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Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award


The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award is the highest recognition the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) provides to persons who distinguished themselves in the cause of conservation.

The PFBC established the Award to recognize citizens of Pennsylvania who have made outstanding contributions to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the aquatic resources of the Commonwealth. The award serves as a memorial to Ralph Abele for his steadfast and courageous work in protecting and conserving our natural resources.

The Abele Award is presented to a Pennsylvanian who has dedicated his or her time and energy to the conservation of the state's natural resources, specifically the aquatic resources, through one or more of the following accomplishments:
  • Personally invested heavily in the long-term education of Pennsylvania's youth on conservation issues vital to an improved aquatic environment.
  • Put at risk their person and livelihood to undertake public activities and positions on behalf of improving and protecting the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.
  • Led a regional or statewide environmental effort that has been recognized for its duration and success in protecting and enhancing the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.
  • Played a leading role in reclaiming and enhancing a major significant natural water resource within the Commonwealth.
  • Led an effort to pass major environmental legislation for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural environment of Pennsylvania.
  • Brought national recognition to Pennsylvania through personal activities, actions and contributions to the aquatic resources.
Employees and active Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are not eligible for this award.