Research on State Forests

Research is a valid use state forest land that increases knowledge and provides benefits to society. The Bureau of Forestry has a long history of cooperating with researchers and the application of research results has kept the Bureau among the leaders in public forest land management.

State Forest land and Bureau of Forestry personnel are subject to increasing demands and pressures from a wide range of users and user groups. Careful planning and coordination are essential for avoiding overuse of forest resources, minimizing potential conflicts. To address these concerns, the Bureau of Forestry has adopted the following policy: All Requests to conduct research or other scientific studies on state forest land or other projects involving significant commitment of Bureau of Forestry resources, including personnel time, must be approved by the State Forester. This policy is intended to facilitate communication between the Bureau of Forestry and researchers through the use of informal agreements.

Requests to conduct research on state forest land should be submitted via email to Greg Czarnecki, Your request should include all the following applicable information:

  • The name and mailing address of the principal investigator as well as a project title
  • The names of all individuals involved in the study, including those who will be involved in collecting field data. 
  • The names of any Bureau of Forestry personnel that will be involved in the project, including tasks and estimated time requirements.
  • If Bureau personnel are involved as investigators or cooperators, you must submit a proposal outlining manuscript handling. This proposal should include who has publication rights, who will be on the pre-publication review team, and who will be credited.
  • Describe the location and list the name of the state forest district(s) where the proposed study will occur. Please Include a map (digital preferred) outlining the proposed research area. Additionally, please provide the latitude and longitude coordinates of all research points in decimal degree format.
  • Background information on the subject and related ongoing research.
  • The objectives of the study.
  • The methodologies proposed for conducting the study.
  • The expected time frame of the study.
  • Any proposed and/or potential disturbances to the study area, along with clean up and/or mitigation measures available.
  • Any permits or other approvals required by federal, state, or local government agencies.
  • Copies of labels from any chemicals used in association with the project.


Items such as maps and chemical labels that cannot be submitted electronically should be mailed to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Bureau of Forestry, Division of Conservation Science and Ecological Resources, PO Box 8552, Harrisburg, PA 17105-8552.

If necessary, the Bureau of Forestry may request additional information, such as a PNDI review, in order to properly evaluate your proposal. The review process takes approximately four weeks.

The review process takes approximately four weeks. If the initial request is tentatively approved, researchers are required to sign a Conditions Acceptance Form, which will be emailed to you. Projects receive final approval when this form is signed and returned to the Division of Conservation Science and Ecological Resources. Questions and comments concerning research on state forest land should be directed to the local district forester or to Greg Czarnecki at 717-783-1337 .