Tuesday, July 30, 2013

HIRING FULL-TIME Wildlife/Forestry Specialist

The Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District is seeking applications for the position of Wildlife/Forestry Specialist.

Responsibilities will include, but not be limited to:  Providing education, technical assistance, and field assistance to landowners/operators and units of government, primarily in wildlife and forestry issues.  The position also coordinates educational programming in Guernsey county school systems.

Applicants should have Minimum of 2 year degree and/or experience wildlife, forestry, or natural resources management or related field. Candidate should be proficient in Microsoft Office and preferably have experience using ArcGIS software.  Salary range from $22,880 - $29,120 (plus benefits) commensurate on degree and experience.


Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District
9711 East Pike, Cambridge, OH  43725
Telephone:  740-432-5624          Fax:  740-432-2833

Vacancy Announcement – Wildlife/Forestry Specialist


Provide technical assistance to and education of individual landowners to solve issues related to human/wildlife conflict or habitat enhancement for wildlife.
Due to grant funding from the Ohio department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife, this position will work with the ODNR-DOW Wildlife Officer to assist in such programs and activities as are agreed upon between the district and ODNR in the grant.
Plan and conduct tours, field days, technical workshops, public viewing of demonstrations including forestry field days, BMP workshops, logger certification, and wildlife clinics.
Coordinate overall conservation education programs of the district to Guernsey county adults and youth.
Work with the DPA to develop communication of district programs through social media.
Investigate Silviculture House Bill 88 sediment complaints, enter information into SWIMS and report findings to board of supervisors.  Follow up with any state agencies as necessary.
Review Timber Notice of intent (NOI) sites and provide report to board of supervisors.  Follow up on site visit to ensure that the plan is being followed.
Responsible for scheduling repair and maintenance of district vehicles and rental equipment. (i.e. trucks, drill, seeder, winch, trailers)
Represent the District at meetings of local, state and federal agencies and organizations as directed.
Attend monthly board meetings and/or other meetings as designated by the DPA and /or Board of Supervisors.
Keep abreast of all federal, state, and local laws that affect the conservation work within the district.
Prepare and maintain all records, reports, and forms as required.  This includes the computerized payroll and data collection system, currently known as SWIMS.
Must comply with all of the district’s policies (i.e. Employment Policy, this position description)
Must demonstrate regular and predictable attendance.
Perform all other duties as assigned by the DPA or board of supervisors.


Minimum 2 year degree in wildlife, forestry, or natural resources management or related field.
Experience with presenting educational programs to both adult and youth audiences.
Ability to communicate effectively in both oral and written form; exercise sound judgment; use time and organizational skills wisely; be groomed and dressed appropriately as to reflect well on the Guernsey SWCD; cooperate with co-workers; receive and implement instructions from DPA and board of supervisors; communicate and work well with landowners without discrimination. 
Ability to operate field equipment (survey equipment, water quality monitoring equipment, GPS data collector, digital camera, etc.) with guidance and training.
Familiarity with popular computer software (including, but not limited to, MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher) and willingness to learn new applications. 
Must be insurable for government vehicle operation and have a valid Ohio driver’s license. 
Ability to pass a background check in order to use county and federal computer system.


Occasionally performs duties during inclement weather.
Required to lift and carry necessary equipment; walk over uneven, steep ground; cross fences.
Required to transport district rental equipment using district vehicles.
Required to work in close proximity to construction equipment while in operation.
Required to attend evening and weekend meetings on occasion within and outside the county.

A formal performance review will be conducted annually by the DPA.  During this review, salary advancement and items concerning the employee’s professional growth and employment are discussed.   At this time, a set of goals for the coming year which meet with the goals of the district will be discussed and agreed upon.  

Salary and Benefits:
Salary will be commensurate with experience, qualifications and available funding. Salary range will be from $22,880 - $29,120.   Employee will be under the Ohio Public Employee Retirement System and will be eligible for vacation, sick leave, and the County health insurance benefits.

