Governor Ed Rendell Nominates Appalachian's President to State Board
On April 25, 2007, Governor Ed Rendell nominated Josh First to the board of directors of the Pennsylvania Game Commission (www.pgc.state.pa.us).
First is president and CEO of Appalachian Land & Conservation Services, and is a life-long hunter, fisherman, and occasional trapper.
"I am honored to be nominated to the Game Commission's board of directors by Governor Rendell," said Josh First. "In terms of wildlife habitat management and conservation work, Ed Rendell's administration has been a shining light, of national renown."
"The Pennsylvania Game Commission has a legacy of leadership in the field of wildlife management and habitat conservation that I will be pleased to participate in, should I be confirmed by the senate" said First.
"Josh First brings a commitment to science, a passion for the Commonwealth's natural resources and our outdoor heritage, and a keen intellect that will serve Pennsylvanians and our birds and wildlife well," said Tim Schaeffer, president of Pennsylvania Audubon.
First has served on a number of local, regional, state-wide and national non-profit and school boards, and has worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and two land trusts. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the National Rifle Association, and Trout Unlimited, among other groups. In March 2004, he became founding president of Appalachian Land & Conservation Services, a for-profit land investment and advising company dedicated to non-profit-type conservation methods and environmental results. See more on the web at www.appalachianland.us.
As some of you know, yesterday Governor Ed Rendell nominated me to the Pennsylvania Game Commission board of directors. It is an honor to not only be nominated by Governor Rendell to a high-profile state board, but more important, to have received the recognition and confidence of state conservationists and sportsmen like you. Thank you, it means a lot to me, primarily because you all mean a lot to me as close friends and admired colleagues. If confirmed by the Pennsylvania Senate, I promise to fulfill my role with vigor, clarity of thinking, and an open commitment to basic principles of habitat conservation and good government. You all know how I can't stand dithering or wishy-washy behavior, and you are all correctly betting you won't get it now.
There are some casualties of this role. My young family and my attorney wife Vivian, who is my best friend and whose company I enjoy more than any thing or any person, will see me less than they (and I) are acustomed to. My business, which has grown substantially since it started in 2004, will take a hit, especially on those real estate consulting projects that are deemed a conflict of interest. These are tough pills to swallow for someone who has made more money in less time, and who has spent more time with his family and hunting and fishing with friends in the past three years, than he ever could have imagined possible.
Therefore, if confirmed, I will do everything in my power to bring the Game Commission around to where it needs to be, both financially and functionally. In the coming two years I believe that I will know if I have been either effective or ineffective as a commissioner, and that will provide me with an opportunity to re-evaluate the significant time and energy commitment that this unpaid public service job entails. Until that time and possibly after it, it will be absolutely full steam ahead on issues critical to hunting, trapping, and wildlife habitat's successful future.