The secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources must be sensible and sensitive in outlook and action on the important issues the agency has responsibility for addressing. We could look long and hard and not find a better match between the expectations for the individual who heads this department and the qualifications of the nominee before us.
Ellen Ferretti brings a strong and extensive set of environmental and conservation credentials to the job. As you review her education, training, and professional experience, it seems a direct path to this consequential position.
Growing up in northeastern Pennsylvania, she saw some of the best of the Keystone State – our extensive and diverse woodlands – and some of the worst – the mining-scarred landscape. The contrast made quite an impression.
There is no question of her capacity for leading. Whether it was in private business, through involvement in community organizations, or as part of state government, Ellen has performed with intelligence, integrity, enthusiasm, and a refreshing sense of stewardship.
Because of the depth and breadth of her experience, it is hard to imagine any aspect of the philosophy, the law, the programs, and the practice of environmental protection and conservation with which she is unfamiliar. She has a record of action and results on which she can be judged, including a half year at the helm of DCNR in an acting capacity.
When she was first named as acting secretary, some of the positive comments coming from environmental advocacy groups reflected the working relationships she has built and the respect she has earned.
She has had a tremendous impact in the northeastern region of the state, with her constructive participation in shaping environmental planning, projects, and practices. I enjoyed my involvement with her cleaning tires from the North Branch of the Susquehanna River in Mehoopany as part of the COALS program.
For me, she is a good neighbor, figuratively and literally, for her home is not far from mine.
I am pleased to introduce Ellen Ferretti to this committee, and to recommend your favorable consideration of her nomination.