Sunday, April 28, 2013


As a part of the Guernsey county community for 71 years, the Guernsey Soil & Water Conservation District wants to remind you that each of us has a connection to natural resources. The National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) is celebrating the 58th year of Stewardship week April 28 – May 5, 2013. The 2013 Stewardship Week is themed, “Where does your water shed?”

Bill Bertram, Ken Ford, John Enos, Myron Dellinger, and Steve Douglass serve on the supervisory board for the district.  The District was formed to assist people in Guernsey county with the wise use of natural resources for present and future generations.

“Clean water is important to everyone,” says SWD chairman Bill Bertram.  “Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state and national boundaries. Every inch of the land on planet Earth is part of a watershed.  In the continental U.S., there are 2,100 watersheds; if we include Hawaii, Alaska and Puerto Rico, the count rises to 2,267. No matter where you are right now, you are in a watershed.”

Less than 1-percent of all of the water on our planet is fresh water.  The average citizen in the United States uses 70 gallons of water every day; and this does not include the water it takes to manufacture the automobiles, clothing, and food we depend on each and every day. Take time to learn about your local community water supply sources, and volunteer for river, stream or beach clean-up days.  You can make a difference!

To find out more about your local watershed, including an app for your computer and smart phone, visit: 

Guernsey SWCD is a member of the National Association of Conservation Districts (NACD) which oversees the Stewardship Week program. Stewardship Week is one of the largest national annual programs to promote conservation. NACD represents the nation’s 3,000 conservation districts, which were established to encourage resource conservation across the country.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Energy Coalition meeting May 2nd at 9AM - topic is compressed natural gas vehicles

The Future of CNG Vehicle Transportation is NOW!

The topic for the May 2nd Energy Coalition meeting will be, The Future of CNG Vehicle Transportation is NOW!   Please join us at Southgate Hotel from 9:00 am to 10:30 am.  The meeting is hosted by the Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber  will have a panel consisting of four individuals in the Compressed Natural Gas industry who will discuss their various roles and experiences in CNG:
·         Chuck Diehl, Smith Dairy in Orrville, Ohio
o   Managing a 400+ vehicle fleet
o   Smith Dairy Trucking’s CNG 2012 project that led to one of Ohio’s first public CNG heavy truck fuel sites and Smith’s deployment of their first CNG tractors. 
o   Smith’s fuel doctrine will have Smith Dairy Trucking diesel independent by 2030.
·         Keith Walker, Kimble Recycling & Disposal, Inc.
o   In 2011 Kimble built their first CNG fueling stations in Twinsburg, Ohio and purchased its first 36 100% CNG powered residential front lead refuse trucks.
o   In 2012 they replaced almost 400,000 gallons of diesel fuel with natural gas.
o   Currently running 70+ trucks powered by 100% CNG making up 30% of their total fleet
o   Kimble has plans to add CNG fueling infrastructure to switch entire fleet
·         Andrew Conley, Clean Fuels Ohio Program Director
o   Worked with hundreds of fleets across Ohio to develop vehicle and station projects.
o   Conducts fleet emissions and efficiency analyses, draft proposals for funding, and created educational programs for workshops, fuel and technology trainings, and resources.
o   Led CFO’s Ohio Green Fleets program which engages hundreds of fleets in workshops, meetings, and seminars.
o   55 certified Ohio Green fleets have displaced a combined total of 6,580,808 gallons of petroleum.
·         Dave Mrowzinski, IGS Energy CNG Services
o   Compressed Natural Gas Program Manager for IGS Energy CNG Services
o   IGS has over 20 years of experience in the natural gas industry to provide CNG vehicle refueling solutions.

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Report suspicious activity.
Call Ohio Homeland Security:
For emergency, call 9-1-1.
Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.

