DCNR Conservation & Natural Resources Council Meets Nov. 20 On State Forest Strategic Plan, Penn’s State Parks For All, PA Outdoor Recreation Plan
DCNR’s Conservation & Natural Resources Council is scheduled to meet on November 20 to hear a presentation on the State Forest Strategic Plan and have a discussion of the Penn’s State Parks For All and PA Outdoor Recreation planning efforts.
State Forest Strategic Plan
The Council will hear a presentation on an initiative to update DCNR’s 25+ year old State Forest Strategic Plan and how this Plan fits together with the individual Forest District Resources Management Plans, the overall State Forest Resource Management Plan and the federal State Forest Action Plan required to be submitted by June 2020.
This conversation will kick off the public input process for the Strategic Plan and a discussion of how the Council can help with public engagement.
In May of 2018, DCNR began a public process to update the individual Forest District Resource Management Plans for each of Pennsylvania’s 20 State Forest Districts covering the more than 2.2 million acres of State Forest land in Pennsylvania.
As part of the initiative, public meetings where held in each of the 20 Districts to gather public input on the local District plans.
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, DCNR updated 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.
On November 5, the PA Environmental Defense Foundation filed a lawsuit in Commonwealth Court asking the Court to direct the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources to manage State Forests consistent with its trustee responsibilities under the state constitution's Environmental Rights Amendment to protect them from drilling impacts. Click Here for more.
Penn’s Parks For All
DCNR is in the final stages of a more than 2 year planning process called Penn’s Parks For All to chart the future of Pennsylvania’s State Parks over the next 25 years.
On September 30, DCNR posted a preliminary set of recommendations for public comment making recommendations for managing and improving State Parks based on information collected during multiple public surveys, interviews and DCNR’s own research on recreation trends.
The public has until December 31 to offer comments on the recommendations.
At its October 2 meeting, the Council began a discussion of the recommendations through a series of facilitated breakout groups of Council members and other stakeholders.
The November 20 meeting will continue that discussion and provide additional feedback to DCNR.
PA Outdoor Recreation Plan
On October 1, DCNR released a draft 2020-24 Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan for public comment that will help guide recreation policies, programs and investments for the next 5 years.
The Plan is a requirement of the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund Program and is separate and broader than the Penn’s Parks For All initiative because it deals with local, regional and statewide recreation issues.
The public comment period on the Plan closed October 31.
The Council will hold a discussion and provide feedback to DCNR on the Plan recommendations.
For more information and available handouts, visit DCNR’s Conservation & Natural Resources Council webpage. Questions should be directed to Gretchen Leslie by calling 717-772-9084 or send email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Posted: November 14, 2019]
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