PA Environmental Professionals Recognize Fmr DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell, Lorie Erb & Bog Turtle Recovery Program

The PA Association of Environmental Professionals recognized former DEP Secretary Patrick McDonnell with the Karl Mason Award and Lorie Erb and the MACHAC Bog Turtle Recovery Program with the Walter Lyon Award.

Patrick McDonnell

Patrick McDonnell’s career with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection spanned several decades, beginning in 1998.

Prior to becoming secretary in 2016, Patrick served as the Department’s director of policy. He also ran the State Energy Office, coordinating renewable energy and energy efficiency issues.

Mr. McDonnell previously served as PADEP’s Deputy Secretary for Administration, overseeing the agency’s budget, human resource, and information technology programs.

In addition, he spent over three years as executive policy manager for former Public Utility Commissioner Pamela A. Witmer, focusing on electric, natural gas and water issues. Patrick served several roles with the Environmental Council of the States (ECOS), including president, vice president, treasurer and vice chair of the Innovation and Productivity Committee.

As Governor Wolf said earlier this year prior to Mr. McDonnell's retirement, “Patrick’s dedication to protecting our Commonwealth’s environment has been a decades long commitment at PADEP, and I am grateful for his service. Through his leadership, we are taking significant action to address climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, protect our waterways, and ensure that contaminated lands are cleaned up and repurposed so that our communities can enjoy these spaces once again.” 

Patrick McDonnell, as part of PADEP, "demonstrated exemplary leadership in the field of environmental management" in Pennsylvania and thus is perfectly suited to the vision of the Karl Mason Award.

Patrick will continue to provide leadership in the environmental profession as PennFuture’s current President and CEO.

Lori Erb

For nearly a decade, Lori Erb has tirelessly spearheaded efforts to identify, monitor, and track the status of the threatened bog turtle in Pennsylvania. She also coordinated the development of a conservation plan and on-the-ground habitat management actions. 

Working on behalf of the Mid-Atlantic Center for Herpetology and Conservation (MACHAC) and its Bog Turtle Recovery Program, Lori coordinates volunteer efforts, arranges annual meetings that bring together multiple agencies and individuals, spends thousands of hours in the field, secures funding for both local and northeast regional projects, developed a population monitoring protocol, drafted a conservation plan, and so many other unsung achievements that have served to protect and enhance populations of this remarkable flagship species.

The preservation, restoration, and recognition of the critical wetland habitats required by the bog turtle serve to improve the surrounding environment throughout their range.

MACHAC’s Bog Turtle Recovery Program is a partnership among several organizations, federal and state agencies, key among them being the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC).

Ms. Erb works closely with each of them but especially PFBC about whom she states, “I wouldn't be able to do what I do without them.”

The collaborative efforts of MACHAC’s program as implemented through the leadership of Lori Erb embody the vision of Walter Lyon and this award.

For more information on programs, initiatives, workshops and other special events, visit the PA Association of Environmental Professionals website.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates on PAEP activities or Like them on Facebook.  Click Here to become a member.

[Posted: December 5, 2022]


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