Following the events of September 11,  2001, many federal, state, and local agencies  initiated efforts to improve information  sharing and intelligence gathering. Since  that time, all 50 states and over 20 separate  metropolitan areas have established state  or local fusion centers to partner with the  FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Forces (JTTFs)  nationwide.

Fusion centers are uniquely situated to  provide the local implications of national  intelligence to front-line law enforcement,  public safety, emergency response, public  health, infrastructure protection, and private  sector security partners. Fusion centers  also provide interdisciplinary expertise and  situational awareness to decision-makers at  all levels of government. Ohio is fortunate to  have three federally recognized fusion centers  in our state. These centers receive, analyze  and disseminate information from a multitude  of sources in order to prevent terrorism  and other crimes.

The primary statewide  center in Ohio is Ohio Homeland Security’s  Strategic Analysis and Information Center  (SAIC). Additionally, there are two regional  centers: the Northeast Ohio Regional Fusion  Center (NEORFC) and the Regional Information  Operations Center in Hamilton County. These  centers work together to create a streamlined  information sharing system for Ohio’s first responders. In order to be successful, fusion  centers rely on every citizen to report  suspicious activity. 

Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs) are  one of our best defenses against terrorist  threats and our greatest resource to building  resilience. Every day, members of the public  work with law enforcement officers to help  keep our communities safe by reporting  activities that are out of the ordinary and  suspicious. It is critical that law enforcement  officers at all levels of government – state,  local, tribal, territorial, and federal – observe  suspicious behaviors or receive reports from  concerned civilians, private security, and  other government agencies. These reports  of suspicious activity play a vital role in  countering terrorism and crime as they  contribute to 9 out of every 10 arrests that  are made.

An aware and engaged public that  understands what constitutes unusual and  suspicious behavior is essential to protecting  our communities from terrorist threats. For  example, maybe you are at a high profile  location or, perhaps a sporting event and you  notice a person nearby taking several photos.  While that is not unusual, you may also notice  that the person is only taking photos of the  locations of surveillance cameras, entrance  crash barriers, and access control procedures. That type of activity would be unusual.

The following are examples of other unusual  activities that should cause a heightened  sense of suspicion:
•             Monitoring personnel or vehicles entering/leaving facilities or parking areas
•             Burns on body, missing finger(s) or hand, bloody clothing, bleached body hair or bright colored stains on clothing; switch or wires concealed in hand, clothing, or backpack
•             Unusual or prolonged interest in the following: security measures or personnel;  security cameras; entry points and access  controls; perimeter barriers (fences/walls); unattended train or bus
•             Purposely placing objects (e.g., packages,  luggage, vehicles) in sensitive or vulnerable areas to observesecurity responses
•             Individuals or actions which are out of place for their surroundings (e.g., over or underdressed for the weather)
•             Unusual, vague, or cryptic threats, warnings, or comments about harming others
Some of these activities, taken individually, could be innocent and must be examined by law enforcement professionals in a larger context to determine where there is a basis to investigate. The activities outlined above are by no means all-inclusive but have been compiled from a review of terrorist events over several years.
Citation: Bureau of Justice Assistance/FBI Joint Bulletin,
“Communities Against Terrorism: Potential Indicators of Terrorist Activities Related to Mass Transportation”

Report suspicious activity.
Call Ohio Homeland Security:
For emergency, call 9-1-1.
Do not jeopardize your safety or the safety of others.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

MWCD approves sale of water from two Ohio lakes for Utica shale drillers

By Bob Downing, The Akron Beacon JournalMcClatchy-Tribune Information Services

April 22--The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District on Friday approved two deals with Utica shale drillers for water from Seneca Lake and Clendening Reservoir.
The first deal calls for the district to provide up to 184 million gallons of water from Seneca Lake in Guernsey and Noble counties to Colorado-based Antero Resources.

The district will sell up to 2 million gallons a day for up to three months. The drilling company holds about 20 Utica shale permits near Seneca Lake.
Under the contract, the company will pay $6 per 1,000 gallons from May through July. That price is 50 percent more than Antero now is paying for raw water, the district said.

