DNR, Staff Reports
McArthur, Ohio – The DNR finalized agreements last month to
permanently protect 15,896 contiguous acres in Vinton County as a
working forest and to assure its continued public access for
The Raccoon Ecological Management Area, or REMA, formerly owned
by Dayton-based Mead Corp., is the largest tract of privately owned
woodland remaining in the state. A unique partnership involving the
DNR; The Conservation Fund, a non-profit environmental
organization; and The Forestland Group, a North Carolina-based
timberland investment management organization, will allow the area
to continue as a working forest.
At the same time, it will remain open to public hunting,
fishing, hiking and wildlife watching.
‘Conservation is the art and science of foresight,’ said Sean
Logan, director of the DNR. ‘Projects like this represent an
important part of Ohio’s strategy to manage our resources in ways
that will provide the greatest benefit for the longest time
The DNR purchased conservation easements on 12,649 acres of the
property for $6,324,500. Agency representatives also signed a
memorandum of understanding to protect the inclusive Vinton Furnace
Experimental Forest until a conservation easement is obtained for
that 3,247-acre tract. Vinton Furnace is considered one of the most
important forest research and demonstration sites east of the
Mississippi River, and is used for education and training by
industry and government.
Vinton County in southeast Ohio is the center of the state’s $15
billion forest products industry. REMA’s woodlands will continue to
be managed for timber, using sustainable practices.
Bobcats, black bears, timber rattlesnakes, cerulean warblers and
other endangered species that require large blocks of woodland
habitat, as well as countless other game species, will benefit from
the conservation easement. The southern tip of REMA is home to the
state’s largest known bobcat population.
The DNR Division of Wildlife announced in December that it would
purchase outright an additional 4,879 acres of former Mead Corp.
lands in Jackson, Vinton and Ross counties for $5,776,287. The
purchase will result in three new wildlife areas for public use –
Coalton, Broken Arrow, and REMA Tract 250.
Together, these acquisitions will preserve almost 21,000 acres
of southeast Ohio woods as public lands.