Thursday, April 25, 2019

Special Screening & Panel Discussion Of Penn’s Woods Cradle Of Conservation Documentary May 29 In Harrisburg

The PA Conservation Heritage Project and its partners will hold a special screening and panel discussion of the WITF Penn’s Woods - Cradle of Conservation documentary on May 29 at the State Museum of Pennsylvania in Harrisburg from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
The hour-long documentary weaves together the state's rich environmental history, highlighting accomplishments and challenges along the way.
When King Charles II granted William Penn his North American colony in 1681 Penn's Woods was lush with trees.
According to Mark Madison, Historian for the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, "The forest canopy was so dense it's been said that a squirrel could travel across Pennsylvania branch to branch without ever touching the ground."  
But by 1900, the state had lost more than 60 percent of its forests. Dr. Joseph Rothrock, the father of Pennsylvania Forestry, called the vast wasteland the "Pennsylvania Desert."
During the height of the Industrial Revolution coal, iron and steel production voraciously gobbled up resources. Along with economic booms and revolutions in natural resource extraction, came an environmental price.
Pennsylvania found itself poised to become a pioneer in environmental protection. Professor of History & Environmental Studies at Penn State Altoona Dr. Brian Black teaches his students about this legacy.  
"We have used the natural resources with all different kinds of ethics. And just like we have can say that we're the cradle of industrialization in the United States,” Dr. Black said.  “We can also say that we're the cradle of the conservation movement."
Pennsylvanians set about restoring the state's environmental riches and in the process helped shape the national conservation and environmental movements of the twentieth century.
"We had great conservationists totally transform how we look at the environment and how we protect it. Gifford Pinchot basically saved the nation's forests. Rachel Carson woke up the whole world to the dangers of toxins and pesticides. Anybody can make a difference," reflects Mark Madison.
Today Pennsylvania's ecosystem is in the midst of transformation. As we grapple with the environmental impact of the Marcellus Shale gas industry and come to grips with the growing challenges of global warming, there are lessons to be learned from the past.  
According to PA Parks and Forests Foundation President Marci Mowery, "Pennsylvania's conservation heritage is important. It defines who we are and defines the places where we grew up. It defines the places where we recreate. We can't be informed citizens if we don't understand and know our history and we can't keep an eye out for any red flags that might be arising because we're going down a similar path."
Click Here to watch this new documentary online.   Click Here to watch documentaries in this series.
Explore more information, watch this and other other documentaries in the Pennsylvania Conservation Heritage series and more online at the PA Conservation Heritage Project website.
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