Application Deadline:
Anyone interested in the position should submit a resume (with at least three references) to the Guernsey SWCD along with a cover letter to the SWCD’s address listed at the top of this job description by August 9, 2013.  Applications may be faxed, mailed, or emailed.

Bids for 1995 Ford F150 Pickup Being Accepted

The Board of Supervisors of the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District is offering for sale by bid a 1995 Ford F150 4x4 with cap.  The Board of Supervisors will be accepting sealed bids for this truck.  Interested parties may view the pickup at 9711 East Pike, Cambridge, Ohio 43725.  The truck is being sold as is, where is.
Bids should be placed in a sealed envelope marked "1995 Ford F150 Truck". Bids should contain the following information:  name, address, and phone number, as well as dollar amount bid.   Bids will be accepted until close of business (4:30pm) on Friday, August 9, 2013 at 9711 East Pike, Cambridge, Ohio 43725.  The Board of Supervisors reserves the right to reject any and all bids.  

Monday, July 29, 2013

Where does your Watershed?

The 2013 Moore Memorial Woods Conservation Daycamp was a great success!  20 students attended, including three teenaged counselors. The kids broke up into 3 groups and were escorted through a series of classes throughout the day. Counselors were Katie Hodges, Tina Vaughn, and Hannah Vaughn. Our camp nurse was Sandy Mahaffy.  Also assisting was Denise Liggett, Area 3 NRCS, and SWCD program administrator Lisa Rodenfels.

Below, Wildlife/Forestry Specialist Joe Lehman assists in a game of Water Olympics, which teaches the students about the physical qualities of water.  Here, they are balancing 20+ drops of water on the face of a penny.  They found they were able to float a paperclip in a cup of water, using the surface tension of the water.   Joe also took the students on a hike through Moore Woods.

Technician Jason Tyrell talks to a group about water quality and pollution while playing a game called Healthy Water Hopscotch.
Science teacher Dee Carter taught a class on how wetlands act as sponges, capturing and releasing excess water in our watershed.  These wetlands help to control flooding and store water, aiding in keeping groundwater levels constant during periods of drought.

In the afternoon, the students constructed an edible aquifer, and using a straw to "drill" a well, pumped their well and learned how surface pollutants could enter the groundwater and get into their drinking water.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Forest Caterpillars Key to Birdlife

Jim McCormac
NEW PHILADELPHIA, OHIO – The August 7 meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA) will feature Jim McCormac, non-game wildlife specialist with the Ohio Division of Wildlife.  The 8 PM program will feature excellent photography and narratives about caterpillars which are such an important food source that without them most songbirds would go extinct.  The world of caterpillars is beautifully ornate, full of trickery and chemical warfare, and both jaw-droppingly amazing and gruesomely stunning.

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 McDonald-Marlite Lewis Conference Center, 143 McDonald Drive NW in New Philadelphia.

Shale gas: Initial study results show fracking may be safe for drinking water

PITTSBURGH, Pa. — Preliminary study results show that no chemicals used for fracking on natural gas drilling well sites have contaminated any drinking water aquifers at the site. Study officials, however, caution it is way too early to make any definite conclusions.

Read rest of article here:

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Ohio State Fair open!

