(UNDATED) - People interested in how Indiana manages its state forests can share their views at a series of open houses starting this month.
At each open house, the DNR Division of Forestry will provide information about recreational activities, budget, staffing, major projects, strategic planning, invasive species and forest resource management.
Attendees can talk with DNR personnel or submit written comments. Some of the open houses will include a tour of facilities or woods walk.
"These open houses provide Hoosiers with a chance to receive first-hand information about how the state forests are working to provide diverse wildlife habitat, forest products and recreational opportunities," said State Forester John Seifert. "They also allow us to receive valuable feedback from our neighbors and users about state forest management. I encourage everyone who has an interest to participate."
Those who cannot attend an open house can comment online through dnr.IN.gov/dnr/forestry/3635.htm. Click on the link to "Indiana State Forests," then click on the link to "Public Comment."
The open houses are (all times are Eastern):
-- Owen-Putnam State Forest, Saturday, April 13, 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at the forest office, 2153 Fish Creek Road, (812) 829-2462. The office is 5 miles west of Spencer and 3/4 mile north of State Road 46. The open house will feature a tree identification hike at 1:30 p.m. and a free tree seedling for visitors while supplies last.
-- Jackson-Washington State Forest/Starve Hollow State Recreation Area, Thursday, May 9, 3 to 6 p.m., at the Starve Hollow State Recreation Area's Forest Education Center, 4345 S. Jackson County Road 275 W., Vallonia, (812) 358-2160.
-- Clark State Forest/Deam Lake State Recreation Area, Friday, May 10, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the property office, 2 Service Drive, Henryville, (812) 294-4306. The office is 1 mile north of Henryville on U.S. 31.
-- Yellowwood and Morgan-Monroe state forests, Saturday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Fire Headquarters Training Center in Morgan-Monroe, 6220 Forest Road, Martinsville, (765) 342-4026. Morgan-Monroe State Forest is approximately 6 miles south of Martinsville, off State Road 37.
-- Ferdinand and Pike state forests, Friday, Oct. 4, 3 to 7 p.m., at the combined property office for both forests, 6583 E. State Road 264, (812) 367-1524. The office is approximately 4 miles northeast of Ferdinand. Visitors will tour the renovations in and around the state forest headquarters.
The open house at Harrison-Crawford State Forest will be on a date in September still to be determined. The Greene-Sullivan State Forest open house month and date is yet to be determined.
Property staff is also available during normal business hours. Go to dnr.IN.gov/forestry/ for contact information or to schedule a visit.
The Division of Forestry promotes and practices good stewardship of natural, recreational and cultural resources on Indiana's public and private forest lands. This stewardship produces continuing benefits, both tangible and intangible, for present and future generations.
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