Seneca Lake water will be used with other sources to create a private water system for Antero and its operations. That system is expected to cost $50 million to $60 million, according to information the district provided.  The system will include the creation of about 10 water-storage facilities connected by pipelines.
Antero's agreement calls for cutting off withdrawals if the lake level drops too low.

The Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District also approved a separate deal with Oklahoma-based Gulfport Energy Corp. for up to 25 million gallons of water from Clendening Reservoir in Harrison County.
Gulfport will pay $8 per 1,000 gallons in the deal that runs through June 12. Its agreement calls for water withdrawals to be halted if the lake level drops below a certain threshold.
The company needs the water to hydraulically fracture, or frack, two of its Utica shale wells in Harrison County.

Last February, the district approved a $40.3 million natural gas lease with Antero for 6,500 acres at Seneca Lake. The district will be paid a leasing bonus of $6,200 per acre plus a royalty of 20 percent on natural gas, oil and natural gas liquids from Antero wells under district-owned land.

Earlier, the district had approved two other natural gas leases: in 2011 with Gulfport Energy at Clendening Lake and in 2012 with Chesapeake Energy Corp. for land at Leesville Lake in Carroll County.Gulfport paid the district a $15.6 million lease bonus on 2,800 acres and royalties on natural gas produced. Chesapeake paid the district $21.5 million in lease bonuses on 3,700 acres plus royalties.

Stretching from Akron to the Ohio River, the district covers 14 reservoirs and dams in 18 counties.

Bob Downing can be reached at 330-996-3745 or

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Surviving the Dust Bowl

What: Surviving the Dust Bowl, Pauline Arnett Hodges

Who: Muskingum Soil and Water Conservation District
        Funded by:  The Longaberger Foundation in Honor of William Herman Eschman

When: Saturday, May 4, 2013

Time: Doors open at 9:30 a.m.  Speaker starts at 10:00 a.m.

Where: The Muskingum County Conference & Welcome Center
        Heritage Room, Main Level
                        205 North Fifth Street
        Zanesville, OH 43701

Why: Pauline Arnett Hodges was born in Oklahoma, two years before the Dust Bowl.  This time in history, known as “The Dirty Thirties,” brought dust storms that darkened the day sky to night, sand drifts as high as rooftops, and static charges in the air that would short-out automobiles.  Pauline Arnett Hodges was instrumental in publishing the PBS documentary The Dust Bowl, By Ken Burns broadcast in November 2012.

Pauline Arnett Hodges survived the decade with luck and determination.  Pauline will tell her story of the experiences of living during the Dust Bowl, the Great Depression, and the challenges it created.  Determined to survive and make a difference, Pauline went on to college on a full scholarship, graduated with an education degree, married, and had two sons.

Location: The Muskingum County Conference & Welcome Center is located on the corner of Fifth and Shinnick Street, Zanesville, Ohio.

Cost: Free

Register: No Registration Needed

Contact: Jeanette Weinberg, Information Administrative Assistant at (740) 454-2027.

Monday, April 22, 2013

The BUZZ is on!

