335C Old National Rd
P.O.Box 310
Old Washington, OH 43768
740-489-5276

Our Mission

Promote through education and technical assistance, the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Ohio Spring Turkey Season Numbers

COLUMBUS, OH - Ohio hunters checked 17,638 wild turkeys during the combined 2015 spring wild turkey hunting season and youth wild turkey hunting season, April 18-May 17, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 

Hunters checked 16,049 birds during the four weeks of the 2015 wild turkey season. Young hunters checked 1,589 birds during the 2015 youth season. 

Ohio’s 2015 spring wild turkey season was open April 20 through May 17. Youth season was April 18-19. Find more information about wild turkey hunting at wildohio.gov. Wild turkeys were extirpated in Ohio by 1904 and were reintroduced in the 1950s by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The wild turkey harvest topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Spring turkey hunting opened statewide in 2000, and Ohio hunters checked more than 20,000 wild turkeys for the first time that year. 

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov. 


Editor’s Note: A list of all wild turkeys checked during the 2015 combined spring turkey hunting season is shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2015, and the 2014 numbers are in parentheses. 

Adams: 413 (381); Allen: 78 (48); Ashland: 208 (223); Ashtabula: 557 (615); Athens: 323 (342); Auglaize: 50 (42); Belmont: 520 (444); Brown: 327 (340); Butler: 200 (155); Carroll: 330 (365); Champaign: 102 (91); Clark: 19 (13); Clermont: 347 (288); Clinton: 60 (62); Columbiana: 385 (395); Coshocton: 458 (484); Crawford: 63 (72); Cuyahoga: 10 (2); Darke: 55 (36); Defiance: 298 (208); Delaware: 107 (116); Erie: 49 (51); Fairfield: 108 (66); Fayette: 14 (10); Franklin: 11 (17); Fulton: 117 (99); Gallia: 393 (328); Geauga: 269 (264); Greene: 23 (17); Guernsey: 484 (466); Hamilton:116 (86); Hancock: 60 (29); Hardin: 101 (76); Harrison: 430 (392); Henry: 58 (31); Highland: 357 (312); Hocking: 268 (267); Holmes: 252 (269); Huron: 155 (142); Jackson: 320 (277); Jefferson: 373 (347); Knox: 354 (415); Lake: 68 (74); Lawrence: 222 (163); Licking: 370 (337); Logan: 117 (146); Lorain: 139 (138); Lucas: 45 (50); Madison: 6 (5); Mahoning: 213 (247); Marion: 31 (28); Medina: 145 (122); Meigs: 450 (397); Mercer: 23 (19); Miami: 17 (16); Monroe: 481 (424); Montgomery: 25 (13); Morgan: 325 (277); Morrow: 170 (182); Muskingum: 478 (453); Noble: 335 (292); Ottawa: 0 (6); Paulding: 145 (87); Perry: 260 (255); Pickaway: 24 (23); Pike: 246 (257); Portage: 236 (247); Preble: 108 (95); Putnam: 89 (71); Richland: 277 (307); Ross: 330 (289); Sandusky: 22 (21); Scioto: 236 (199); Seneca: 162 (140); Shelby: 42 (54); Stark: 223 (261); Summit: 54 (40); Trumbull: 435 (417); Tuscarawas: 426 (493); Union: 32 (32); Van Wert: 17 (17); Vinton: 329 (242); Warren: 67 (89); Washington: 466 (394); Wayne: 100 (107); Williams: 296 (239); Wood: 30 (28); Wyandot: 104 (80). Totals: 17,638 (16,556). 
Retrieved from: http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/stay-informed/news-announcements/post/ohio-hunters-check-more-than-17-600-wild-turkeys-during-spring-season on 5/28/15

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

CAUV proposed changes

 The Ohio Farm Bureau briefed members on the organization's proposed changes to the Current Agricultural Use Value program.  Brandon Kern, OFB's director of state policy, said property values of Ohio farmland have increased dramatically at the same time commodity prices tumbled, creating a "perfect storm" for the CAUV program.  OFB's proposed changes are designed to ensure a more accurate measurement of agricultural use of land, he said. With the increased focus on water quality and land management, the recommendations would eliminate certain "disincentives for preservation," he said, adding that woodland property and grass buffer strips next to waterways should be fairly treated by the CAUV program.  Leah Curtis reviewed four CAUV recommendations that OFB made to the tax commissioner last November: modernizing the capitalization rate loan term, updating the capitalization rate debt-equity split; decreasing the lag time between input data and the tax year; and increasing deductions made to woodland values to be consistent with the actual cost.  ODT implemented most of the recommended changes in March, she said.  Last month OFB sent a second set of recommendations to the tax commissioner, she said. They call for: changes to the method of calculating the capitalization rate; putting year-round conservation lands at minimum value; and increasing woodland deductions to represent current costs of clearing and drainage for those lands.

