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Ralph W. Abele
Conservation Heritage Award
Kenneth C. Sink

The Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award is the highest recognition the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission (PFBC) provides to persons who distinguished themselves in the cause of conservation. Ken Sink was the first winner of the prestigious Abele Award.

Mrs. Peggy Abele joins RWA Winner Ken Sink at dedication of Abele Glen in 1991The PFBC established the Abele Award to recognize citizens of Pennsylvania who have made outstanding contributions to the protection, conservation and enhancement of the aquatic resources of the Commonwealth. The award serves as a memorial to Ralph Abele for his steadfast and courageous work in protecting and conserving our natural resources.

The Pennsylvania Fish Commission honored Kenneth C. Sink as the recipient of the first Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award.

Ken Sink distinguished himself by outstanding service in support of
conservation of Pennsylvania’s water and aquatic resources. His lifelong
commitment to service is evidenced by his leadership in numerous conservation and community organizations. Ken has devoted countless hours to protecting the environment and educating our youth on the outdoors. Through his leadership in Rotary International, the Boy Scouts, the Indiana County United Way, Camp William Penn, the Spruce Creek Rod and Gun Club and the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation, he exemplified important values of service to his community, youth and the environment. His leadership in scouting was recognized by award of the prestigious Silver Beaver and Antelope Award.

Ken Sink organized and enhanced the effectiveness of Trout Unlimited chapters throughout Pennsylvania to achieve improved water quality, better habitat, and better fishing. An avid trout angler, Ken has never forgotten that sound conservation practices are essential for all outdoor sporting endeavors. He served as state and national president of Trout Unlimited and as National Chairman of the Board for TU.
The structure and effectiveness of TU in Pennsylvania and the nation owes much to his untiring efforts.

Ken Sink with 1991 RWA Conservation Heritage Award PlaqueKen Sink was a long-time close friend and colleague of Ralph Abele, who regularly called on Ken for his wisdom, ideas and support. As a conservationist and a leader, Ken Sink has earned the hearty thanks of all who fish and enjoy Pennsylvania’s outdoors. Ken Sink’s achievements have brought national recognition to Pennsylvania and have contributed much to the protection. conservation and enhancement of the aquatic resources of this Commonwealth.

The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Kenneth C. Sink in decades of service to the conservation of Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources reflected great credit on himself and the organizations he has led and made him truly worthy to he the first recipient of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award.

The Abele Award is presented to a Pennsylvanian who has dedicated his or her time and energy to the conservation of the state's natural resources, specifically the aquatic resources, through one or more of the following accomplishments:

  • Personally invested heavily in the long-term education of Pennsylvania's youth on conservation issues vital to an improved aquatic environment.
  • Put at risk their person and livelihood to undertake public activities and positions on behalf of improving and protecting the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.
  • Led a regional or statewide environmental effort that has been recognized for its duration and success in protecting and enhancing the aquatic resources of Pennsylvania.
  • Played a leading role in reclaiming and enhancing a major significant natural water resource within the Commonwealth.
  • Led an effort to pass major environmental legislation for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the natural environment of Pennsylvania.
  • Brought national recognition to Pennsylvania through personal activities, actions and contributions to the aquatic resources.

Employees and active Commissioners of the Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission are not eligible for this award.


Ralph W. Abele Scholarship Award -- PFBC Home


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