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Gary Alt, Eastern Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation Win Mason Award
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Karl Mason

The Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals this week announced two winners of the Karl Mason Award for 2005.

Dr. Gary Alt was honored for his work involving the Pennsylvania Game Commission’s bear and deer management programs. The Eastern PA Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation (EPCAMR) was honored for their non-profit, non-partisan, local, state, federal, and industry partnerships to improve water quality through cooperative efforts to reclaim abandoned mine lands in the Commonwealth’s Appalachian coal communities.

Dr. Gary Alt retired in 2004 from the Pennsylvania Game Commission as the Section Supervisor for the Deer Management Program since 1999. In his job he had to balance the needs of the hunters and nonhunters, the news media, legislators, landowners and other wildlife enthusiasts. Dr. Alt joined the agency in 1977 when he headed up the bear management program.

He earned his doctorate in Forest Resources Science from West Virginia University, Master of Science Degree in Wildlife Management from Penn State University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Wildlife Science from Utah State University and an Associate’s Degree in Wildlife Technology from Penn State University.

Dr. Alt has received numerous honors and awards for his professional achievements including the Quality Deer Management Association’s Professional Deer Manager of the Year Award which recognizes biologists or manager who promote quality deer management program principles and practices.

EPCAMR is responsible for taking the lead in developing a new technical innovation for abandoned mine drainage (AMD) water treatment after recognizing the prevalence of iron oxide precipitate deposited for decades in Anthracite and Bituminous coal region watersheds of Eastern Pennsylvania.

EPCAMR works in Appalachian coal communities to assist under-served populations, community groups, and local governments, to reclaim abandoned mine lands, restore streams, and build community support for education programs in watersheds impacted by AMD.

The Karl Mason Award was named for Karl Mason who served as Pennsylvania’s first State Environmental Administrator from 1952 to 1966. Karl’s holistic vision of environmental management set the pattern for the state that embraces all essential elements of the problems of air, water and land related waste disposal and community environmental protection.

He was committed to the belief that continuing education was an essential part of the career of every environmental professional. He was never willing to spare himself the luxury of leisure and rest, and as a result he died from a serious heart ailment that was aggravated by the stresses of his assignments.

Past Recipients of the Karl Mason Award include—

2004 – Somerset Conservation District, for the successful Casselman River Watershed Major Nonpoint Pollution Assessment and Restoration Plan which exceeded its intended objectives of assessing major nonpoint pollution sources in the watershed and by producing a Restoration Plan to guide future restoration activities.

2004 – Jim Kunkle, Executive Director of the Wildlife Information Center, recognized for his dedication and involvement in establishing the Wildlife Information Center and negotiating the purchase of what is now the Lehigh Gap Wildlife Refuge.

2003 – Department of Environmental Protection in recognition of the Growing Greener Program, which supports local watershed groups, county conservation districts, local governments, business people, farmers, teachers, and students by funding local watershed restoration and protection projects, abandoned mine reclamation projects and oil and gas well plugging projects.

2002 - Dr. Arthur C. Hulse, recognized for his career interest in amphibians and reptiles and gravitation to the structure of snake communities, population ecology of aquatic salamanders, and the distribution and abundance of amphibians and reptiles through Pennsylvania.

2001 – Larry J. Schweiger, President & CEO of the Western PA Conservancy, recognized for his lifetime commitment to the protection of Pennsylvania’s environment.

2000 - Dr. Ann F. Rhoads, Ph.D. for her lifetime contribution to cataloging and monitoring the health of Pennsylvania’s flora, and her role in co-authoring The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania, Annotated Checklist and Atlas.

For more information visit the Pennsylvania Association of Environmental Professionals webpage.


5/20/2005

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