Harrisburg, PA - Today, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn announced new public involvement in charting the future course of Pennsylvania’s state forests begins later this month when Sproul State Forest District hosts the first of 20 public meetings across the state.
“In creating its comprehensive management plan for more than 2.2 million acres of state forestland, the Bureau of Forestry changed management techniques, updated forest inventories and, most importantly, listened to the public,” said Dunn. “This accent on public involvement continues as the bureau kicks off a series of public meetings tailored to address district topics of local interest and significance.”
The first public meeting begins at 6:30 P.M. Thursday, May 31, when Sproul State Forest District, based in Renovo, Clinton County, will host its meeting in the Durrwachter Alumni Conference Center, Main Ballroom, of Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, 10 Susquehanna Ave, Lock Haven, PA 17745.
Dates and locations of other district public meetings will be announced locally in the future.
“Paramount in these sessions is an effort to address the uniqueness of each of our 20 forest districts across Pennsylvania,” Dunn said. “Development encroaches on Pocono state forest tracts, for instance, while in the southcentral counties, state forests are feeling the pinch of mushrooming public usage. In northcentral counties, we address the vital economic worth of the timber industry; in the southwest, there is the value of increased tourism.”
The public meetings will focus on district specifics of the plan and aid the bureau in revising its District State Forest Resource Management Plans (DSFRMP). A DSFRMP is written for each of the bureau’s 20 forest districts across the state.
“This district planning revision process provides a great opportunity for the public to learn more about their local state forest and to get involved in district state forest management priorities,” Dunn said. “I invite our state forest visitors to take advantage of this opportunity, and make their feelings known.”
Both the district-level and statewide plans are designed to provide bureau staff a framework for work and management decisions; and to communicate to stakeholders how their forest is being managed. District plans build upon the foundation of the statewide plan, while providing a greater level of detail and more focus on district-level priorities.
In 2016, the bureau revised its State Forest Resource Management Plan, the primary instrument used to plan, coordinate, and communicate management of the state forest system. It provides management principles, goals, and objectives that apply at a statewide level, regarding various uses and values of state forestland.
The bureau will be collecting public comment on draft versions of district plans at upcoming meetings. Also, it invites input by way of mail, email, or an online survey. Questions or comments about upcoming public meetings can be directed to district offices hosting them.
A complete schedule of district public meetings can be found at DCNR's State Forest Resource Management Plan web page.
Not all meetings are scheduled now; dates and meeting details will be posted on the page above, as well as on the individual district websites. Individual DSFRMPs can be found on district web pages.
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