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Ralph W. Abele

  • 1601 Elmerton Ave. Harrisburg, PA

Ralph W. Abele was one of Pennsylvania’s leading early conservationists. Born near Pittsburgh in 1921, Abele spent many of his early years as a member of the Boy Scouts of America. During his years in the Scouts, he learned the importance of protecting natural resources and was deeply influenced by conservation writers Aldo Leopold and Ernest Thompson Seton. Abele attended the University of Pittsburgh but was drafted to serve during World War II. Following the war, he worked as a food vendor and volunteer Boy Scout leader. As a Scout leader, he worked to instill the importance of conservation in his young scouts. In 1969, Abele became Executive Secretary of the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control & Conservation Committee of the House & Senate. The position marked the start of a career in public service that included serving as Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission. During his tenure there, Abele was well-known for the columns he supplied to Pennsylvania Angler magazine. Throughout his lifetime, he worked tirelessly to educate the public on the importance of conserving Pennsylvania’s abundant natural resources. Ralph Abele died in 1990.