The Wolf’s General Store – Slate Run Tackle Shop was selected for the Pennsylvania Wilds Business of the Year Champion Award for 2021 and recognized at the Lycoming County Commissioners meeting on November 16th. The attached picture shows the ceremony at which the award was presented along with resolutions adopted by the PA House of Representatives and Senate and presented at the ceremony by State Senator Gene Yaw and Eric Houser, Aide to Representative Joe Hamm. Tom and Debbie have been at the forefront of conservation efforts on upper Pine Creek, Slate Run and Cedar Run over five decades. Their visionary work has demonstrated how advocating and implementing policies and projects to preserve and protect of our nationally-known scenic watersheds and cold water fisheries translates not only into enhanced recreational opportunities for high quality trout fishing, but also into significant economic benefits to the local economy, increased property values, and additional license revenues for the PA Fish And Boat Commission. Additionally, Tom And Debbie have been long-time strong supporters of our chapter with many donations of fly fishing equipment and flies for us to use in fundraising and promotions. We also wish Tom and Kim Kozlowski the very best in continuing the success and traditions of the store, and offer support from Susquehanna TU in any conservation projects and education opportunities that we can assist in going forward.
From the The PA Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship (PA Wilds Center):
“Each year, our organization recognizes outstanding individuals, organizations, programs, communities and places that exemplify the great work being done across the region to develop nature tourism and the outdoor recreation economy in a way that creates jobs, diversifies local economies, inspires stewardship and improves quality of life. This year will be no different in that regard.”
Tom and Debbie Finkbiner owned and operated the Wolfe’s General Store at Slate Run, PA on Pine Creek for 45 years and recently sold it to a local couple, Kim and Tom Kozlowski, who will continue to operate both the general store and the famous Slate Run Tackle Shop. The Tackle Shop became a very strong asset for trout fishermen who were attracted from all over the Eastern USA. Tom helped to lead the citizen support for the formal designation of portions of Pine Creek and several other tributary streams as Wild Trout Exceptional Value stream by the PA Fish and Boat Commission. Deb operated and managed the General Store offering all the supplies that campers and fishermen and visitors needed. Together they were a treasure-trove of important information and help for visitors and input to Township and Lycoming County Planning deliberations. They own a home in the Pine Creek Valley just north of Slate Run and can be seen daily helping the new owners at the store. The economic impact for the Pine Creek Valley and even beyond has been measurably enhanced by the Finkbiners’ enterprise and gracious demeanor. Tom has advocated to develop a section of Pine Creek now known as “the stretch“ in which trophy trout are stocked in addition to PA Fish and Boat Commission stockings under a catch and release regulation for trout. This has attracted fishermen from all over the country. Tom has formed a 501(c)(3) organization which fishermen can donate to and their mission is to stock above average German brown trout several times during the season.