The Indiana Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public’s opinion on how to manage Indiana’s state-owned forests.
The DNR Division of Forestry is seeking public input on a five-year strategy for managing and maintaining forests statewide. The strategy is a follow-up to public comments made during earlier assessments of state-owned wooded areas. From the assessment, Division of Forestry Director John Seifert says the DNR was able to identify key areas of focus.
“It talks about conserving and managing, protecting forest, restoring and repairing habitat, using best management practices on a whole host of issues from invasive species to just good forest management, and a fifth one is maintaining and expanding the hardwood market sector,” Seifert said.
According to Seifert, thousands of Hoosiers responded to the assessment but he is not sure if the actual five-year plan will garner the same amount of interest. However, Seifert said that, in the past, public comments have represented a wide range of groups and interests.
“Everything from individual landowners, to environmental groups, to industry folks, and other state government entities even all the way down to a local level,” Seifert said.
Seifert estimated that 99% of the material in the five-year strategy came from the public sector. The public review period ends June 11.