Cincinnati. Other interests include wild medicinal plants, birding, singing, folk music, and sewing. She is a charter member of NFBS, a member of United Plant Savers, American Botanical Council and life member of TNC, Sierra Club and NSSWNY.
James Hoggard is originally from Santa Barbara, California. After earning his Bachelors of Science degree in Geology at California State University, Chico, in 1990, he moved to Truckee, California, to ski in the winters and practice geology in the summers. In 1997 he moved to Salt Lake City, Utah, and got a full-time job, but he still had plenty of time to ski powder. Jamie has had a life-long interest in photography and spent many weekends and evenings in the wilds of California and Utah with a large-format camera. In 2007, Jamie’s wife Tracy was hired to a tenure-track position at SUNY Fredonia, and together they made the trek out to Western New York. With the move, photography became full time, and explorations of New York yielded discoveries of NSSWNY preserves. He and his family (now three) have been pulling garlic mustard ever since.
Ted Lee, PhD, is a professor of Biology at SUNY Fredonia, where he has worked since 1999. He obtained his graduate degree from Syracuse University. Prior to coming to Fredonia, he worked as a visiting professor at Kenyon College, in Gambier, Ohio. Ted’s wife, Rhonda, teaches science at Fredonia High School. In his free time, Ted enjoys gardening (native plants!) and pottery. When asked what motivated him to volunteer for NSSWNY’s board, he offered this explanation: “I wish to be a board member to support the mission and goals of NSSWNY. I value the contributions of the organization and am looking to be more active in my support of its work.”
Kenneth Roblee. After graduating from Cornell University with a B.S. degree in wildlife
management in 1973, he began service in the New York State Department of Environ-mental Conservation (DEC) within the Bureau of Wildlife. First employed as a fish and wildlife technician and then as a wildlife biologist, Ken developed experience in land management while having responsibility for several DEC wildlife management areas - some of which were over 4,000 acres. Stewardship of these lands included the application of habitat management practices – mowing, pond and marsh management, boundary line management, trespass control, and land acquisition. DEC lands that Roblee helped to acquire for protection include the Motor Island, Spicer Creek, and Hartland Swamp Wildlife Management Areas.
While working from the Buffalo Region 9 DEC office, Ken was responsible
for protection of wetlands under the NYS Freshwater Wetlands Law with responsibilities including mapping, boundary delineation, and law enforcement. In 1990, he began assisting the DEC Hazardous Waste Remediation Unit with clean up and restoration of contaminated wildlife habitats along the Buffalo and Niagara rivers. Sites he was involved with included Buffalo Color, Cherry Farm, and 102nd Street. He was the project manager for the Tifft Marsh Habitat Restoration Project, completed in 2006, and co-project manager for the Buckhorn Island Marsh Restoration Project, completed in 2000. He also assisted in the design of the Strawberry Island and East River Marsh Restoration Projects on New York State Parks lands in the Niagara River.
Beginning in 2003, Roblee was able to spend more time in the role of a wildlife diversity biologist within DEC Region 9. This allowed him to address a wide variety of manage-ment needs for rare and/or state “listed” species such as the bald eagles, timber rattlesnake, and Blanding’s turtle, to name a few. He was project manager for the recent Hellbender Headstart Project involving DEC and the Buffalo Zoo, which is ongoing. Highly interested in generating awarenes in wildlife conservation and vertebrate biology, Roblee has taught courses in herpetology and mammalogy at Medaille College in Buffalo, where he is an adjunct professor of biology.
Now recently retired from DEC, Ken lives in Freedom, New York, with his wife Gloria. Together they have six children and nine grandchildren. He is keeping busy by advising DEC and the Seneca Nation Conservation Department on herpetofauna related projects, running a small maple sugarbush, and annually attending a dinosaur dig in South Dakota.
Robert Sienkiewicz, Vice President, has worked in the executive and legislative branches of state and municipal governments for the past 15 years and is currently employed with the New York State Department of Health. During the 10 years prior, Sienkiewicz held the position of executive director of the Broadway-Fillmore Neighborhood Housing Services, Inc., a not-for-profit housing development company in Buffalo, New York. He later served as that agency’s board chair for 10 years. Mr. Sienkiewicz currently sits on the board of directors of the Buffalo Cooperative Federal Credit Union and the Adam Mickiewicz Library and Dramatic Circle, Inc., cultural institution. Robert is a member of various local and national environmental and preservation organizations and helped found Friends of J. N. Adam Historic Landmark and Forest, a group that is working to preserve the mature woodlands and historic buildings associated with the 649-acre former J. N. Adam Developmental Center, in Perrysburg, New York. Since 1993, Sienkiewicz has owned, stewarded, and preserved a unique woodland parcel in northeast Cattaraugus County.
Jonathan Titus, PhD
Jonathan Titus, PhD, is a professor in the biology department at the State University of New York at Fredonia, where he teaches introductory biology and a variety of upper-level ecology and botany classes and is active in campus environmental and sustainability issues. Titus’s research is in plant ecology. Locally, he studies forest ecology using a network of permanent plots to observe how our forests are changing from emerald ash borer, beech bark disease, hemlock woolly adelgid, climate change, invasive plant species, and deer overpopulation. Titus also conducts research on Huachuca water umbel, an endangered wetland plant species in southern Arizona. Titus’s main research has been on plant succession and community development in volcanically devastated landscapes of Mount St. Helens. He previously taught at Biosphere 2 and was a TNC ecologist. Titus was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas and the University of South Bohemia, received his PhD from the University of Washington, MS from the University of Florida, and BS from Union College. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the Ecological Society of America, American Botanical Society, and the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society.
