How should state forests be managed?

Posted on: October 15, 2015 | Bob Frye | Comments

It’s a common happening.
The Pennsylvania Game Commission holds a meeting and hunters show up to talk about the hunting they offer, the good, bad and ugly.
The problem, of course, is that the commission doesn’t manage state forests. The Department of Conservation and Natural Resources bureau of forestry does.
So while hunter comments don’t necessarily fall on deaf ears, they’re delivered to the wrong people.
Well, here’s an opportunity.
The bureau of forestry is holding 12 public meetings around the state for hunters – and fishermen, hikers, backpackers, campers, birders and every other sort of outdoorsman or woman – to weigh in on how those forests should be managed.
The bureau is updating its state forest resource management plan, last tweaked in 2007. Professional within the bureau have spent months working on a draft; now, the public gets to weigh in.
“Gifford Pinchot defined conservation as ‘wise use of the earth and its resources for the lasting good of men,’ and that tenet is embodied in this plan,” said Department Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn said.
“I invite all our state forest visitors to attend these sessions and learn more about the woodlands they know and love. Their attendance is crucial for the understanding of proposed updates, and these meetings are in line with the bureau’s ongoing commitment to continuously interact with the public on state forest management.”
The plan attempts to account for a variety of impacts, from resource extraction and climate change to invasive species, the use of fire, human needs and wants and more, she added.
The first couple of the 12 meetings have already been held. There are still several to go, however, including one set for 6:30-9 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Double Tree Hotel in Monroeville.
Another is scheduled for Oct. 29 at the Park Inn by Radisson in Clarion.
Those who can’t make a meeting can submit written comments through Nov. 30 via email at StateForestPlan2015@pa.gov or by regular mail at: Bureau of Forestry Planning Section, PO Box 8552, Harrisburg PA 17105-8552.
The draft plan can be seen here. Visitors can also take a survey there.

Bob Frye is the everybodyadventures.com editor. Reach him at 412-838-5148 or bfrye@535mediallc.com. See other stories, blogs, videos and more at everybodyadventures.com.

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Bob Frye is a storyteller with a passion for all things outdoors. He hunts, he fishes, he hikes, he camps, he paddles, backpacks and snowshoes depending on the season. If he’s not an expert at anything, it’s because he’s passionate to try a little bit of everything.