Established on July 1, 1995, the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) is charged with:
Maintaining and protecting 121 state parks
Managing 2.2 million acres of state forest land
Providing information on the state's ecological and geologic resources
Establishing community conservation partnerships with grants and technical assistance to benefit rivers, trails, greenways, local parks and recreation, regional heritage parks, open space, and natural areas.
DCNR’s mission is to conserve and sustain Pennsylvania’s natural resources for present and future generations’ use and enjoyment.
As Pennsylvania’s leader and chief advocate for conservation and outdoor recreation, DCNR will inspire citizens to:
To conserve and maintain Pennsylvania’s public natural resources for the benefit of all people, including generations yet to come, we will take intentional action to ensure DCNR lands are accessible to all, provide inclusive and equitable programs and services, and recruit and retain a diverse workforce.
Learn more about the DCNR Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan (PDF).
DCNR Strategic Initiatives
DCNR’s core principles of partnership, stewardship, and service demand that the department strive to expand partnerships with communities, organizations, and state agencies.
A great example of this work is the Conservation Landscape regions -- where parks, forests, rivers, and trails attract community revitalization and economic development efforts.
Given the environmental, social, and conservation challenges Pennsylvania faces, DCNR has created six strategic initiatives that grow from and build on the core work our bureaus and staff perform every day. They are:
DCNR has five strategic goals that reflect work toward its strategic initiatives.
Learn about the progress made during 2019 for the following goals:
Creation of DCNR
DCNR was created by the Conservation and Natural Resources Act -- Act 18 (PDF) -- when the former Department of Environmental Resources was split to form DCNR and the Department of Environmental Protection. Act 18 implements Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, which reads:
"The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic, and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all of the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
DCNR Secretary and Executive Staff
DCNR Secretary Cindy Adams Dunn
Cindy Adams Dunn became sixth secretary of the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources in June 2015.
As secretary, Dunn has helped position Pennsylvania as a leader in land conservation, outdoor recreation, green practices and public land management. During her tenure, the department created the Pennsylvania Outdoor Corps to connect youth and young adults with job opportunities relating to the outdoors and the environment. She also has directed the agency to provide leadership on planting forest buffers along streams to improve water quality.
Under her direction, Pennsylvania continues efforts to address the impacts of climate change, including helping the commonwealth adapt and implement a plan to reduce its impacts on state forests and parks.
Prior to becoming secretary, Dunn had served as the president and chief executive officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy. Dunn also served as DCNR’s Deputy Secretary of Conservation and Technical Services from 2007-2013, where she led DCNR's conservation landscape program and oversaw the community conservation partnerships grant program, which provides $30-$60 million annually for conservation and recreation throughout the commonwealth. Other leadership posts at DCNR included director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation as well as director of the Office of Education, Communications and Partnerships.
Other leadership roles include serving as the executive director of Audubon Pennsylvania from 1997-2003 and as the Pennsylvania program director for the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay for 10 years.
Dunn holds a bachelor’s and master's degree in biology from Shippensburg University. She and her husband, Craig, reside in Cumberland County. When not championing the efforts of DCNR, Dunn enjoys the natural and recreation resources DCNR works hard to protect and promote through hobbies that include birding, canoeing, fishing and hiking.
Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry, John Norbeck
John Norbeck became DCNR Deputy Secretary for Parks and Forestry in August 2015. As deputy, he oversees operations of the bureaus of State Parks, Forestry, and Facility Design and Construction, and helps advance DCNR’s strategic initiatives.
Norbeck served as the director of the Bureau of State Parks from 2006-2012. During his tenure, the bureau was awarded the National Gold Medal for Best Managed State Park System in the country, 2009-2011.
Norbeck spearheaded outstanding infrastructure investments in the Pennsylvania Wilds, including the:
Served as the lead for the Lower Susquehanna Conservation Landscape
Increased public private partnerships from 100 to 145 over six years
Updated the agency's revenue enhancement program from $13 million to $21.5 million annually
Established a Green Parks Initiative resulting in reducing the bureau’s carbon footprint and increasing energy efficiencies throughout the agency
Prior to joining DCNR, Norbeck served nearly 30 years through the ranks as a state parks professional in Maryland Department of Natural Resources, State Forest and Park Service, including roles as regional manager, acting chief of field operations, park program manager, training manager, operations park manager, and park ranger. For these career efforts in the two state park systems, in 2012 he was awarded the President’s Award from the National Association of State Parks Directors.
Norbeck also has served as the chief operating officer of PennFuture, a statewide environmental advocacy organization.
Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services, Lauren Imgrund
Lauren Imgrund was appointed DCNR’s Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services on August 1, 2016. Since her arrival at DCNR in 2006, Imgrund has held several important roles, including managing the Conservation Landscapes program.
Beginning in October 2011 becoming deputy, she was the director of the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation. This bureau builds connections between citizens and the outdoors through recreation enhancement, natural resource conservation, and community revitalization efforts. It also partners with communities and organizations across Pennsylvania to provide grants and technical assistance support for local recreation projects, trails and greenways, heritage parks, open space and river conservation, and environmental education programs.
Imgrund has more than 25 years of experience in building collaborative partnerships to develop place-based solutions and strategies for land conservation, outdoor recreation, community re-vitalization, water quality improvement and natural resource conservation.
Prior to coming to DCNR, she was Director of the Alliance for Aquatic Resource Monitoring at Dickinson College for 10 years, and served as Assistant Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Wildlife Federation.
Imgrund holds a bachelor of science in biology from Juniata College and a master of arts in community psychology from Pennsylvania State University.
Deputy Secretary for Administration, Michael Walsh
Mike Walsh joined DCNR in June, 2015. His experience includes over two decades working in both the legislative and executive branches of state government and serving in appointed positions under three governors. In his current role as Deputy Secretary for Administration at DCNR, Mike is responsible for the human resources, budget, and information technology operations of the agency.
Mike co-chairs the DCNR Sustainability Initiative, helping Pennsylvania’s conservation agency lead by example with innovative investments in renewable energy, EV and PHEV fleet vehicles, and statewide energy savings projects . His focus on protecting our natural resources spans his career.
During his five years as Deputy Secretary at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, Mike created the “Pathways to Green Schools” program that helped coordinate and promote energy efficiency, environmental education, and health and wellness programs in public and private schools. Pennsylvania received national recognition by the US Department of Education for these efforts. As Director of Policy for Senator Allen Kukovich, Mike focused on land-use planning and urban revitalization issues, and helped to launch the Smart Growth Partnership of Westmoreland County. He received the first Founders Award from the organization in 2003.
Mike, a LEED Green Associate, is a graduate of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, and received a Master of Public Management degree from the Heinz School at Carnegie Mellon University.
Chief Counsel, Audrey Feinman Miner
Audrey Feinman Miner was appointed Chief Counsel to the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources during June 2015.
Prior to that appointment, Miner was senior counsel with the Department of Health, where she functioned as the Litigation Coordinator and provided advice to a variety of health program areas. Miner also served as Assistant Counsel-in-Charge, Personnel Section, at PennDOT, during which Miner was primarily responsible for providing legal advice on labor and employment matters as well as working on a variety of high-profile issues concerning the vehicle emissions inspection program.
Miner was appointed to an air quality task force in order to oversee the legal aspects of PennDOT’s implementation of the Clean Air Act amendments of 1990.
Miner received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and her juris doctor from the Wake Forest University School of Law, where she was on the Law Review.
Prior to joining the commonwealth, Miner was an associate at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and clerked for the Honorable John A. MacPhail, Commonwealth Court.