About 800,000 people are expected to attend this year's fair, which runs through Aug. 4 in Columbus.  Governor John Kasich toured the grounds and activities yesterday, yet said he again will not stay at the fair this year, a tradition set by his predecessors.  "I broke that tradition, but my wife and kids will be here one of these nights," he told reporters.  During a ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the fair, Gov. Kasich said work is ongoing to plant more shade trees at the fair. He later ceremonially shoveled some dirt near a newly planted tree.  "Hopefully, by the time we all get a little bit older, we're going to see trees planted all across the fairgrounds ... to make the fairgrounds more comfortable and more hospitable and more family-oriented than we've ever seen it before," the governor said.  The governor also presided over an awards ceremony for the Department of Agriculture's "Ag Is Cool" art and video contest. He conversed with lamb farmers, talked with plasterers and cement masons, raced First Lady Karen Kasich down a giant slide - the First Lady won - and grabbed some ice cream with his family.
At the Department of Natural Resources Park, Hueston Woods State Park naturalist Amanda Dalton introduced the governor to an American kestrel, a small falcon, named Rachel.  At Ms. Dalton's urging, the governor asked "Rachel, may I please see your wings?" The bird obliged by flapping its wings several times.  The governor paused at a pond with a beaver swimming in it, and noted aloud that beavers do not actually live in the dams they build.   "They build the dam to block the water so they can then build their den," Mr. Kasich said.  "Beavers are cool - they are cool."
The governor told reporters that the Ohio State Fair highlights the state's agricultural industry, but it also offers something for everyone.  "It's good for everybody - they learn how to do a little kayaking, they learn how to shoot a bow and arrow - which I'm going to come back for a remedial course on that. I mean, everything is good about it," he said.  "And the greatest thing is families can come here and have a great time, and it's affordable. That's really what it's all about."

Monday, July 22, 2013

Passing of former ODNR Director Bob Teater

I wanted you to be aware that former ODNR Director Bob Teater passed away July 21, 2013.  He served as director from 1975 – 1983.

Bob was a dedicated natural resource professional serving both as director of the OSU School of Natural Resources and director of ODNR.   During his administration, he advanced water resources and soil and water conservation and was instrumental in transferring Ohio’s soil and water conservation program from OSU Extension to ODNR.  Also during his tenure at ODNR, he oversaw the expansion of state parks including the opening of Mohican and Deer Creek State Park lodges.

Following his ODNR leadership role, Bob was the driving force to create the Wilds, a 9,000-acre endangered species breeding sanctuary in reclaimed strip mined land near Zanesville.

Bob was a distinguished military leader, holding the highest civilian rank of Major General in the Ohio National Guard following military service in Korea.

Our thoughts and prayers are extended to his wife, Dorothy and their family.

James Zehringer
Director, Ohio Department of Natural Resources

2013-2014 early migratory game bird hunting seasons

Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Ohio Wildlife Council approved the state's 2013-2014 early migratory game bird hunting seasons this week, ODNR officials said.  Ohio's bird hunting seasons for mourning dove, Canada goose, rail moorhen and snipe will begin Sept. 1, with new increased bag limits for Canada geese and teal.  Dove season will run through late October, resuming again in Mid-December through early January, with a 15-bird daily limit and 45-bird possession limit after the second day. Canada geese and teal, meanwhile, will be hunted statewide from early to mid-September.  Sora rails, Virginia rails and moorhens will be hunted from early September to early November, while hunting season for snipe will run from early September through late November, before picking up in mid-December through early January.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Farm Safety for Just Kids at work in Ohio

With harvest season quickly approaching, farmers must remember to keep farm safety at the forefront, especially when there are children near. Hundreds of children are involved in agricultural-related accidents each year.
Read rest of article here:  http://ocj.com/2013/07/farm-safety-for-just-kids-at-work-in-ohio/

Monday, July 15, 2013

Farmers hope break in rain long enough to save crops

Most Ohio farmers are happy to trade last year’s drought and heat for this year’s rain and moderate temperatures, in spite of some fierce weather that swept the Columbus area and points east this week.

Read rest of article here:  http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2013/07/12/farmers-hope-break-in-rain-long-enough-to-save-crops.html

