The best of Pennsylvania

From Valley Forge to the rolling fields of Gettysburg; from Pennsylvania’s portion of the Appalachian Trail and the Delaware Water Gap to Pennsylvania’s awe-inspiring state parks like Ohiopyle and Ricketts Glen. These are our greatest places—for Pennsylvanian's and the nation—where we take our families to hike, camp, fish and teach our kids about Pennsylvania's incredible natural history and the values we share to protect these outdoor wonders.

Constant threats

Unfortunately, our parks, forests, and other public lands face a barrage of threats. These threats include ongoing pollution, fracking and Marcellus Shale drilling, encroaching development, and coal mining. At the same time, politicians in Harrisburg and Washington DC threaten to slash funding for protecting our state and federal parks and forests, and even press to privatize these lands and sell them off to the highest bidder.  

These activities would do irreparable harm to these places we love, threaten the wildlife that make the parks their home, and diminish the natural heritage that we’ll leave for our children and future generations.

Politicians are moving in the wrong direction

In both Harrisburg and Washington DC, our elected officials are pushing a set of policies that will decimate Pennsylvania's-- and the nation's-- public lands.  

This includes:

  • Moving forward with policies that would strip funding from successful program that protects our parks and other open spaces from development and drilling like the Land and Water Conservation Fund, Growing Greener and the Keystone Fund.
  • Slashing budgets for the agencies charged with protecting, maintaining and overseeing our parks and forests;
  • Allowing harmful practices like fracking in our treasured state and federal parks and forests; 
  • And even taking our parks away from the public and privatizing them.

Together, we can protect Pennsylvania’s parks, forests, and public lands

At PennEnvironment, we’re making sure that the people who value and enjoy our public lands, the places we love, the programs and agencies that protect them have a voice in Harrisburg and Washington DC. We are talking to Pennsylvanians about what’s at stake, testifying in our nation’s and state’s capitol, educating lawmakers, and shining a spotlight in the media on the need to protect our parks, forests and other critical public lands.

Preservation Updates

Headline

Editorial: Staying Green

With natural-gas drilling posing one of the biggest challenges to Pennsylvania's environment since the days of coal strip mining, this is no time for Harrisburg officials to stand by and let funding dry up for the commonwealth's premier conservation effort.

That's just what could happen this year unless new money is provided for the state's $1.3 billion Growing Greener program - launched by a Republican governor, Tom Ridge, and enthusiastically expanded by a Democratic successor, Gov. Rendell.

> Keep Reading
News Release | PennEnvironment

While House Majority Fights the Good Fight, Budget Deal Ravages Environmental Programs

As the dust settles in Harrisburg after a contentious 101-day budget fight, one of the state’s largest citizen-based environmental advocacy groups assessed the damage done to Pennsylvania’s conservation programs and the Commonwealth’s environment.

“While steps were taken to make this horrible proposal a bit better, this budget deal does a disservice to Pennsylvania’s environment,” stated PennEnvironment Director David Masur. “That being said, the outcome would have been much worse--downright disastrous--if it wasn’t for the leadership and commitment of the House Democrats to protect the Commonwealth’s environment.”

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News Release | PennEnvironment

Governor Signs Bill to Protect Appalachian Trail

While most eyes are currently focused on the impending budget battle in Harrisburg, the state legislature and Governor Ed Rendell took the last step to protect PA’s portion of the Appalachian Trail when the governor signed HB1281 into law (PA Act 24, 2008) yesterday afternoon. This legislation will take much-needed action to preserve the state’s section of this important national treasure that from encroaching development and other threats. Since its introduction, PennEnvironment has tirelessly advocated for the legislation’s passage.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Applauds Senate Passage of Bill to Protect Appalachian Trail

“PennEnvironment applauds the state Senate for passing House Bill 1281 (HB1281) today, which will take greater steps to protect Pennsylvania’s portion of the Appalachian Trail.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

Preserving Pennsylvania's Natural Heritage

Pennsylvania has a rich natural heritage. Our Commonwealth is the home of rugged mountain forests, worldclass agricultural land, beautiful rivers and streams, and countless places of history and natural wonder. But much of Pennsylvania’s natural heritage is in peril—threatened by sprawling development, the Commonwealth’s legacy of mining and industrial pollution, and other challenges.

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