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Raymond Savel

Robert P. Ging, Jr.

Two ardent conservationists, an environmental lawyer from Confluence and a watershed leader from Pottersdale, are co-winners of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award for 2001.

Raymond Savel of Pottersdale, Clearfield County, has a well-deserved reputation as the “Keeper of Mosquito Creek.” For more than 20 years, Ray “Sappy” Savel pursued a singular mission to restore and protect the Mosquito Creek watershed. Beginning in 1984, Savel began a long campaign to identify and remediate sources of pollution in the watershed. Working with government and conservation leaders, including Ralph Abele of the then Pennsylvania Fish Commission, and Art Davis, Secretary of Environmental Resources, Savel focused on the causes of, and cures for, problems in the watershed. He was one of the most visible spokespersons in the Commonwealth alerting anglers and the public at large to the significance of acid precipitation and its impacts on aquatic resources. His conservation vision included support for conservation education, youth field days, and scouting.

In 1996, President Clinton, Governor Ridge and Congressman Bud Shuster recognized Savel's accomplishments. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his outstanding efforts in the conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources. The singularly distinctive efforts of Raymond Savel to protect, conserve and enhance the aquatic resources of the Mosquito Creek watershed, the Quehanna Wild Area, and the Commonwealth reflect the heritage of Ralph W. Abele.

Robert P. (Bob) Ging, Jr., Confluence, has a long and distinguished record of harnessing his legal talents and personal interests in support of the cause of conservation of Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources. Ging’s passion for the outdoors and environmental heritage extends to his skill as a fly fisher, his activities as a hunter and his willingness to share his love and appreciation of conservation with many others. His legal career has focused on environmental law, often taking on cases and causes that involved difficult and novel issues in order to conserve our aquatic resources. Ging has devoted countless hours to volunteer efforts to protect the Casselman River, Laurel Hill Creek and in support of the Youghiogheny Riverwatch. His courage and conviction in becoming involved in addressing pollution cases affecting the Casselman earned statewide and national recognition. His legal prowess and tenacity are unparalleled when the environment is threatened. He recently worked with the Commission and DEP in the Eagle Environmental case. He worked with Ralph Abele and the Fish Commission staff on numerous cases to protect, conserve and enhance our waterways and watersheds.

Ging has taken an active role in many conservation, hunting and fishing organizations, including Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association, the Laurel Hill Creek Watershed Association, the Casselman River Taskforce, and Ducks Unlimited. The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Robert P. Ging, Jr., over years of service in support of conservation reflect the heritage of Ralph Abele.

Accordingly to Peter A. Colangelo, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, “The year 2001 is the tenth year that the Fish and Boat Commission has conferred the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award, and this is the first year that we have had co-winners. The hard work and dedicated service of Bob Ging and Raymond Savel are clearly consistent with the conservation heritage embodied in the life of Ralph Abele. The Fish and Boat Commission is delighted to welcome these two gentlemen to the ranks of Abele Award winners.”