Senate, House Recognize The Accomplishments Of Maurice K. Goddard
The Senate and House this week unanimously passed identical resolutions honoring the accomplishments of Maurice K. Goddard, the father of Pennsylvania’s state parks system and the first secretary of the state’s modern environmental protection agency.
The text of the resolutions follows--
Recognizing the contributions of Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, former Secretary of Forests and Waters and Secretary of Environmental Resources, to the Commonwealth on the 100-year anniversary of his birth.
WHEREAS, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, on September 13, 1912; and
WHEREAS, After graduating from the University of Maine with a bachelor's degree in forestry, Dr. Goddard came to the Mt. Alto campus of The Pennsylvania State University where he taught for several years; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard earned a master's degree in forestry from the University of California at Berkeley and later served with distinction on the staff of General Eisenhower during World War II; and
WHEREAS, After his war service, Dr. Goddard returned to The Pennsylvania State University, where he led the Mt. Alto School of Forestry, and later moved to the University Park campus where he directed the School of Forest Resources; and
WHEREAS, In 1955, Dr. Goddard began his career as a public servant in this Commonwealth when he was appointed as Secretary of the Department of Forests and Waters; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard continued in this leadership position until 1971, when he was appointed as Secretary of the newly created Department of Environmental Resources; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard received many conservation awards and was recognized as a national leader in conservation policy; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard was so well-respected for his knowledge, commitment and professionalism that governors from both parties appointed him to conservation leadership positions over a 24-year period; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard worked to implement his vision of establishing a State park within 25 miles of every Commonwealth resident; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard helped to secure dedicated funding for natural resource conservation by facilitating the creation of the Oil and Gas Lease Fund, which receives revenue from oil and gas leases on State lands and uses these funds for conservation, recreational development and land acquisition; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard was instrumental in securing funds for State parks and open spaces by shepherding the passage of Projects 70 and 500, in which almost $600 million was obtained for the acquisition of property and recreational facilities; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard led a monumental expansion of the State park system by adding 45 State parks and 130,000 acres of State park land during his tenure; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard's effort in the expansion of the State park system helped him earn distinction as the "Father of Pennsylvania State Parks"; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard was instrumental in establishing both the Delaware and Susquehanna River Basin Commissions; and
WHEREAS, Dr. Goddard's leadership for Pennsylvania's natural resources extended into his retirement from public service, as he continued to serve on the boards of various conservation groups and advocated for the creation of a separate agency for parks and forests, which occurred in 1995 with the establishment of the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources; and
WHEREAS, Until his death in 1995, Dr. Maurice K. Goddard worked tirelessly to protect Pennsylvania's natural resources and to provide current and future State residents with access to the natural beauty of this Commonwealth; therefore be it
RESOLVED, That the Senate recognize the contributions of Dr. Maurice K. Goddard, former Secretary of Forests and Waters and Secretary of Environmental Resources, to the Commonwealth on the 100-year anniversary of his birth.
To learn more about Dr. Goddard’s accomplishments, visit the PA Parks and Forest Foundation Maurice K. Goddard Legacy Project webpage. You can also view a documentary on Dr. Goddard’s life produced by WITF-TV.
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