Monday, July 8, 2013

Ohio Forestry Camp


The 2013 Ohio Forestry and Wildlife Conservation Camp was June 9th through the 14th at FFA Camp Muskingum. On the second day of camp we had our first class which was Dendrology; dendrology is the scientific study of trees and their characteristics. As we hiked through the woods we studied different trees and their leaves which were on the exam that we took on the last day. Day three, we had four classes; measurements, which we used the Biltmore stick that they gave us, Songbirds, they let us use their binoculars, our other classes were Stream Monitoring, which we caught salamanders and crawfish, and next we had Ecology. On the fourth day we learned about Wildlife Management, which we were given topics of different animals and analyzed different habitats for the animals/insects. Next we had Ancient Ohioans of the Forest; we got to use at-ladles. Then we had Silviculture, which is the art and science of managing/growing trees. Day five we had a class on Forest Products and a man brought a portable saw mill and told us how he built his own house. Our next class was Resource Management Issues, we were told to prepare a speech as a group of 5 people and explain why our group, with different scenarios on why and what we would use 200 acres of the camp for, i.e. timber products, preservation group, golf course, senior citizen home. Camp was great time, I’ve made many new and great friends!  My thanks to Murphy Tractor, which provided a scholarship to allow me to attend the camp.  Also attending the camp on scholarships from the Guernsey Sportsmen for Conservation group were Guernsey county residents Reagan Reynolds, Austin Tilton, Levi Lynch, and Morgan Echols.

Do You Know?

Do you know . . .
The difference between a storm drain and a sewer? Storm drains collect water from outside our homes and businesses and carry it, untreated, directly to streams and rivers. Sewers collect water from inside homes and businesses and carry it to treatment plants, where it is cleaned before it reaches streams and rivers. So remember, only rain should go into storm drains, not trash, oil, or other pollutants.

Friday, July 5, 2013

What is a watershed?

Raise your hand if you live in a watershed! Do you all have your hands raised?
Because we all live in a watershed.
No matter whether you live in the city or the country, our land is sloping toward the sea. This means that water is always trying to flow downhill to the sea. (Gravity at work!) The next time you are standing next to a stream, think about whatzzzzup-stream. Has this water flowed past another neighborhood
like yours? A forest? A farm?

When water falls as rain or snow, it quickly runs together into small streams. Eventually these small streams flow into each other and form rivers. Rivers, in turn, meet to form larger rivers. From an airplane you can easily see how this stream network is organized. It’s kind of like a tree lying on its side with many branches attached to a main trunk.
Pick out any location in any stream and all the land that contributes water up to that point is called
its drainage basin or watershed. The watershed of a small stream—one you can cross wearing only rubber boots—might be only a couple of acres in size. On the other hand, if you need fishing waders to get across, the stream is probably draining a square mile or more of land. If scuba gear is required, you know the stream has a large drainage area. Knowing where your water comes from is important, especially if any problems occur upstream. You probably would not want to head out to your favorite swimming hole if that morning a gasoline truck spilled some of its load upstream.
Hydrologists (scientists who study the movement of water) have devised a system for classifying the
position of streams in a watershed. The uppermost channels with no tributaries are designated first-order streams. A second-order stream is formed when two first-order streams meet. Third-order streams are created when two second-order streams join, and so on. A network is formed by all the streams in the watershed, and people can easily see how they connect.
Like nesting dolls, small watersheds are part of larger watersheds, which in turn are part of even larger
watersheds. To help keep everything organized, the U.S. Geological Survey developed a system to keep track of all the different scales of watersheds.
There are four basic sizes of watersheds in their system. The largest are known as the major river basins and includes the  Ohio River Basin. The smallest watersheds defined in the USGS watershed classification system are called catalog units.

Generally, when people ask you about your watershed, they are focusing on the catalog unit-size watershed. Most catalog units are named after the major river that flows through them. Most of Guernsey County falls in the Wills Creek Watershed, which is part of the larger Muskingum Watershed. The Muskingum is shown in blue, while the Wills Creek is shown in pink.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Farmers working to protect Ohio’s water

As the peak season approaches for Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) on Ohio’s lakes, the Ohio farm community is pledging its best efforts to protect Ohio’s valuable water resources.

An alliance of farm organizations, environmental advocates, academia, businesses and other interested parties have begun a multi-step initiative to positively affect water quality both short-term and over an extended time frame.

The primary focus is on preventing the nutrient phosphorus from escaping from farm fields.  While this nutrient is essential to producing food, fuel and fiber, it can drain from fields and feed the growth of HABs.  University and other agricultural experts have made recommendations to protect water without reducing agricultural productivity.  Many farmers are already taking steps as a down payment to address the part of the water quality problem caused by field runoff.

