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Dauphin County Pennsylvania

News for Immediate Release
Contact: Amy Richards
(717) 780-6311

Josh First Appointed to Dauphin County Planning Commission

HARRISBURG, PA (February 1, 2011) –Dauphin County Commissioners Jeff Haste, Mike Pries and George P. Hartwick, III appointed Josh First of Harrisburg to the Dauphin County Planning Commission, a nine-member board which oversees the county’s Comprehensive Plan, reviews and comments on municipal ordinances, and handles other planning-related issues.

"His broad experience, passion for good government, and advocacy for conservation and environmental protection will serve him well in his new role," said Pries.

"Josh brings more than 20 years of local, state and federal experience to his role on the Planning Commission, including areas of public policy, land protection, and natural resource conservation in Pennsylvania,"said Haste

"Having served on the State College Planning Commission, Josh is well-versed in the issues facing local and county governments," said Hartwick.

First earned a bachelorís degree in political science from Penn State in 1988, and a masterís degree in government from Vanderbilt University in 1991. While completing his graduate studies in 1990, Josh worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the economics of federal recreation areas. Additional graduate education was obtained at Johns Hopkins University. From 1991 to 1998, Josh worked at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in Washington, D.C., holding three different positions as a senior staffer and team leader on national and international pesticide and agricultural regulation, policy, and environmental legislation. In 1998, Josh left the EPA to take a position with the Tom Ridge administration in Pennsylvaniaís Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), where he served on the executive staff as Director of Education and Information.

In 2000, Josh became the Pennsylvania Director for the Conservation Fund, where he helped conserve about 50,000 acres for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and the National Park Service at the Flight 93 Memorial and at Gettysburg National Military Park.

He has been president of Appalachian Land and Conservation Services since 2004, where he has provided sophisticated real estate services to a wide variety of clients and investors.

In 2005, Josh served as treasurer for the Growing Greener II Campaign, a campaign architect and key member of the campaign committee, and actively lobbied the Pennsylvania legislature for several months over the campaign. For several years, Josh was secretary of the board for the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy. He served a four-year term on the national board of directors of Republicans for Environmental Protection, where he advocated for market-based solutions to environmental problems; served for eight years on the Policy Council for the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association; was a member of the Harrisburg Rotary Club; and is a current member of the PA Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs and a member of the Policy Council for 10,000 Friends of Pennsylvania, among many other distinguished memberships and appointments.

First is a resident of Harrisburg, where his family has resided since pre-Colonial times.

"Dauphin County still has the farm land, forests, and other open land base for smart growth development to take place over the coming decades," said First. "I look forward to helping my fellow citizens continue to enjoy the quality of life that has drawn us to Dauphin County and central Pennsylvania, and I look forward to supporting our commissioners Haste, Pries, and Hartwick, an outstanding team."

For more information about the Dauphin County Planning Commission, please call 717-234- 2639 or visit