Ralph W. Abele
Conservation Heritage Award
Robert P. Ging, Jr.
Two ardent conservationists, an environmental lawyer from Confluence and a watershed leader
from Pottersdale, are co-winners of the Ralph W. Abele Conservation Heritage Award for 2001.
Raymond Savel of Pottersdale, Clearfield County, has a well-deserved reputation as the
“Keeper of Mosquito Creek.” For more than 20 years, Ray “Sappy” Savel pursued a singular mission
to restore and protect the Mosquito Creek watershed. Beginning in 1984, Savel began a long
campaign to identify and remediate sources of pollution in the watershed. Working with
government and conservation leaders, including Ralph Abele of the then Pennsylvania Fish
Commission, and Art Davis, Secretary of Environmental Resources, Savel focused on the causes of,
and cures for, problems in the watershed. He was one of the most visible spokespersons in the
Commonwealth alerting anglers and the public at large to the significance of acid precipitation
and its impacts on aquatic resources. His conservation vision included support for conservation
education, youth field days, and scouting.
In 1996, President Clinton, Governor Ridge and Congressman Bud Shuster recognized Savel's
accomplishments. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in recognition of his
outstanding efforts in the conservation and protection of Pennsylvania’s aquatic resources. The
singularly distinctive efforts of Raymond Savel to protect, conserve and enhance the aquatic
resources of the Mosquito Creek watershed, the Quehanna Wild Area, and the Commonwealth reflect
the heritage of Ralph W. Abele.
Robert P. (Bob) Ging, Jr., Confluence, has a long and distinguished record of harnessing his
legal talents and personal interests in support of the cause of conservation of Pennsylvania’s
aquatic resources. Ging’s passion for the outdoors and environmental heritage extends to his
skill as a fly fisher, his activities as a hunter and his willingness to share his love and
appreciation of conservation with many others. His legal career has focused on environmental
law, often taking on cases and causes that involved difficult and novel issues in order to
conserve our aquatic resources. Ging has devoted countless hours to volunteer efforts to protect
the Casselman River, Laurel Hill Creek and in support of the Youghiogheny Riverwatch. His
courage and conviction in becoming involved in addressing pollution cases affecting the
Casselman earned statewide and national recognition. His legal prowess and tenacity are
unparalleled when the environment is threatened. He recently worked with the Commission and DEP
in the Eagle Environmental case. He worked with Ralph Abele and the Fish Commission staff on
numerous cases to protect, conserve and enhance our waterways and watersheds.
Ging has taken an active role in many conservation, hunting and fishing organizations,
including Trout Unlimited, the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation, the National Rifle Association,
the Laurel Hill Creek Watershed Association, the Casselman River Taskforce, and Ducks Unlimited.
The singularly distinctive accomplishments of Robert P. Ging, Jr., over years of service in
support of conservation reflect the heritage of Ralph Abele.
Accordingly to Peter A. Colangelo, Executive Director of the Fish and Boat Commission, “The
year 2001 is the tenth year that the Fish and Boat Commission has conferred the Ralph W. Abele
Conservation Heritage Award, and this is the first year that we have had co-winners. The hard
work and dedicated service of Bob Ging and Raymond Savel are clearly consistent with the
conservation heritage embodied in the life of Ralph Abele. The Fish and Boat Commission is
delighted to welcome these two gentlemen to the ranks of Abele Award winners.”