FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 25, 2010
State DNR’s online ‘Forum’ to focus on recreation issues
Public invited to discuss the future of recreation on state lands Sept. 13-17
OLYMPIA –The Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to participate in a week-long, online conversation related to recreation on DNR-managed lands from September 13 – 17.
Each day of the week, the DNR Forum will ask a different question about recreation on DNR-managed lands, with topics ranging from funding strategies, public need, planning, and safety. The DNR Forum is a moderated and focused discussion that provides DNR staff an opportunity to hear from the public. Unlike a typical public meeting, the Forum allows people across the state to participate at a time convenient for them.
“Recreation is important to the quality of life here in Washington, and the public is very passionate about recreation opportunities and access on DNR-managed lands,” said Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark. “The online forum provides a way for people to share their views about recreation—and we want to hear from them.”
DNR’s recreation budget has decreased considerably in the past several years, resulting in reduced services or closures in 40 recreation areas in 2009. Expected budget shortfalls will further challenge DNR as it works to identify priorities for safely and sustainably managing recreation in the coming years.
How the DNR Forum works
The Thursday before the Forum begins—September 9—DNR will post the questions for the following week on its ‘Ear to the Ground’ blog at http://washingtondnr.wordpress.com/.
Each day the Forum is active, DNR will post a ‘conversation starter’ to prompt deliberation about key issues related to recreation on DNR-managed lands. DNR encourages ideas from a broad range of contributors. The agency will moderate the contributions for appropriate language and topic relevancy. DNR will post the public comments during regular business hours Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will provide background information to help inform and guide the discussion.
DNR’s Forum page on the web: http://dnrforum.wordpress.com
This forum about recreation is DNR’s second online “conversation.” Last May, DNR’s Forum addressed issues around geoduck aquaculture.
Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat, and educational and recreational opportunities.
DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.
DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive experience in a natural setting.
Media Contact: Toni Droscher, Recreation Program Communications Manager, 360-902-1523, or firstname.lastname@example.org .
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