Pennsylvania's Dept. of Conservation and Natural Resources offers public online survey on state forest management as it prepares update on management plan; deadline for input to survey is Oct. 31

HARRISBURG, Pennsylvania , August 26, 2013 (press release) – Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Acting Secretary Ellen Ferretti today invited the public to take an online survey to inform the Bureau of Forestry as it prepares an update to the State Forest Resource Management Plan.

The plan, revised about every five years, charts the course for managing the 2.2 - m illion acre state forest system for a variety of values and resources.

“Management of our state forest system is an ever-changing undertaking, as there are constantly new challenges and best practices,” Ferretti said. “Hearing from the public as we begin updating our plan gives us insights into their needs and concerns related to the forest so that we can adapt our management strategies.”

The 23-question survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. It is intended to gather insights into management priorities and practices, values and uses of state forests. The survey is available on the DCNR website at ; choose “ Forest Management Plan Survey” under Quick Links.

It will also be emailed to several thousand people on the department’s various stakeholder lists. The deadline to take the online survey is Oct. 31.

Opportunities for public input on a draft of the State Forest Resource Management Plan will include written comments and public meetings throughout 2014.

“The department offers many opportunities for public engagement during our planning process, including submitting written comments, work ing with stakeholders, and a series of public meetings that are held across the state to comment on the draft plan,” Ferretti said. “This process is a chance for citizens to provide their insights on our management activities before we put them in place.”

DCNR manages the state forests for sound ecosystems, retaining their wild character, maintaining biological diversity, providing clean water and habitats for plants and animals, emphasizing opportunities for recreation, providing sustained yields of quality timber, and ensuring environmentally sound utilization of mineral resources. For more information about the plan, visit the DCNR website and choose “Forestry” under “Quick Links,” then “State Forest Resource Management Plan.”

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