DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanians: Richard Lewis, PA Forestry Association
His love of the outdoors and appreciation of our country’s forests, wildlife, and clean water has fostered a lifelong forestry career.
As a child, the Pocono, Kittatinny, Catskill, and Adirondack Mountains offered a respite from life in suburban New Jersey.
When Richard was 16, while hiking solo on the NYS Adirondack Range Trail, he met a forester who convinced him to try a career in forestry.
He followed that advice, and his 50-plus-year career in forestry started with a District Forest position for seven years in northwestern New Jersey.
After that, he spent 10 years as the Director of the American Tree Farm System in Washington. DC. Finally, he served for 30 years as President of the Forest Resources Association, a national forest industry trade association.
Since retiring six years ago, Richard has enjoyed giving back to the forestry community for all the great experiences he has enjoyed during his life.
Somewhere along his early career path, Richard became convinced that Americans need to manage our natural resources in a way that preserves them for future generations.
“I have always felt that we are only passing tenants on our forest lands and we need to leave them in better condition than we found them,” he explains. “As a professional forester my forest management recommendations and prescriptions have always been based on the concept of “resource first.”
Richard’s commitment to those ideals are evident in his enthusiastic involvement in many conservation programs and groups.
The South Mountain Partnership brings together conservation, agriculture, recreation, historic preservation, transportation, health, and business entities to carry out projects that benefit the economic and environmental health of the South Mountain region.
As a partner in the South Mountain Partnership, Richard participates in the South Mountain Research Corp and Science Summit pilot program; and has organized and managed two different Speaker Series programs about forest conservation and clean water.
Richard frequently shares information and news between the South Mountain Partnership and other organizations where he has a leadership role.
He serves as President for the Pennsylvania Forestry Association, where he provides overall association management direction and guidance.
As Vice President of the Fish and Boat Commission, he speaks publicly about fishing; stream, lake, and riparian zone habitat; and boating and watercraft safety issues.
As a member of the Adams County Trout Unlimited Chapter Board, Richard manages the chapter’s social media programs, and helps with fundraising, stream restoration projects, youth angling programs, Trout in the Classroom programs, and planning the monthly chapter meetings.
Most recently, he has become a charter Life Member of the Friends of the Michaux State Forest.
Richard has been told that he has “failed at retirement much to the betterment of the forestry and wildlife community,” a comment that he takes as a compliment.
Richard and his wife of 40 years, Jakie, live west of Gettysburg in Adams County, PA. They enjoy growing fields of wildflowers, and taking their grandchildren fishing while watching the deer, turkeys, fox, mink, bald eagles, and other wildlife along Marsh Creek which flows near their home.
Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources by sending email to: firstname.lastname@example.org to nominate someone.
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[Posted: August 21, 2019]
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