DCNR Participates In Pinchot Institute 50th Anniversary Celebration

Standing on the same spot as President John F. Kennedy 50 years prior, DCNR Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti was among the keynote speakers Sept. 20 at the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Pinchot Institute at Grey Towers National Historic Site in Monroe County, the ancestral home of Gifford Pinchot, two-term Pennsylvania governor and the first chief of the U.S. Forest Service.

The idea for the Pinchot Institute first took shape in 1961 when Gifford Bryce Pinchot, the son of Gifford and Cornelia, proposed on behalf of the Pinchot family to donate the Pinchot estate at Grey Towers to the American people to serve as the home of a new center for environmental education and studies in environmental and natural resource policy.

State Forester Dan Devlin and DCNR Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti at reception celebrating 50th anniversary of Grey Towers.On September 24, 1963, President Kennedy visited Grey Towers to dedicate the Pinchot Institute for Conservation Studies as “a living memorial” to Gifford Pinchot’s “practical idealism” in developing “a professional approach to the management of our nation’s resources.”

Kennedy asserted that, “Today’s conservation movement must embrace disciplines scarcely known to its prophets of the past. Government must provide a national policy framework for this new conservation emphasis,” he noted, “but government at any level needs sound information, objective research, and study...It is this function which the Pinchot Institute can serve most effectively.”

Today the Pinchot Institute is an internationally-recognized nonprofit conservation organization with programs throughout the U.S. and in several countries to carry out in-depth studies on key conservation concerns; develop innovative approaches to advance conservation practice; provide education programs to develop the conservation leaders of tomorrow; and conduct conferences that help shape future conservation policy.

“The vision of great conservation leaders at critical times in Pennsylvania’s history—Gifford Pinchot, Joseph Rothrock, Maurice Goddard—has resulted in the system of state parks and forests that Pennsylvanians enjoy and love today,” DCNR Acting Secretary Ferretti said at the anniversary celebration. “Our modern challenge is caring for our public lands, focusing on improvements for aging facilities; well-managed forests; and high management standards for our award-winning state parks.

“During my time at DCNR, I intend to work with Gov. Corbett to improve the efficiency of our current assets and operations, and direct our resources into the maintenance and renewal of our campgrounds, water resources, buildings, roads and trails that will maintain and improve the experience of our visitors,” Ferretti added.

She noted that this endeavor builds on Gifford Pinchot’s practical approach to conservation.

“As a lifelong Pennsylvanian, I feel pride and have a strong feeling that conservation is one thing that unites us as Pennsylvanians and as Americans,” Ferretti said.

(Reprinted from the October 2 issue of DCNR’s Resource newsletter.)


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