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DCNR Good Natured Pennsylvanian: Former Senator Franklin Kury

Franklin Kury is a former member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 1966 to 1972 representing Montour and Northumberland Counties, and a former member of the Pennsylvania State Senate serving from 1973 to 1980 representing Columbia, Juniata, Montour, Northumberland, Snyder, and Union counties.

During his time as a lawmaker, Kury was a leader in the enactment of fundamental environmental laws that are the culmination of the environmental revolution that marked the end of the exploitation of the state’s natural resources by the coal, steel, and railroad industries.

In 1967, he drafted and introduced the legislation that led to the establishment of Article I, Section 27, of the Pennsylvania Constitution -- also known as the Pennsylvania Environmental Rights Amendment.

This amendment states that, “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come…”

Franklin was a powerful voice declaring the people’s right to a clean environment and requirement of government to be stewards of parks and other public lands in trust for the people.

His leadership resulted in legislation such as the Clean Streams Act, which protects Pennsylvania’s waterways and freshwater resources, and enables those who violate it to be held responsible.

Franklin also led an effort that resulted in the enactment of Pennsylvania’s floodplain and stormwater management laws.

For his efforts, he was the winner of the 2012 Cliff Jones Keystone Legacy Award from the Pennsylvania Parks & Forests Foundation, as well as being honored by the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association.

He retired voluntarily from the Senate in 1980.

Franklin Kury’s leadership and environmental activism helped shape the laws and tools used today to conserve Pennsylvania’s beloved natural resources for years and generations to come.

Know of a good natured Pennsylvanian who is passionate about outdoor recreation and/or conservation that we should feature? Contact DCNR by sending an email to:  to nominate someone.

For more information on state parks and forests and recreation in Pennsylvania, visit DCNR’s website, Click Here to sign up for the Resource newsletter, Visit the Good Natured DCNR Blog,  Click Here for upcoming events, Click Here to hook up with DCNR on other social media-- Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Flickr.

(Photo: DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn and Franklin Kury.)

(Reprinted from DCNR’s Feb. 19 Resource newsletter.  Click Here to sign up for your own copy.)


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[Posted: February 20, 2020]


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