  • Farmers are using soil tests to avoid applying excessive amounts of fertilizer. One survey showed 82 percent compliance with Ohio State University-approved testing practices.  
  • A pollution reduction project in the Lake Erie Basin reduced phosphorus applications by more than 180,000 pounds across 8,653 acres.  
  • Farmer-to-farmer outreach in the Grand Lake watershed helped achieve 100 percent compliance with state water quality mandates.
  • 4,421 farmers attended 163 nutrient and water quality training sessions put on by Ohio State University Extension.
  • 290 farmers are part of a test project that has expanded use of cover crops, variable rate applications, nutrient incorporation, controlled drainage structures and best management practices. Another study shows these types of efforts can reduce phosphorus escapes by nearly one-third.  
  • The state’s agribusiness community is working with non-government organizations, universities and government agencies to develop a third-party certification program for commercial nutrient applicators that will encourage adoption of nutrient stewardship practices.  
  • Farm organizations and agribusinesses contributed $1 million to match a federal grant that is funding a three-year study to measure nutrient runoff and identify preventative practices.

  • Agricultural representatives are engaged with the Lake Erie Phosphorus Task Force, Directors’ Agricultural Nutrients and Water Quality Working Group, The Ohio Nutrient Forum Visioning Workshop and many other private and government entities that are working to understand the problem and arrive at solutions.
  • Farmers are reviewing and providing feedback on state legislation that would improve water quality.   
  • The farm community was a vocal advocate for funding of water quality initiatives within the new state budget.
  • A diverse group of 20 agricultural organizations corresponded with their members to elevate awareness of Ohio’s nutrient and water challenges and encouraged them to adopt the 4R Nutrient Stewardship program that promotes the right fertilizer source, at the right rate, at the right time with the right placement. Since then, a survey shows that 71 percent of Ohio farmers now recognize the significance of the issue, and they’re attending field days, seminars and training sessions to learn about the 4Rs and other environmentally-friendly practices.  
  • This same group, along with additional organizations, is planning a comprehensive, long-range project to address a variety of Ohio water issues.

Farmers are committed to improving water quality while preserving agriculture’s economic contributions to Ohio.    

Farm Credit Mid-America                     Ohio AgriBusiness Association
Ohio Cattlemen’s Association                Ohio Corn Marketing Program
Ohio Corn & Wheat Growers Assoc.     Ohio Dairy Producers Assoc.
Ohio Farm Bureau Federation                 Ohio Farmers Union
Ohio Livestock Coalition         Ohio Nursery & Landscape Assoc.
Ohio Pork Producers Council                 Ohio Poultry Association
Ohio Sheep Improvement Association    Ohio Small Grains Marketing Program
Ohio Soybean Association                      Ohio Soybean Council
The Nature Conservancy                         United Producers, Inc.
Ohio Federation of Soil & Water Conservation Districts  
The Ohio State University College of Food , Agriculture and Environmental Sciences including OSU Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

KIDS! Stop Pointless Personal Pollution! Part Two

It’s a beautiful Saturday—a perfect day to make some extra spending money washing cars for family and neighbors, gassing up and oiling the lawn mower, laying down some fertilizer on those yellow patches in the yard, walking the dog, and spraying your mom’s rosebushes for pesky 
bugs. Work hard and maybe you can make enough money to spring for movie tickets for you and your date. The health of your nearby stream is probably one of the last things on your mind as you tackle your tasks. But guess what! Each of your jobs could harm a nearby stream, lake, or wetland.
 How? Well, consider.... 

