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New strategic plan will guide state park system for next 5 years

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A recently completed strategic plan will guide management of the Wisconsin State Parks System over the next five years, according to officials with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

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It emphasizes park services and amenities that park users and stakeholders told DNR officials they would like to see improved or offered at state parks.

Park users indicated they would like to see better restroom and shower facilities, more biking, hiking, skiing and horse trails, quieter campgrounds and more electric sites, say officials.

Respondents also indicated a desire for more and better signage, educational programs, more children's programs, self guided tours and trail maps.

"This is the outline state parks and trails will follow over the next five years," said Dan Schuller, DNR's director of the Bureau of Parks and Recreation.

"It focuses and reaffirms park users needs and is the blueprint that will guide us to delivering the best possible customer services, safety, property management and resource protection," he added.

The plan was developed over three years and includes input from the public, key partner organizations, and stakeholders gathered at nine town hall style meetings and through an electronic survey.

The 2008 Wisconsin State Parks Strategic Plan is available on the DNR Web site (www.dnr.state.us) and in hard copy by contacting the DNR Bureau of Parks and Recreation at 608.266.2181.

"This plan identifies the goals and objectives our staff will work toward as they develop their annual work plans. Our goal is to provide the best possible state park experience," added Schuller.

"Knowing what our customers are looking for also helps us in developing our capital budget requests and in developing our property master plans," he said.

Wisconsin's 99 parks, trails, forests and recreation areas report about 14 million visits each year.

More information on Wisconsin State Parks including a map showing Wisconsin State Parks and Trails is available on the DNR Web site.

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