Input sought on state’s outdoor recreation plan
The state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) has been in the news a bunch recently. Today, they announced that if the Republican Senate plan that cuts $19 million from it’s budget goes through, they will need to close 50 state parks, nine of which are in Western Pennsylvania.
They also announced on Saturday that they are seeking input from Pennsylvanians on their five-year Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan.
The goals of the outdoor recreation plan are to articulate current trends and issues in outdoor recreation and to help create a framework for state recreation policy, planning, funding and implementation.
Four major themes are under consideration for the draft recommendation:
- coordinating outdoor recreation plans
- connecting outdoor recreation and conservation
- reconnecting people to the outdoors the concept of environmental stewardship
- filling in gaps in the statewide trail network.
The DCNR provides a lot of money for outdoor recreation, which obviously includes bicycling.
Some talking points that you can can cut, paste, and alter if you wish include:
- Filling the gaps in the statewide trail network should be a priority. In addition to providing more recreational opportunities, trails are an economic stimulus for small towns and tourism in Pennsylvania.
- The DCNR currently doesn’t consider things like on-street bike lanes a “recreational facility,” so funding isn’t available for them. On-street facilities help people not only recreate, but increase the access to recreational facilities, especially for those without an automobile.
Three public meetings will be held at locations across the state. The Allegheny County Meeting will be held in Mars, PA. If getting to Mars on a Monday evening is difficult, please submit comments at www.paoutdoorrecplan.com.
Allegheny County Meeting:
June 1, 4:30 to 7 p.m.
Four Points by Sheraton, Pittsburgh North
910 Sheraton Drive, Mars, PA
More info at: www.paoutdoorrecplan.com