Fertilizing the Lawn
Green lawns need lots of fertilizer, right? Wrong! Too much fertilizer applied at the wrong time can be very harmful to grass. It can cause disease, weeds, and poor root growth and make your lawn less able to withstand periods of heavy rain or dry weather.
In addition, the same rains that pick up oil, gas, and other hazardous chemicals can also pick up excess fertilizer lying around and carry it to a lake or stream. Instead of making grass grow in your front yard, this fertilizer can make algae and weeds grow in the water.
You can have a nice-looking lawn and still keep streams and ponds healthy if you:
• Use native grasses that do not have high fertilizer requirements.
• Test your soil to find out exactly what nutrients your lawn needs.
• Apply fertilizer only when it is needed, during the right season, and in proper amounts.
• Do not leave fertilizer on driveways and sidewalks where it can be picked up and washed away by runoff from the next storm.
• Do not fertilize if a heavy storm is predicted.

Controlling Insect Pests
Pests are a pain, but getting rid of them can be a greater pain if you do it wrong. Using harsh pesticides can be harmful for people and the environment.
According to the Federal Centers for Disease Control, 82 percent of Americans already have the widely used insecticide Dursban in their bodies.
A technique known as integrated pest management is usually the best approach to controlling pests and protecting  water-ways from pollution.  Chemical insecticides are used very sparingly, if at all. The
focus is on early identification of pests and planting plants that are naturally resistant to pests.
You can reduce the use of pesticides at your house if you:
• Learn about integrated pest management and practice it.

Walking the Dog
Don’t be embarrassed to say it—pet poop is potential pollution. Pet feces contain a lot of bacteria that can contaminate streams, lakes, and ponds. One study found that a single gram of dog feces contains 23 million fecal coliform bacteria. In a densely populated watershed in Arlington, Virginia (Four Mile Run),
scientists estimate that dogs deposit more than 5,000 pounds of poop each day. You can help reduce the amount of pet waste entering local streams if you:
• Pick up after your pet and throw the poop in the trash can.

• Ask your town to set up pet waste stations that provide dog walkers with free plastic bags for picking up poop.

Monday, July 1, 2013

KIDS! Stop Pointless Personal Pollution! Part One

It’s a beautiful Saturday—a perfect day to make some extra spending money washing cars for family and neighbors, gassing up and oiling the lawn mower, laying down some fertilizer on those yellow patches in the yard, walking the dog, and spraying your mom’s rosebushes for pesky  bugs. Work hard and maybe you can make enough money to spring for movie tickets for you and your date. The health of your nearby stream is probably one of the last things on your mind as you tackle your tasks. But guess what! Each of your jobs could harm a nearby stream, lake, or wetland.
How? Well, consider....

Washing Cars 
Many cleaning products contain phosphates and other chemicals that can make fish and other aquatic life sick. Using a hose to wash off suds creates a stream of wastewater that can travel down your driveway, into the street, and down a storm drain. No prob? Well, what do you think is at the other end of your storm drain? Usually a stream! You can help protect streams when you wash your car if you:
• Use a bucket instead of a hose to save water and limit flow.
• Wash your car in sections and rinse it quickly using the high pressure flow on an adjustable hose nozzle.
• Use biodegradable soaps.
• Park your car over gravel or your lawn so wastewater doesn’t flow into the street.

Working with Motors 
Motors must be maintained if you want them to work properly. Oil, gasoline, brake fluid, degreasers, and antifreeze are a few of the products you need. All of these products contain chemicals that can harm aquatic life if they get into a stream, lake, or wetland. One gallon of used oil can ruin a million gallons of fresh water—a year’s supply for 50 people.
If you accidentally spill these products on the ground when you’re working, clean them up quickly. If you don’t, the next rainstorm will pick them up and carry them to the nearest stream. Some chemicals are acutely toxic and can cause immediate harm or death to insects, fish, and animals within 96 hours or less (for example, antifreeze, which is toxic to pets, has a sweet taste that cats and dogs love). Others are chronically toxic and cause harm over time.
You can help prevent hazardous substances from getting into natural waterways if you:
• Use the product only when necessary and use only the amount needed. When it comes to hazardous
chemicals, more is not better.
• Clean up any spills immediately.(Wear protective clothing and gloves.)
• Never flush chemicals down the toilet or pour them onto the ground or into a storm drain.
• Dispose of used oil and other hazardous products in a safe manner. Participate in collection programs or take products to collection centers for disposal.