Governor, Legislature have been friendly to Division of Wildlife
Columbus — The administration of Gov. Mike DeWine has been financially “friendlier” to the ODNR Division of Wildlife than recent administrations, according to Kelley Moseley, executive business administrator of the division.
During the first year of the 2022-23 operational budget, the Legislature and administration approved the division to spend a generous $100 million of the money generated by license and permit sales, as well as that received from federal wildlife and sportfish restoration programs.
Of that amount, $28,600,000 will go to buy 16,000 more acres of the Appalachian Hills Wildlife Area in eastern Ohio. Daily operations such as payroll, habitat management, law enforcement, fish production, and research will absorb the rest of those dollars.
Even more generous was money allocated to the division under the state’s capital budget, Moseley noted.
During the second year of the 2021-22 capital budget, the division will get $20,350,000 for improvements to dams, dykes, roads, and other wildlife-related facilities. In the past, capital money was often limited with prior administrations saying the division could rely on operational money generated by license and permit sales and the federal trust funds.
“We are hoping for another $20 million under the 2023-24 capital budget,” Moseley said recently. “We will be submitting that request this fall.”
The Legislature and governor have been very supportive, she noted.