Rep. Boose asked whether ODT could implement the proposals in administrative rule or if legislation was necessary to require the agency make the changes.  Mr. Kern said OFB believes the agency has the authority to make the changes administratively and anticipated that ODT would be willing to heed the organization's suggestions. "The tax department has been an excellent partner in this process," he said.  However, legislators shouldn't rule out the possibility that legislation might be necessary if the administration proves unwilling to take action, he added.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why Your Brain Needs a Garden

When you garden, you're adding beauty to the landscape and habitat for birds, bees, frogs, worms, and so much more. Depending on what you garden, you can reap a harvest of fruits and vegetables to feed your family. You can also indirectly feed your brain for better mood and emotional health, and to satisfy your curiosity for knowledge.

Read rest of article  HERE

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Feral Swine Meeting

DOVER, OHIO - At the June 3, 7:00 PM meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA), Craig Hicks holds an associate’s degree in Wildlife Management and a bachelor’s degree in Wildlife and Fisheries Science from The Pennsylvania State University.  Craig is now with the Reynoldsburg Office where he serves as a Wildlife Disease Biologist for the USDA’s National Wildlife Disease Surveillance and Emergency Response Program.  He conducts disease surveillance and management activities in a number of wildlife species in Ohio. One of Craig’s primary responsibilities is coordinating feral swine disease surveillance activities throughout the state. His topic for the evening will be feral swine.

ECOFA is an organization of persons interested in improving their woodlands and in forestry-related topics.  The public is cordially invited to attend the free meetings which are held monthly at the Dover Library, 525  North Walnut St. Dover, Ohio

Monday, May 18, 2015

We've moved!

As of today, the district will be in its new home at the Guernsey County Fairgrounds.  Our new address is  335C Old National Rd, P.O. Box 310, Old Washington OH  43768.  The new phone number will be 740-489-5276.    Look for the building on the left on the hill as you enter the main gate of the fairgrounds.

Friday, May 8, 2015

9 Things you need to know about water quality


Water quality — or lack of it — is the buzzword in environmental and agricultural circles these days. Here are nine points to keep in mind about the issue following a panel discussion at the recently held North American Agricultural Journalists meeting in Washington, D.C. 

Read 9 points HERE

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Letter written to Gov. Kasich concerning CAUV tax law

