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

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Keep Pa. Growing Greener

Pennsylvania is fortunate to be full of priceless natural landscapes.

From the mountains of the Poconos, to the Susquehanna River, to the family farms of Amish farm country, and the historic green fields of Gettysburg — these are the types of places that make Pennsylvania great.

Knowing the incredible value of our state’s natural heritage, it’s shocking to know that elected officials in Harrisburg are on the verge of letting one of Pennsylvania’s most important conservation programs, known as Growing Greener, expire, putting many of these great places at risk.

> Keep Reading
Headline

Gov. Corbett, Keep Our State Parks Public

Gov. Tom Corbett recently told reporters that our stunning state park system tops his short list of state assets to privatize along with liquor stores and prisons.

Pennsylvania’s state parks are one of the Commonwealth’s greatest resources, and we should value them as such. We should be working to repair, restore, expand and improve these places that make Pennsylvania great—not trying to sell them off to the highest bidder.

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Headline

Severance tax could be used to fund Growing Greener program

Incredibly, Pennsylvania remains the only major drilling state in the nation that has failed to implement a severance tax on gas drilling. Due to the destructive and dangerous nature of Marcellus Shale drilling, it only makes sense to direct a portion of the funds to the state's environmental and conservation programs, like Pennsylvania's Growing Greener program.

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Report | PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center

Grand Canyon at Risk

Uranium mining—which often requires vast open pits, spreads radioactive dust through the air, and leaks radioactivity and toxic chemicals into the environment—is among the riskiest industrial activities in the world. Every uranium mine ever operated in the United States has required some degree of toxic waste cleanup, and the worst have sickened dozens of people, contaminated miles of rivers and streams, and required the cleanup of hundreds of acres of land.

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News Release | PennEnvironment

PennEnvironment Applauds Executive Order to Protect State Forests

PennEnvironment applauds Governor Ed Rendell for signing an Executive Order today to ban any further leases for Marcellus Shale gas drilling in Pennsylvania’s state forests. While the drilling industry appears to be using its access and influence to run rampant in Harrisburg—most recently convincing the state Senate to hold up a natural gas severance tax—it is reassuring to see Gov. Rendell take such strong steps to protect this valuable resource.
 
Because all Pennsylvanians are the owners and stewards of our state forests, we have an obligation to protect them from encroaching gas drilling and all of the negative environmental impacts that come with it.

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