Raymond C. Vaughan, PhD
Raymond C. Vaughan, PhD, is a geologist, environmental scientist, and consultant from Hamburg, New York, with a longstanding interest in nuclear waste cleanup and environmental protection. Ray has served since 1997 on the West Valley Citizen Task Force, which advises the state and federal agencies that are cleaning up the nuclear waste site at West Valley, New York. In 2006, he testified before the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on behalf of the Task Force. Since retiring in 2012 from his position as scientist with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, where he spent 13 years on Great Lakes protection and other environmental matters, Ray continues to work in geology and environmental science. Earlier in his career, he worked in research and development labs in Buffalo and Niagara Falls for 33 years. Ray served on the Town of Hamburg Conservation Advisory Board from 1980 to 1999, and on the Board of Directors of the Western New York Land Conservancy from 1991 to 2002. He currently serves on the Board of Managers of the Buffalo Society of Natural Sciences. He has a wide range of interests, including Western New York history — on which he has presented at conferences in Buffalo, Lewiston, and Edinburgh, Scotland — and enjoys canoeing, hiking, sailing and other outdoor activities.
TREASURER – Suzanne Pilon, Buffalo, NY
Richard Rosche, President Emeritus, Dick Rosche has been a very “proactive” person in the field of natural history and environmental education since 1944, and more than half of that 66 years has been spent in Western New York. Growing up, he was a Buffalo Museum of Science “kid” pestering the curators, a camp counselor at Beaver Lake Camp in Wyoming County for several summers, and an active member of the Buffalo Audubon Society. He was The Kingbird Regional Editor for Region 1 for ten years and wrote the Ontario-Western New York report for American Birds for ten years as well as serving as acting Editor and Statistician for the Buffalo Ornithological Society.
Dick received a B.S. degree from Cornell and an M.S. degree from Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. After serving in the Army overseas in Frace, he returned to the Buffalo area to work. During those years he spent holidays and weekends birding and keeping records which culminated in the “Birds of Wyoming County” published by the Buffalo Museum of Science in 1967.
In 1966 Dick became Sanctuary Director for the New Jersey Audubon Society at the Scherman Wildlife Sanctuary for seven years and then had a 20-year career with the USDA Forest Service in Western Nebraska. While in Nebraska, his most important contribution was authoring a book on South Dakota and Nebraska birds, “The Birds of the Lake McConaughy Region and the North Platte Valley," Dick wrote several articles that appeared in the American Birding Association’s Birding,Winging It and Nebraskaland magazine. During his 25 year stay in Western Nebraska he served on the Board of the Xerces Lepidoptera Assoc. and was Regional Editor for the newsletter of the Lepidopt-erists' Society. He also collected butterflies and other insects which were donated to the Buffalo Museum of Science collection.
Dick retired and returned to Western New York in early 1998 with his wife, Dorothy, and soon was Region 1 Coordinator for the New York State Atlas 2000 project which lasted six years. During this time he was President of the Niagara Frontier Botanical Society as well as being President of The Nature Sanctuary Society. During his term as President of the NSSWNY, Dick was instrumental in rebuilding the Society which was down to just 16 members, five active, in 1998. He started the newsletter Nature Preserves, the by-laws were rewritten, a brochure about the society was created and distributed to
libraries around the county to encourage membership; the Roger Sweetland property in Zoar Valley and the Conewango Wetlands Preserve were added to the three existing ones owned by the Society. Dick also led many field trips around Western New York encouraging people to learn more about their environment.
Since returning to Buffalo, Dick volunteered at the Buffalo Science Museum herbarium and in the Museum bird collection. In the most recent years Dorothy and Dick have traveled widely in the US and Canada while collecting plants, about 700 specimen sheets being donated to the Eckert Herbarium at SUNY Buffalo State as a result of these travels.
Steve McCabe serves as Editor of Nature Preserves, NSSWNY’s quarterly newsletter. He also served as the custodian on NSSWNY’s Rodger Sweetland Memorial Preserve from 2005 through 2016. McCabe moved to Buffalo in 1985 after completing the MFA program in writing at the University of Virginia and has worked for the past 32 years as a writer, editor, and publications manager for several organizations and companies in the Buffalo area. McCabe currently serves as president of Wordwright Editorial Services, Inc., an outsourced editorial services company he founded in 1998. He also worked from 2003 through 2015 as a member of the planning board of the Town of Hamburg, New York. McCabe began his environmental advocacy efforts in 1977 as an undergraduate at Washington and Lee University, lobbying for federal wilderness designation for three tracts of forestland (Rich Hole Wilderness, St. Mary's Wilderness, and the James River Face Wilderness) in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests in Western Virginia, all of which were subsequently designated as wilderness areas. McCabe has continued to support local greenspace, environmental protection, and stewardship initiatives in Western New York through his membership in TNC, the Audubon Society, the Ruffed Grouse Society, and the New York Forest Owners' Association (NYFOA). McCabe has also served for six years as a volunteer on the board of directors of the Hamburg Natural History Society, Inc., and was a co-founder of the Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center in 2005.
Editor of Nature Preserves
WEB DESIGN – Ruby Merritt
FUNDRAISING – Ana Hernández- Balzac
Alexander Preserve – Jon & Priscilla Titus, Fredonia, NY
Clifford Furman Preserve – Ken Fudalik, East Aurora, NY
Conewango Wetlands Preserve – Ron Cook, Conewango Valley, NY
Houghton Preserve – Jim Landau, Colden, NY
Ischua Creek Preserve – Ken Roblee, Freedom, NYRoger Sweetland Memorial Preserve - Rod Utley, Perrysburg, NY