Letter To Gov. Kasich On CAUV Issues

Dear Mr. Kasich:
This is my first letter to you. Two dozen farmers contributed to this letter during the last 6 months. This is our request:
1. Remind ODTE to follow Ohio constitution in all respects. They must delete all presumptively illegal minimums and replace it with an actual value for woodlands ie: our proposed CAUV $50/acre (instead of the current minimum of $230/acre). Recently we have heard the Auditors in Ashtabula and Geauga are proposing a woodlands tax rate of $1-2/acre (instead of my $6.31/acre). We and our auditors know that if the current woodlands taxation is continued, huge reductions in woodlands will also continue and then we will need costly new water treatment and water purification facilities. Please do the math and give us relief now soon enough to matter for our enviroment, our retirement and our children.
2.Ohio Constitution states schools are to be funded by the most reliable and equitable sources via income tax.......not property real estate tax and least of all by farm and woodlands CAUV taxes. It looks like you chose to ignore the Ohio Constitution, the Ohio Supreme Court School Funding Decisions and every farm advocate when you ordered/supported/allowed raising rural farmland property tax (by a huge 300-600%) since 2010 to enable a small cut in income tax.
3. For months we heard you, Governor Kasich wanted to distance himself from any controversial (CAUV) issues which could undermine his Presidential campaign. You ordered our elected Ohio Senators and Representatives to follow your lead on CAUV and so they have had to ignore their constituents. Then in April, Gov Kasich danced on the graves of farmers when you bragged the (billions) increase in CAUV made up for the State funding cuts in rural poor districts. Then at the same time the CAUV increases enabled no funding cuts to city schools and a small cut in State income tax.
 4. When farmers got their new high tax bills, several legislators, farm unions and several organizations representing many counties asked ODTE for relief. ODTE decided the press release showing a 54% reduction in CAUV (increase) for woodlands on Miami Silt Loam soil sounded great and would reduce opposition......however the vast majority of Ohio Woodlands are on much poorer soils which would move the 54% down to less than 10% savings on our 2017 tax bills. Any relief is locked out until 2017 so everything supposedly agreed to by ODT/Gov/OFBF is just maybe a hope. Sadly we have seen the Gov Kasich control OFBF leadership so they have been forced to suppress member commentary and put on a token CAUV Appeal show which failed to achieve the goals of their constituents.
5. ODTE claimed OFA and also an extensive well documented survey by OFA board member David Coldwell were not considered. OFBF said they had not done a survey and rely on OFA and ODNR to run Forestry surveys. And yet OFBF's anecdotal info from a couple of undocumented random phone calls was used to come up with the incorrect new very low clearing cost of $1000 instead of $2300-$3500 found in OFA surveys. ODTE obviously has refused to incorporate the best numbers here.
6. The Ashtabula CAUV Task Force (Chaired by SR99 John Patterson) sent ODTE solutions for the CAUV program on 11/24/14, refinements on 2/10/15 and follow-up questions on 3/18/15. We also reviewed solutions with House Ways and Means Committee. ODTE has ignored these solutions which ODTE could by reversal of their own administrative changes...completely repeal the 2014 CAUV tax increase. We ask you to investigate ODTE and then you answer our follow-up questions of 3/18/15. I asked SR99 John Patterson to please forward his cover letter and those 3/18/15 follow-up questions to your office.
7. SB#1 and HB#61 were quickly passed but when woodland owners asked to amend the bill to provide tax benefits....we heard Gov Kasich ordered no amendments to keep the bill clean for early passage. So you please express your support for a separate clean bill for woodlands tax benefits now.
If you are able to reverse the CAUV destruction, order ODT to follow Ohio constitution, then you will have proven yourself at the state level. Then you could begin to look for a promotion to be our national leader. But if you refuse to fix these items, then it is our wish that your political career will soon be over.
Several of my fellow farmers have written you about CAUV. None have received a personal letter in response. Some did get a form letter with outdated 2013 attachments about the history of CAUV before the current tax increase. You know I am looking for a more hands on response directly from you. Please send me your email if you would like a PDF file.
Tell your appointee Joe Testa to humble himself, act on our 9 recommendations and answer to you so you can answer to us.. the farmers. We want to hear from you and how you will support the farmers on CAUV.....now!
Sincerely,
Fred Pierce-Ruhland, Landowner Member Ashtabula CAUV Task Force.
4352 Fox Road
Kingsville, Ohio 44048

Monday, May 4, 2015

Timber Stand Improvement Workshop in Belmont Cty.

On May 8, 2015, you are invited to an instructive and hands-on workshop on Timber Stand Improvement at Dysart Woods in Belmont County. This workshop will be from 12:00-4:00 pm with Jeremy Scherf, Service Forester; Dan Lima, OSU Extension; Liza Butler, Belmont SWCD Wildlife/Forestry Specialist; Kim Brewster, Belmont SWCD Captina Creek Watershed Coordinator; Joe Lehman, NRCS     Conservation Technician; and Dave Bauerbach, NRCS Soil Conservationist.
This workshop will help to identify garlic mustard and the control methods on eradicating this problematic plant. We will also be discussing control measures on grapevines and how grapevines can affect your woods, and ailanthus             identification and control methods. During this workshop, we will be manually pulling or digging garlic mustard in a dense area of Dysart Woods. We ask you to bring a shovel or hand spade. Please dress accordingly to the weather.
Directions to Dysart Woods: Take Belmont exit off I-70. Proceed south toward the town of Belmont on highway 149. In Belmont, turn off 149 and on to highway 147 heading south. Drive south approximately 5 miles. A small wooden Dysart sign on the right indicates the entrance to the property. Rustic restrooms are    located adjacent to the white farmhouse on the left. Parking is available at the  trailheads.
Sponsored by Belmont SWCD, Ohio University of Athens, Division of Forestry, OSU Extension, and NRCS.
Please RSVP by May 7, 2015 to Belmont SWCD at 526-0027. For further           directions or questions, contact Liza Butler, Belmont SWCD Wildlife/Forestry    Specialist, at 740-526-0027.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Celebrating Stewardship Week!


As a part of the Guernsey county community  for 73 years, we want to remind you that each of us has a connection to natural resources. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is celebrating the 60th year of Stewardship week April 26 – May 3, 2015. The 2015 Stewardship Week is themed, “Local Heroes – Your Hardworking Pollinators”.
         