The Buzz is on its way for the east coast this summer. Several states up and down the east coast are expected to be inundated with Magicicada’s, but Ohio has to wait for this extraordinary natural event. Magicicada’s or Periodical cicadas usually appear between May and July. Periodical cicadas are a 1 to 1.5 inch sap sucking insect, with black bodies, red eyes, and have a wing vein color of red-orange. A close relative is the annual or “Dog- day” Cicada. They appear in the long summer days of July and August. These cicadas have a two to five year life cycle but there broods overlap and some appear every summer. Dog – day cicadas are larger and have green or brown bodies with black markings and their wings have green veins.
Periodical cicadas have been found here in the United States for hundreds of years. It is recorded that in 1633 the governor of Plymouth colony wrote of the periodical cicadas and that no English man had ever seen them before or since. It would be another 200 years before we had a grasp on periodical cicadas populations. Dr. S.P. Hildreth from Marietta, Ohio helped confirm that cicadas have a 17 year life cycle, but confusing the matter even more was that cicadas in southern states have a 13 year life cycle.  The cicada populations were put in to an ordered system in 1898 by Charles L. Marlatt. He numbered the emerging cicadas with roman numerals, because there were 17 possible emergence years; numbers 1 through 17 were reserved for the 17 year cicadas and numbers 18 through 30 were to be used for the 13 year cicadas. Even though there could be 30 possible groups “broods”, there are in fact only twelve established 17 year broods and three 13 year broods.  Here in Ohio we have four established broods V,VIII,X,and XIV.  Brood V will be the next to crawl from the ground in 2016.
When it is time for them to appear, the nymphs emerge from the soil at night and climb onto nearby vegetation or vertical surface, where they then molt into winged adults. The emergence is often tightly synchronized within a few nights.  Adult cicadas live for only two to four weeks. During this time they don’t feed much, instead the males gather in groups and sing, by vibrating membranes on their abdomen. The females quietly choose a mate and then lay their 400 eggs in twigs of trees; the egg remains in the twigs for six to ten weeks before hatching. During this time flagging can occur. Flagging is when the twigs break where the eggs were laid and the leave on the twigs die. The newly hatched nymph falls to the ground where it burrows 6 to 18 inches underground to feed for 17 years.
The cicada’s survival is linked to the mass appearance. As part of their survival strategy, they appear in such great numbers that predators cannot eat all of them and ones not consumed reproduce and continue the cycle. Periodical cicadas are a unique part of our ecosystem and provide a break from the monotony when the broods appear.
More information on periodical cicadas can be found at Ohio Biological Survey, and through OSU Extension.
                          Submitted by Joe Lehman, Wildlife/Forestry Specialist

Friday, April 19, 2013



Two days in the woods Tuesday, June 11 and Wednesday, June 12, 2013  (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.) at beautiful Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest.  The Forestry on Ohio’s Public Lands Series is offered by the ODNR Division of Forestry to provide your students with timely concepts and to help you meet state standards.  Come learn more about trees, wildlife, our rich regional conservation history, land management, and Ohio’s renewable natural resource--forests.

Forest Wildlife and Biological Diversity is featured on Tuesday, and a Project Learning Tree and Project Wild combined educator certification workshop is offered Wednesday.  You can attend one or both days.  Graduate credit through Ohio University is available for your purchase if you attend both days.

Programs are open to ANY teacher, and takes place RAIN OR SHINE.  Dress for the woods, weather, and field work. We will be in the woods Tuesday for field learning to look at wildlife research plots and habitat, so wear appropriate footwear and clothing.

Lunch and drinks are provided both days courtesy of PLT. There is a registration fee of $10 for materials which covers both days. We will meet at the Vinton Furnace State Experimental Forest modern training center off SR 93 and SR 324 southeast of McArthur.

Ohio University will provide a certificate of participation listing contact hours, OR, one semester hour of graduate continuing education credit is available through OU-Chillicothe for those attending BOTH DAYS.
Information will be provided on site and you will individually apply and pay for credit ($136) on your own from home.

Please contact Lynn Prater by e-mail or phone to register by June 1.
Or phone: (740) 774-1596 extension 0.

Classes are limited to 30 participants. Registrants will be sent directions.  Please include your e-mail for information distribution.

More about forests and PLT:;

Thursday, April 18, 2013

U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown on Wednesday announced new legislation to expand markets for farmers and increase the availability of nutritious, locally grown food. The bill would address production, aggregation, marketing and distribution needs and in particular help seniors and low-income families receiving SNAP benefits access fresh food.  The bill aims to help farmers sell products directly to consumers and would therefore create jobs, the senator said. One of the provisions would expand the Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Program which serves more than 30,000 low-income seniors in 45 Ohio Counties. 

