Debra Wolf Goldstein, Esq.
Debra Wolf Goldstein brings to her clients over 30 years of experience as a lawyer and consultant specializing in land conservation. She holds a J.D., cum laude, from Georgetown University Law Center and a B.A. from Brown University.
Debra taught Planning Policy and Law as an adjunct professor at Temple University—Ambler and is a sought-after speaker at national and regional conferences on topics including public access liability, conservation easement violations, appraisals and conflicts of interest.
In addition to founding Conservation Matters, Debra:
- Co-founded the Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival (www.philaenvirofilmfest.org) and currently serves as Executive Director, responsible for all fundraising, management, board relations, and strategic partnerships;
- Chaired the Land Use Committee of Philadelphia’s Park & Recreation Commission and was formerly Vice President of the Fairmount Park Commission, where she helped draft and guide passage of the City’s first parkland protection ordinance;
- Served as Executive Director for Delaware Canal 21, a park advocacy non-profit;
- Serves as a board member emeritus on the Fairmount Park Conservancy and on the policy committee of the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association;
- Was Vice President of Stewardship (1999-2001) and General Counsel (2001-2005) at the Bucks County-based land trust Heritage Conservancy;
- Served as Regional Advisor for the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR), Bureau of Recreation and Conservation (1992-1999) and as Acting Director of the Governor’s Southeast Regional Office (1997-1998);
- Practiced as an attorney with Wolf Block in its litigation, real estate, and environmental departments (1988-1992); and
- Chaired Mayor Michael Nutter’s Fairmount Park transition team and was a member of former Governor Ed Rendell’s Environmental Transition Team.
Debra co-hosted the public television series Greenworks for Pennsylvania and has written numerous legal, scholarly, and popular publications including:
- Kelley v. United States of America: Creating A Two-Part Test for Immunity Under Pennsylvania’s Recreational Use of Land & Water Act, Widener Law Review, Vol. XX, 2014, Issue 1;
- Universal Access for Trails and Shared Use Paths: Design, Management, Ethical and Legal Considerations (2021) (https://conservationtools.org/library_items/1345);
- Real Estate Transfer Tax: Exclusions for Conservation-Related Transactions in Pennsylvania (2021) (https://conservationtools.org/guides/141);
- Property Tax Exemption for Preserves, Parks, Trails and Other Conserved Lands (2015) (https://conservationtools.org/guides/80-property-tax-exemption-for-preserves-parks-trails-and-other-conserved-lands);
- Using Conservation Easements to Preserve Open Space: A Guide for Pennsylvania’s Municipalities (2002)
- Pennsylvania’s Recreation Use and Land and Water Act (2012) (http://conservationtools.org/libraries/1/library_items/146-Pennsylvania-s-Recreational-Use-of-Land-and-Water-Act);
- Other Power-Driven Mobility Devices on Trails and Areas Open to Pedestrians (2021) (https://conservationtools.org/guides/188)