Two things stand out in my memories of fishing Pennsylvania’s Grand
Canyons Slate and Cedar Runs.
Slate Run Hotels shower was down the hall. During the dinner hour I
locked my key in my room. Dinner guests were treated to a near naked
Rohrbach scampering through the dining room in search of the manager
and a key!
The second was the Pine Creek Green Drake hatch above Babb Creek.
The color of Babb creek exemplified the hideous pollution entering at
As the Pine was experiencing an intense Green Drake swarm, there wasn’t
a bug downstream of Blackwell.
That’s history thanks to guys like Robert W. .McCoullough, Jr.
Mr McCullough’s name does not appear in any Fly-fishing museum or
Hall of Fame, it should!
I intend to create a digital Hall of fame to recognize environmental heroes throughout North America who contributed to our sport and the environment.
I’m going to start with Mr McCoullough.
I would appreciate comments.
I would also appreciate suggestions of heros in your area.
Babb Creek is a tributary of Pine Creek in Pennsylvania. It joins Pine Creek at Blackwell, Tioga County.
Robert W. McCullough Jr was an advisor to Presidents, the US Department of Environmental Protection an advocate for local watershed protection and long-time Lycoming County Environmental Coordinator.
Over 30 years Bob was a dedicated leader in public service such as;
DEP Citizen’s Advisory Committee, DEP Solid Waste Advisory Committee, the Heinz Foundation and the Lycoming County Planning Commission as an advocate for the environment.
In 1971 Mr McCullough persuaded Lycoming County municipalities to adopt flood plain ordinances and enroll in the Federal Flood Insurance Program. Timely considering the Agnes Flood followed in 1972.
Post Agnes he served as the Pine Creek Recovery Coordinator supervising work release prisoners to clean flood debris. He kept tight rein on stream clearance done by the various agencies thus.preventing bulldozing that channelized and ruined Kettle, Lycoming, Loyalsock, and Muncy Creeks.
Bob’s dedication and passion to protect streams he loved. was noteworthy.
When one of his favorite night fishing was bulldozed after the Agnes Flood he worked with DEP and Fish Commission officials to set standards for stream clearance projects.
A an Environmental Coordinator with the Lycoming County Planning Commission he spearheaded the cleanup of 231 illegal roadside and stream-side dumps in Lycoming County. To discourage the re-occurrence of these dumps, he helped to develop a Solid Waste Disposal Ordinance.
Bob also devised a system of municipal trash collection containers still used today.
Bob negotiated adoption of the first Lycoming County Solid Waste Management Plan and the Waste Flow Control Contracts that provided financial assurance to build Lycoming County’s landfill.
He also served as a consultant to Warren and McKean Counties to prepare their Solid Waste Management Plans and design their recycling systems
An advocate of the Susquehanna River Flood Forecasting System he also developed the Lycoming County Flood Warning System (rated best in the nation) reducing demand for additional flood control dams.
The system.was featured in a FEMA National Training Video.
FEMA contracted Bob to set up a flood warning system in West Virginia.
Bob was instrumental in drafting legislation to regulate natural gas.
Bob regularly spoke to youth groups as the County’s Recycling Coordinator.
Bob retired in 1989, but continued as President of Pennsylvania Trout Unlimited and Chair of the Pennsylvania Environmental Defense Foundation positively influenceing state laws and programs affecting water quality, fish habitat, and fisheries management.
Bob arranged for President Jimmy Carter’s first trip to Spruce Creek and acted as a personal fishing guide for U.S. Senators John Heinz, John Danforth and Al Simpson.
An advocate to the need to strengthen environmental laws he was called to Interior Secretary James Watt and the White House o discuss environmental policy.
Mr. McCullough influenced governmental policy to maintain and strengthen special protection waters programs.
Bob took on the Fish & Boat Commission when it refused to clean up hatchery discharges to Fishing Creek even after the Fish Commission had awarded him their highest conservation award several years prior.
Bob’s personal environmental efforts were focused on the Pine Creek
Valley, where he led successful petitions to have Slate and Cedar Run upgraded to “Exceptional Value” status.
He persuaded the the Department of Transportation to design an award winning relocation of Blockhouse Creek.
Bob coordinated the purchase of a 540 acre property on Pine Creek by the Nature Conservancy, later sold it to the DCNR Bureau of Forestry assuring public access to more than a mile of creek frontage.
As president and member of Babb’s Creek Watershed Association he worked tirelessly to clean up the mine water discharges in the Babb Creek Watershed.
Robert W. McCullough, Jr deserves to be in he Hall of Fame.
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