Sometimes the best way to look forward is to look back. Pennsylvania's conservation heritage has been, and continues to be, shaped by a tug-of-war between industrial and business interests on the one hand and public health and conservation interests on the other.
The Commonwealth has an impressive history of conservation dating at least to the late 19th century when industrialization rapidly took hold and when environmental resources were impacted and, in many cases, depleted by economic growth. But the complete story of this history has never been told, until now.
Pennsylvania's Conservation Heritage: The Series, combined with academic research and oral histories with those involved in the conservation movement from the mid-20th century to the present, provides a comprehensive archive of this important story.
Gifford Pinchot's Conservation Legacy - November 12 at 8:30pm - View online
As America's first trained forester and conservationist, Gifford Pinchot used his wealth, intellect and power to protect the nation's natural resources for "the greatest good, for the greatest number, in the long run." In 1898, Pinchot was appointed as Chief of the Division of Forestry in the U.S. Department of Agriculture under President William McKinley. And in 1905 he became head of the newly established United States Forest Service. Working with President Theodore Roosevelt, he played a significant role in shaping American conservation policy and expanding the nation's forest reserves. As Governor of Pennsylvania Pinchot helped pull rural farmers out of the mud with the establishment of Pinchot roads. During the great Depression he put Pennsylvanians back to work regenerating clear cut forests and planting trees, paving the way for the national Civilian Conservation Corps program.
Mira Lloyd Dock: A Beautiful Crusade - November 12 at 9:00pm - View Online
In 1899 women were seen not heard. But not Mira Lloyd Dock, a little known Progressive Era activist. This botanist, forester, and preservationist brought the City Beautiful movement to Pennsylvania's Capitol city. She helped transform it from a grimy disease ridden mess to a cleanly, manicured and modern state Capitol. During Mira's 12 years of service on the PA Forest Commission, one million acres of forest became reserves. She was the first woman in the world to be appointed to a public forest commission. And, she was the first woman to hold job in PA government either appointed or elected.
Straight Talk: The Ralph Abele Story - November 12 at 9:30pm - View Online
Pennsylvania anglers and boaters owe a lot to Ralph W. Abele (1921-1990). His resource first philosophy helped protect and conserve the Commonwealth's waterways and aquatic life. As longest serving Executive Director of the Fish & Boat Commission, Abele is credited with leading efforts to restore the American shad population to the Susquehanna River--a momentous task originally mounted by the Fish Commission at its founding in 1866. Overharvesting and disruption of migration routes by hydroelectric dams threatened to completely eliminate the shad fishery. It took 100 plus years and Abele's passionate determination to open a state-operated shad hatchery and regulation requiring hydroelectric dams to install functional fish passage facilities to bring back the fish. Even before Ralph Abele's appointment to the Fish Commission he was a major force in the conservation field. He served as Executive Secretary of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee of the State House of Representatives for 12 years, working on the Clean Water Act and other initiatives.
For more information and resources visit: paconservationheritage.org.
All three documentaries will rebroadcast Sunday November 15 beginning at 4:00pm (in the same order as Thursday's broadcast schedule)
Published in TVback to top
Support for WITF is provided by:
Support for witf is provided by: