Maurice Goddard

Known for his no-nonsense, blunt style, Maurice K. Goddard served under five Pennsylvania Governor’s as Secretary of Forests and Waters and as the founding Secretary of the Department of Environmental Resources (1955-1979). His legacy as a public servant includes:

  • A commitment to professionalism and civil service
  • A state park within 25 miles of every Pennsylvanian
  • A watershed scale approach to water management
  • Dedicated funding for natural resource conservation – the Oil and Gas Fund, Bond Initiative (Project 70 and Project 500).
  • A profound influence on national conservation policy
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Mira Lloyd Dock

Mira pushed hard for livable, healthy cities with access to parks and playgrounds by all of its residents. Her work resulted in dramatic changes in the way many smaller urban areas in America dealt with sewage, flooding, drinking water, parks, recreation, and general beautification.

At the same time, she raised the awareness of our need to protect and nurture expansive tracts of forests for watershed protection and wild habitat, and helped Pennsylvania develop its national leadership in forestry and forestry education programs

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Gifford Pinchot

After a break from politics, Gifford Pinchot was elected for a second time as Governor of Pennsylvania in 1930 as the state and nation were faced with the tremendous unemployment resulting from the Great Depression.

Gifford’s landmark roadbuilding and road paving program not only put thousands of people to work, it helped connect rural farm communities to markets for their goods and services.

He also instituted a massive tree-planting program, hiring men to restore the cut-over timber areas of the state. This experimental program became President Roosevelt’s model for the federal Civilian Conservation Corps.

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Ralph Abele

Legislation is passed regularly in the State Assembly, but a state constitutional amendment is rare as it takes a tremendous amount of statewide support from a broad representation of citizens and legislators. Once Ralph’s Joint Legislative Committee had proposed a “Conservation Amendment,” Ralph took it upon himself to build the needed support to get it passed. Working with Senator Franklin Kury and Department of Forests and Waters Secretary Maurice Goddard his tireless efforts resulted in Article 1, Section 27 getting passed by both the House and Senate and approved as a voter referendum. Once on the ballot, Ralph’s efforts to garner public support paid off with a tremendous majority of voters approving it.

Ralph took over the helm of the Pennsylvania Fish Commission in February of 1972. He became known as a very strong advocate of fisheries and all aquatic life, promoting the philosophy of “Resource First” when weighing decisions that would impact the environment. The “Don’t Tread on Me” flag was his symbol of standing up for what is right against those who would further harm Pennsylvania’s environment.

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A Cradle of Conservation: History of PA State Parks

Part of the UnCommonWealth series, the video looks at how the park system began, highlights the “golden years” when park system experienced surge in growth and expansion.

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Dock/Pinchot/Abele: A Video Sampler

This abridgement of the three long-form documentaries provides a good in-class introduction to the topics stressed by the longer films. When time is tight and lengthier thoughtful discussion is the goal, the sampler is a great choice for educators and seminar leaders.

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