Monday, February 6th, 2023
Monday, February 6th, 2023

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Mixed Bag: Outdoor news items from Ohio and surrounding states

Columbus — The Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Forestry is intensifying efforts to control non-native invasive trees and shrubs within Ohio’s state forests. The two major species of concern are tree of heaven and bush honeysuckle.

Tree of heaven is a fast-growing tree that can produce more than 300,000 wind-dispersed seeds per year. Tree of heaven frequently colonizes disturbed sites in Ohio woodlands and suppresses the growth of native trees. Bush honeysuckle is an aggressive invader of abandoned fields, roadsides, woodland edges, and the interiors of open woodlands. Bush honeysuckle out-competes more desirable native woodland species, and can form pure, dense thickets that limit growth of other vegetation.

“We are committed to implementing a more aggressive strategy to control invasive plant species in Ohio’s state forests,” said Dan Balser, chief of the ODNR Division of Forestry. “Hiring new staff to specifically manage invasives in the field is one important step in this effort.”

As part of forest management efforts to control the spread of these and other invasive plants, the ODNR Division of Forestry is identifying areas in the state forest system that are the most problematic. These new staff members will focus on field work to implement control methods.

NASP Certifies 100,000th Instructor

Waldo, Wisc. — The National Archery in the Schools Program recently announced the certification of its 100,000 Basic Archery Instructor. On Nov. 16, Mike Jones, of Indiana, successfully completed the NASP BAI certification, helping the organization reach that milestone.

Since 2002, NASP has offered in-school archery instruction for 20 million students in grades 4-12. During the 20th year of operation, NASP® can now boast certifying over 100,000 Basic Archery Instructors.

For more information about bringing NASP to your school, please visit www.naspschools.org.

Wetland Assistance Available From NRCS

Columbus — The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Ohio Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is accepting applications from landowners interested in restoring, enhancing, and protecting wetlands with financial and technical assistance through the Wetlands Reserve Easement Program (WRE).

Applications for WRE are taken on a continuous basis. The deadline to receive fiscal year 2023 funding is Feb. 17, 2023.

Wetland Reserve Easements can help landowners protect land from development, preserve critical wildlife habitat for outdoor recreation, and improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals and reduce flooding.

“Wetlands are one of nature’s most productive ecosystems.

The greatest potential for wetland restoration is working handin-hand with Ohio landowners,” said John Wilson, NRCS State Conservationist in Ohio. “Once the site is restored, landowners can enjoy the benefits that an easement brings – such as privacy, wildlife abundance for hunting and other recreation, and a legacy to be passed down to future generations.”

Many of the state’s landowners can take advantage of this program, as eligible lands include farmed or converted wetlands that can successfully be restored, croplands or grasslands subject to flooding, and previously restored wetlands and riparian areas that connect protected wetland areas.

WRE enrollment options include permanent easements, 30-year easements, and 30-year contracts. NRCS staff are available to help landowners plan and implement individual projects. The agency will pay a percent of the purchase value as well as restoration costs for each easement option.

Find Ohio’s ranking dates as well as other program information on the Ohio NRCS WRE website or contact Barbara Baker at barbara.baker2@usda.gov. To learn more about other technical and financial assistance available through NRCS conservation programs, visit Get Started with NRCS or contact your local USDA Service Center.

OON Seeks Person Of Year Nominees

Delaware, Ohio — It is that time of year again to nominate this year’s Ohio Outdoor News Person of the Year.

Nominations for the award, given over the past decade by the publication, will be accepted through the end of February.

Nominees should be someone who has made his or her mark in conservation circles, whether through volunteering, mentoring, or leading hunters, anglers, and trappers.

Nominations need not be lengthy, but just a simple note to Ohio Outdoor News explaining in a few words how the nominee is deserving.

Email nominations to Ohio Outdoor News Editor Mike Moore at mmoore@outdoornews.com.

Fayetteville Elementary School First WILD School In Brown County, Ohio

Fayetteville, Ohio – Fayetteville Elementary School was recently dedicated as an official WILD School Site, the 200th site in Ohio and first in Brown County, according to the Ohio DNR (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.

The WILD School Sites program is considered an action extension of the national Project WILD program. WILD School Sites that demonstrate program development outlined in this program are eligible for certification as an official Ohio WILD School Site.

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