The bill would also:  Provide funding to help farmers build infrastructure-such as community kitchens-to process and sell their food locally; Break down barriers so schools can purchase local food more easily and provide schools with a local school credit to purchase local foods; Make it easier for food stamp recipients to spend their money at farmers markets by giving the farmers access to technology necessary to accept electronic benefits. It creates a pilot program to test smart phone technology to accept food stamp benefits at farmers market.; Provide incentives for SNAP participation to ensure that beneficiaries can participate in community supported agriculture programs; and, Create a new crop insurance program tailored to the needs of diversified and organic farmers who grow a wide variety of crops and can't easily access traditional crop insurance.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Comments on deer hunting rule changes

Ohio Department of Natural Resources -- Nearly 30 state lawmakers have written Ohio Division of Wildlife Chief Scott Zody in opposition to proposals for more stringent deer hunting rules.  In their letter, the legislators challenged the scientific basis for the changes, which among other things would eliminate urban deer zones and shorten the December hunting season, according to a release from Sen. Chris Widener.
"The elimination of the late-December gun weekend for deer will take away the opportunity for hunters to harvest nearly 15,000 deer, according to recent figures," Sen. Widener said in a release. "Furthermore, the elimination of urban hunting poses a danger to communities already on edge about the risk of car accidents and property damage caused by deer."  The senator added that some of the reduced bag limits are "unreasonable," and the elimination of the special muzzleloader hunts in southeast Ohio is "not compatible" with reports heard by legislators of an increased deer population in the area.

So far, 28 lawmakers from both chambers and parties have signed onto the letter, including the majority and minority leaders from both the House and Senate and members of the bipartisan Sportsmen's Caucus, the release stated. Sen. Widener said additional members have also contacted his office to sign onto the letter, which was sent Thursday.  The agency removed the proposed changes from a legislative committee vote last week because the rules had not been ratified by the Ohio Wildlife Council, Sen. Widener's office said.  The senator said the Ohio Department of Natural Resources has pushed the rules even though the department has received a number of comments from hunters by email and during a series of open houses.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Cover crop field day highlights soil health

For those interested in improving soil health, today’s field day at David Brandt’s Fairfield County farm has it covered. For the more than 270 people packed into Brandt’s spacious farm shop, cover crops are the focus of the day in presentations from national leaders on the extensive benefits of including a bit more biodiversity in the crop rotation.
Our technicians, Joe Lehman and Jason Tyrell attended this event.   Read the entire story here:

Monday, April 8, 2013


Just a reminder that weather conditions right now make it EXTREMELY dangerous to burn outside.  Fire departments all across Ohio are responding to grass fires from people carelessly and illegally burning today and over the weekend.

Ohio’s law states that it is ILLEGAL to burn outdoors in March, April and May between the hours of 6 am and 6 pm.

Higher temperatures, lower humidity, and plenty of dry fuel (Leaves, grass, etc) can carry a fire out of control quickly.  Here are more details:

Please be careful!

Jeremy Scherf, ODNR Service Forester

Friday, April 5, 2013

Proposed changes to rules for funding of public drinking water treatment system upgrades

OEPA is accepting comments through Tuesday on a proposal that would modify guidelines for $150 million in loan funds that are set aside for public drinking water treatment system upgrades.  
A link to the proposed guidelines can be found here:
Among the major proposed changes for the 2013 program year, which ends June 30, are the removal of the minimum interest rate for systems meeting economic affordability or specific disadvantaged community program criteria and ability to apply for funds currently available under the federal fiscal year's continuing resolution, among others, OEPA reported.  Agency officials will host discussions on the proposed plan during two separate meetings scheduled for Tuesday afternoon at the agency's central office location in Columbus. 

Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
Phone: (614) 644-3020  
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 1049, Columbus, OH 43216-1049
Street Address: 50 West Town Street, Suite 700, Columbus, OH 43215

Thursday, April 4, 2013

OSU Extension Expert: Grass Not Yet Ready for Grazing

COLUMBUS, Ohio – While the calendar may say it is officially spring, the weather outside in many areas may not necessarily agree. As a result, producers may want to hold off grazing for a week or so longer than in a typical year, which could help pastures build up the roots to allow for a more productive grazing season, an Ohio State University Extension expert said.
This time last year, Ohio was at least two weeks ahead of normal in terms of pasture growth, thanks to the warmer, milder winter and early spring experienced in many areas, said Chris Penrose, an OSU Extension educator. But the colder, wetter weather this year has left growth weeks behind normal, leaving grass that is not ready for grazing, he said.
This extra period of wet weather is causing a problem because of the extra mud and not allowing time for pastures to dry out,” Penrose said. “For example, grass is just starting to grow in southeast Ohio and is probably not ready to graze.
“If we can hold off grazing for a week or two longer than in most years, I think we will be better off in the long run because we simply have not had enough heat to get things going.”
The issue is of even more concern this year considering that the drought of 2012 left many producers with scarce hay and challenges meeting the forage needs of their cattle, he said.
“So now a lot of our producers are short of forages and there may be more temptation to go out now,” Penrose said. “Some producers may be getting to the point where they feel like they have no choice but to start grazing in many parts of the state because of the tight hay supplies.
“And now that the growing season has been pushed back a couple of weeks, it could make it more of an issue. But if we go out too soon, we could do more damage that would normally occur in a typical year.”
The issue stems from drought-weakened plants, that if are allowed to be grazed on in the first growth, could cause further weakening of the plant or even kill it off completely, he said.
“Right now, if possible, try to keep cattle in the same area so that we don’t tear up new ground,” Penrose said.
This is especially important considering that the National Weather Service forecasts a cooler than normal weather pattern will return in early April, with the outlook to include below-average temperatures and above-average precipitation, Penrose said.
“Once things start warming up we may have to smooth out the ground and re-seed the areas that suffered the most damage,” he said. “If possible, try to feed stored feed for a week or two longer to avoid additional damage to the forages and soil and to allow new growth to commence in order to start putting some reserves back into the roots.
“This will help you have more forage production in the long run.
Tracy Turner

Chris Penrose

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Training attended by technicians Jason Tyrell and Joe Lehman

COLUMBUS, OH – Ohio’s local soil and water conservation representatives received the tools and information they needed to inform Ohio farmers and landowners through a new training opportunity offered by the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The Nutrients and Water Quality class is a new component of ODNR’s Technician Development Program being offered through the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources. The class consisted of six hours of training, which focused on nutrient management techniques to improve and maintain water quality in Ohio’s lakes, streams and rivers.

“Water quality is an important issue in our state, and educating the people that work in our local soil and water conservation districts is crucial,” said ODNR Director James Zehringer. “ODNR made it a priority to offer this training to educate local technicians so they could effectively answer the questions of producers and landowners.”

Three training sessions were recently held for 121 federal, state and local experts. The majority of attendees were technicians from Ohio’s local soil and water conservation districts.

“This training has enabled me to better communicate with farmers,” said Jeff Giesige, a technician with the Putnam County Soil and Water Conservation District. “We see local producers in our communities, and they are comfortable talking with us for information about improving water quality and agricultural production.”

ODNR instructors designed the class for students with varying degrees of education and experience. Engineers and resource management specialists from the department taught the basics of agronomy, fertilizer, soil health and water quality. This provided the technicians with information they can share with producers and landowners.

The new class was funded by a grant from the ODNR Office of Coastal Management and was offered at no cost to attendees. This class is part of the Technician Development Program, which is an ongoing initiative to provide professional development to soil and water technicians of all skills and backgrounds statewide.