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HARRISBURG, PA - Look back on conservation history and you’ll find giants, people who positively impacted wildlife, hunting and outdoor recreation in ways far above and beyond the norm.

Count John Oliver among them. The Pennsylvanian has been a tireless advocate for preserving wildlife habitat and creating public lands for outdoor recreationists for more than three decades.

It’s fitting, then, that he’s being honored now.

The Pennsylvania Game Commission Board of Commissioners recently created the John C. Oliver Wildlife Conservation Lifetime Achievement Award. It will be bestowed on individuals who throughout their career made substantial improvements to the wildlife and natural resources of Pennsylvania.

Oliver is the first winner of the award that will henceforth bear his name because he exemplifies the qualities the Game Commission is looking for in awardees.

As president of the Western Pennsylvania Conservancy and then later as the first Secretary of Pennsylvania’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, he led the way in setting aside more than 200,000 acres of land in the Commonwealth for conservation. All of that land is now held in perpetuity for the common good, available to be enjoyed by everyone for generations to come.

The Game Commission, wildlife and Keystone State hunters and trappers certainly continue to benefit from his work. Among the land acquisition projects he spearheaded are:

  • 3,182 acres on State Game Lands 130 in Mercer County.
  • 2,152 acres on State Game Lands 42 in Cambria, Somerset and Westmoreland counties.
  • 1,537 acres on State Game Lands 26 in Bedford, Blair, Cambria and Somerset counties.
  • 3,131 acres on State Game Land 314 in Erie County.
  • 12,670 acres on State Game Lands 295 in Centre and Clinton counties.

Oliver was also instrumental in creating Pennsylvania’s Growing Greener Program, which remains the largest single investment in environmental funding in the state. A portion of that money – $20 million – was set aside for the Game Commission and used for critical infrastructure upgrades at Commission buildings and game lands, including improvements to roads, dams and bridges.

Oliver remains an avid outdoorsman and a tireless advocate for both hunting and the scientific wildlife management of the Commonwealth’s wildlife. His career is a profound legacy of conservation work.

The Game Commission is pleased and proud to recognize and honor him with this award and to encourage others to follow in his footsteps.

MEDIA CONTACT: Travis Lau - 717-705-6541

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