Rep. Smith issues statement on award received

HARRISBURG — Pennsylvania State House Speaker Sam Smith (R-Jefferson/Indiana/Armstrong) has issued the following statement upon receiving the “Legislator Leadership Award” from the Pennsylvania Association of Conservation Districts (PACD) on Wednesday.

“I want to convey my sincere appreciation to the PACD for this distinguished award. My interactions with the Jefferson County Conservation District span many decades, and I’ve always been grateful for the open lines of communication and the positive and productive relationships we’ve shared.

“I especially want to thank our local district manager, Deb Wilson, for nominating me for this award and for her faithful service to the residents of Jefferson County. My involvement with the County Conservation District began with the issue of mine reclamation many years ago, and working with Deb and the district, I am proud of all that we’ve achieved in that area.

“With the expansion of the natural gas industry in our area, the issues have continued to evolve and the role of the conservation district remains equally important. I am very pleased that state budgets have continued strong support for the varied activities of these organizations which often play key roles in serving as go-betweens for issues arising between the Department of Environmental Protection and local residents.

“As I look back on my legislative career, the memories of my interactions with the Jefferson County Conservation District will be some of my fondest. It has been a true pleasure to interact with an organization that has done outstanding work in conserving our environment.”