             “The world is all abuzz about pollinators! Pollinators play a critical role in our everyday lives, and it’s important that we work to protect their habitat.  While many pollinators may seem like just annoying insects, they are actually a very important part of the web of life upon which we all depend. Pollinators form the underpinning of a healthy and sustainable future for food and the environment, but they have shown disturbing signs of decline in recent years. When pollinators shrink in number, many plants either produce less seed or no seed at all. The bottom line is, when pollinators start disappearing, plants start disappearing.

Most plants depend upon pollinators to reproduce. While animals can travel and move around to find mates and reproduce, plants are rooted to one spot. Therefore, plants depend on pollinators to move pollen from their anthers to their stigma. On planet Earth there are more than 100,000 species of insects, including bees, flies, moths, butterflies and beetles that work hard as pollinators. There are also over 1,000 species of other animals such as birds, reptiles and mammals, including bats that pollinate plants.  Your local conservation district can assist you in maintaining or developing habitat for pollinators.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Birds,Bees,Flowers & Trees walk on the trail scheduled

Join Wildlife/Forestry Specialist Levi Arnold and Master Gardener Myron Dellinger for a mile long hike on the Great Guernsey Trail next Thursday, May 7th at 5:30pm. You'll see wildflowers, identify trees, and enjoy the migratory birds and wildlife visible from the trail. Bring your binoculars if you've got 'em! Call the office at 740-4352-0408 to let us know you are coming.


Monday, April 27, 2015

USDA Announces New Oak-Hickory Woodland Restoration Project

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Apr. 24, 2015 – If you own a woodland in southeastern Ohio, it most likely includes oak and hickory trees.  It is also likely you’ve noticed a new type of tree growing among the oaks and hickories, the showy and highly invasive non-native tree of heaven.  If you watch birds, it’s equally likely that you may now struggle to find a cerulean warbler, those small sky-blue birds that perch among the treetops.  Since 1966, the cerulean warbler population has declined by 70 percent, due primarily to the loss of the habitat they need to reproduce - oak-hickory forest.

In an effort to restore oak-hickory woodlands, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and the Ohio Department of Natural Resources teamed up to create the ‘Collaborative Oak Management’ project in southeastern Ohio.  The project area includes the Wayne National Forest and Ohio State Forests, as well as privately held forest land.  Approximately 73 percent of the land within the Wayne National Forest is privately owned and interspersed within the forest boundaries.  However, the boundaries of private and public land don’t exist for invasive species and wildlife.  The Collaborative Oak Management project provides a mechanism to restore oak-hickory woodlands seamlessly across both public and private land.

The NRCS created a special Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) as part of the Collaborative Oak Management Project to help restoring oak-hickory woodlands owned privately.  Through EQIP, woodland owners in the project area can receive both technical assistance from professional foresters, and financial assistance to implement conservation measures recommended by the foresters.  Conservation measures that promote oak and hickory growth include the control of invasive plant and undesirable trees that out compete oaks and hickories.

Woodland owners in Adams, Athens, Gallia, Hocking, Jackson, Lawrence, Meigs, Scioto, Vinton, Morgan, Monroe, Muskingum, Noble, Perry, Pike, Ross and Washington Counties may apply for the EQIP Oak Management Program.  Ohio NRCS allocated $300,000 for the EQIP Oak Management Program this year.  Guernsey county is not included this program.

Oak-hickory woodlands across the project area are at a tipping point in our life-times.  Private woodland owners, the U.S. Forest Service, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, and NRCS have a chance right now to help the forest become a healthy oak-hickory forest instead of something else altogether.

Individuals interested in applying for the EQIP Oak Management program should make an appointment with the local NRCS conservationist to start the application process.  A list of county office telephone numbers is available on-line at http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/main/oh/contact/local/.

To receive consideration for funding this year, apply by May 22, 2015.   If you are a Noble county landowner, call USDA-NRCS Guernsey/Noble District Conservationist Kim Ray at 740-432-5621 or stop by her office at 1300 Clark St, Unit 10 across from the hospital in Cambridge.

Free Fishing Weekend

Ohio Department of Natural Resources: Residents can fish is all public waters without a fishing license May 2-3 as part of the state's annual free fishing weekend, ODNR announced this week.  An estimated 1.3 million people fish each year in Ohio, and the ODNR Division of Wildlife stocked more than 43 million fish in 2014, the department reported, noting that the sale of fishing licenses, along with the Sport Fish Restoration program, continue to fund Division of Wildlife fish management operations.