HARRISBURG, Pa., July 5, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To cement the Bureau of Forestry's position as a leader in science- and ecological-based land management, Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry Ellen Ferretti today announced that the Office of Conservation Science will be integrated into a newly created division within the Bureau of Forestry.
Effective immediately, the new Division of Conservation Science and Ecological Resources will hold the Bureau of Forestry's current Ecological Services Section as well as the Office of Conservation Science, which includes the Wild Resource Conservation and Natural Heritage programs.
The division has 13 staff members including ecologists, botanists and biologists.
"This change in organizational structure will help integrate DCNR's on-the-ground conservation and research-support functions while positioning the Wild Resource Conservation Program and conservation science staff at the forefront of emerging conservation issues and challenges," Ferretti said. "It will improve efficiency within DCNR and reduce administrative layers in the Natural Heritage Program."
The Wild Resource Conservation Program identifies research and conservation needs, provides grants and ensures the flow of information between researchers, conservationists and educators.
The program has just completed a database that makes 30 years of research grant reports searchable and available electronically at http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/conservationscience/wrcp/grantreports/index.htm.
The Natural Heritage Program is charged with the tracking of all threatened, endangered, rare and vulnerable species, natural communities and geologic features in Pennsylvania. More information is available on the website at http://www.naturalheritage.state.pa.us/.
The Bureau of Forestry manages the largest block of public land in Pennsylvania and is the state's leader in forest conservation and ecosystem management.
"Integrating OCS and the Wild Resource Conservation Program and the Bureau of Forestry will bolster DCNR's leadership role in conserving Pennsylvania's natural resources," Ferretti said.
For more information on the Bureau of Forestry, visit http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/index.aspx.
Christina Novak, 717-772-9101
SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources