Thursday, October 29, 2015

73rd Annual Election and Banquet

Bill Bertram, Ed Kennedy, Jo Lucas, and Rusty Roberts were the candidates for 2 board positions, serving 3 years beginning on 1-1-2016.   Bill Bertram and Jo Lucas were the top 2 vote getters. Congratulations to them, and sincere thanks to all four for their interest and commitment to the conservation of natural resources in Guernsey County!

Guernsey SWCD Annual Meeting and Election

On Wednesday, October 29th the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District held its 73rd annual meeting banquet and election.  The meeting was held at Mr Lee’s Restaurant. Bill Bertram and Jo Lucas were elected and will serve a three-year term beginning January 2015 on the board which provides direction, oversight, and fiscal accountability to the Soil and Water Conservation District.  Board members serve on a volunteer basis.  Current board members include Bill Bertram, Ken Ford, John Enos, Myron Dellinger and Steve Douglass.  The special guest for the evening was Abraham Lincoln, who regaled the crowd with stories from his presidency.  He ended the evening with the Gettysburg Address. 

During the annual meeting, the Co-operator of the Year award was presented to Celeste and Brent Mnich.  The Guernsey SWCD partners with Farm Credit, and USDA-NRCS to recognize co-operators who have shown a commitment to conservation of natural resources.  The Mnichs were presented with a sign, provided by Farm Credit Services.    

The Minchs have worked with the district over the past few years to improve their property for the benefit of the livestock as well as the environment.  They have installed pressurized watering facilities to provide water directly to their pastures.  They have fenced out both sides of their stream to avoid erosion and livestock waste contamination of the stream, and installed 2 stream crossings.  Still to be completed are a feeding pad, access road, and more fencing to divide their pastures to better manage cattle grazing of their pastures. 
The Minchs have not yet seen the full effects of what they have added to their farm, but in the next few years, both their cattle and their land will benefit from these practices.  In the mean time, they are attending every educational program provided by the district and by OSU extension in an effort to learn more of how to better manage their land.

The second award of the evening, The Friends of Conservation, went to the Hodges family, which has a long history of assisting the district in its conservation efforts. Beginning with Bob Hodges, who served on the board from 2004 to 2009, and his wife, Dee, who served on the auxiliary board and volunteered her time for children’s education programs, the family’s service spans 3 generations.  The district was near and dear to Bob’s heart, especially Moore Memorial Woods and the Conservation Day Camp the district has held for children each summer since 1985.  When Bob passed away in August of 2012, his family honored that commitment by asking that donations be sent to the district to support that education program.  The district recently honored Bob’s memory with a park bench at the woods.
Bob’s son Bruce and his wife Anna have taken on the farm now that Bob is gone.  While Bob was still with us, he hosted a training for Sanitation Engineers in the surrounding counties, where a soil pit was use to teach suitability of different soils for septic systems.  This summer, Bruce and Ana again allowed the district to dig a big hole on the farm – this time to hold a soils class for area farmers. 

Anna and the kids – Beth, Katie, Karen, and now their youngest, Patrick, have helped for several years with conservation camp.  Anna is so creative and teaches crafts each year, and the girls are essential to the camp as counselors who lead the kids and keep them in hand.  Patrick has enjoyed attending the camp, and is looking forward to taking on his new mantle as a counselor. 

The Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District is a political sub-division of the State of Ohio and covers the entire county.  Soil and water conservation districts were first formed in the 1940's when concerns of soil erosion and the loss of our most productive soils became apparent after the Great Dust Bowl.  Local citizens gathered together to form the conservation districts to educate and provide assistance to landowners in order to reduce soil erosion to tolerable limits.  Conservation Practices such as contour strips, no-till crops, and grassed waterways have had a great impact on reducing soil erosion.

Over the years conservation districts have evolved to include issues around land use, water quality, forestry and wildlife.  They work with landowners, land users, other governmental agencies, and elected officials to solve natural resource concerns.  Your conservation district can be a wealth of information.  The mission of the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District is to promote through education and technical assistance the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.  

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Ohio Wildlife Council Passes Rule to Help Monitor CWD

COLUMBUS, OH - The Ohio Wildlife Council passed a rule change that will allow the creation of disease surveillance areas to monitor chronic wasting disease (CWD) at its regularly scheduled meeting Wednesday, Oct. 21, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). 

The rule permits the ODNR Division of Wildlife to establish a disease surveillance area when CWD has been detected. This designation, when enacted, will include all areas within a minimum of 6 miles surrounding a location where the disease has been detected. The designation will remain in effect for a minimum of three years and will be posted at 

These regulations would apply within any CWD designated surveillance area: 

• Required submission of harvested deer carcasses to ODNR Division of Wildlife inspection stations for sampling during the deer-gun and deer-muzzleloading seasons; 
• Prohibit the placement of or use of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed to attract or feed deer; 
• Prohibit the hunting of deer by the aid of salt, mineral supplement, grain, fruit, vegetables or other feed; and 
• Prohibit the removal of a deer carcass killed by a motor vehicle, unless the carcass complies with the deer carcass regulations. 

Normal agricultural activities, including feeding of domestic animals would not be affected. Hunting deer over food plots, naturally occurring or cultivated plants and agriculture crops would still be allowed. 

Also on Wednesday, the council passed a rule to include the Eurasian collared-dove in the definition of migratory game birds and game birds. The council also amended a rule to permit the possession of Eurasian collared-doves in the field, consistent with the exemption for mourning doves. The Eurasian collared-dove is a non-native species that has spread rapidly across North America. In flight, it is very similar in appearance to mourning doves. 

The council also voted to amend rules to require trotlines used in the inland fishing district, and all float lines used statewide, be tagged by the user with their name and address or their unique ODNR Division of Wildlife customer identification number. 

In addition, rules were amended to update the list of areas owned by American Electric Power that require a special permit to fish under an agreement with the ODNR Division of Wildlife, and amend the language for possession of fish and fish fillets at Pymatuning Lake. 

The council voted to establish a daily bag limit of 30 fish, combined for striped bass, hybrid-striped bass or white bass from waters other than in the Lake Erie sport fishing district. Of these 30 fish, a daily limit of four fish longer than 15 inches in length was approved. The location specific daily bag limits for hybrid-striped bass taken from East Fork Lake, and striped bass from Senecaville Lake and Kiser Lake were removed. 

The northern long-eared bat is now listed as threatened in Ohio because of a change in its federal status to threatened. 

The next Ohio Wildlife Council meeting will be on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments to the council should preregister at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments must be three minutes or less. The next ODNR Division of Wildlife public open house will be Saturday, March 5, 2016. ODNR Division of Wildlife staff will be available to answer questions and listen to concerns. For more information, visit or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). 

The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all ODNR Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Appointed by the Governor, no more than four members may be of the same political party, and two of the council members must represent agriculture. Each term of office is four years. 

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

Retrieved on 10-27-15 

Monday, October 26, 2015

Scott Brenner, Certified Arborist to speak November 4th

 DOVER, OHIO -  At the Nov.4, 7:00 meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA), Scott Brenner, one of just a few certified arborist in Stark Co will speak to us on tree felling accidents.  Scott also teaches classes for the Ohio Bureau of Compensation.  He is full of information he is willing to share with us.  It should be a good evening full of learning.

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 N. Walnut St. Dover, OH. 

Friday, October 23, 2015

ODNR to release pheasants for hunting

COLUMBUS — More than 15,000 ring-necked pheasants will be released at 25 Ohio public hunting areas this fall to provide additional hunting opportunities across the state, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife will be releasing pheasants this Friday and Oct. 30, prior to the small-game weekends for youth hunters.

Youth ages 17 and younger can hunt statewide for rabbit, pheasant and all other legal game in season during two designated weekends, Oct. 24-25 and Oct. 31-Nov. 1.

Ohio’s small game hunting season begins Nov. 6, with pheasant releases to take place Nov. 5, and Nov. 13.

A final release of the year is scheduled to provide improved pheasant hunting opportunities throughout the Thanksgiving holiday weekend and will take place Nov. 25.

A map showing release areas on the Tri-Valley Wildlife Area for the youth releases is available at:

Youth and regular pheasant hunting within the Ringneck Ridge Area in Sandusky County requires a free permit from the Sandusky County Park District.

For more information regarding the issuance of these free hunting permits, contact the Sandusky County Park District Office at 419-334-4495.

A table of scheduled release numbers and locations may be found at

Pheasant hunting season opens Nov. 6 and remains open through Jan. 10, with a daily bag limit of two rooster (male) birds.

No hens (females) can be killed.

Females are all brown while the males have a green head, a red and brown body and long tail feathers.

Statewide pheasant hunting hours are sunrise to sunset.

FFA Camp Muskingum moving forward with a new facility

A common message students hear while at Ohio FFA Camp Muskingum is one of perseverance and setting goals to reach new heights. This mentality was on display as the camp broke ground for the addition of the new Muskingum Discovery Center on Friday, Sept. 25.

Read rest of article  HERE

Oil And Gas Severance Tax Working Group Issues Findings, Says Increase Should Be Based On Market Conditions

Initial findings of a General Assembly workgroup on oil and gas severance taxes include recommending a market-based "trigger" or slow phase-in of a tax increase depending on economic trends with an eye toward maintaining growth in the industry.  The guidance document, presented Thursday to the legislature's 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission, also recommends uses of any potential revenue gains, such as assisting local governments with infrastructure needs and lowering income taxes.  But it stops short of issuing recommendations on whether and how much to increase the state's oil and gas severance tax - a cautious approach applauded by the industry.
"We are in a historical economic situation with the industry," 2020 co-chair and workgroup member Rep. Jeff McClain (R-Upper Sandusky) said. "So because of that we've basically given a recommendation of caution.... We want to make sure we take care of Ohio, but make sure we don't kill the industry as well."

The document was made public at the commission's inaugural meeting where it was briefly discussed as input the commission will consider as it works toward a final report in late 2017. (See separate story)

A synopsis of the workgroup's findings and recommendations is as follows:

Stock, commodity, and capital markets affecting the oil and gas industry have fluctuated widely in the recent past. There are few, if any, businesses in the state of Ohio that are not in some way exposed to one or all of these natural market forces, but the oil and gas industry is especially sensitive to these fluctuations and is under financial duress.

Given the current market conditions, the legislative members of the informal working group suggest consideration of a trigger or a slow phase-in of a reformed severance tax. Given those provisions, Ohio should not expect to see a new revenue stream materialize overnight until market conditions improve. This is another reason why continuing the discussion of severance tax reform is prudent.
Factors such as market capitalization, price, production, and "expected ultimate recoverables" should be taken into consideration when determining the appropriate severance tax rate, such that adequate funding is provided for the state's regulatory, administrative, and oversight aspects of the oil and gas industry, while focusing additional resources back to infrastructure and other industry-supported initiatives that will foster more exploration and extraction of oil and gas.
We reiterate the guiding principles stated at the beginning of these findings: to update Ohio's severance tax to make it comparative with other shale play states across the nation. Ohio's total tax burden on the oil and gas industry is lower than or as low as every other state with a severance tax.
The workgroup said new revenues generated should be used to:

Assist local governments in shale play counties to improve infrastructure, equipment, and services that will accommodate the oil and gas industry and also benefit the citizens within their counties.
Facilitate making adjustments to Ohio's income tax or possibly other taxes in an effort to make Ohio more competitive in the national and international marketplace.
Invest in asset-building opportunities that will grow Ohio's economy and improve the quality of life of all Ohioans.

The legislative members of the informal working group recommend that the Ohio 2020 Tax Policy Study Commission accept this information as a foundation for continuing review in its larger analysis of Ohio's tax structure and utilize these principles as a framework for that continuing review.
American Petroleum Institute Executive Director Chris Zeigler said in an interview that he appreciates lawmakers' cautious approach to the idea of an increase.  He also praised indications from the commission that the severance tax issue will not be tackled separately but will instead be included in a comprehensive report of several issues the commission is tasked with reviewing leading up to its deadline.  "We've seen recent announcements by companies who are pulling back development in Ohio," Mr. Zeigler said. "So I certainly wouldn't understand why, given our current tax structure (under which) companies are already making the necessary decisions either to scale back operations or actually move on entirely from the state, why you would want to make it easier for companies to make those decisions through adding higher costs or higher taxations. So I think the report, from what I've seen, is a fair assessment of where the industry is right now."

In a statement, Ohio Oil and Gas Association Executive Vice President Shawn Bennett said the group likewise appreciates that lawmakers aren't hurrying to enact an increase.  "Increasing regulations or taxes at this time would have a significant negative impact on the workers, landowners, businesses and industries throughout the state related to oil and gas development," Mr. Bennett said. "I commend the workgroup for taking these variables into consideration, and ensuring we can preserve the oil and gas jobs remaining in the state, and continue to provide low cost energy for each and every Ohioan."

Rep. Jack Cera - a member of both the working group and the commission - praised the workgroup for its work but disagreed with the report's recommendation that new severance tax revenue go toward an income tax cut.  "Due to the instability of severance tax revenue, it is a mistake to allocate that money in the state budget to pay for an income tax cut that won't benefit the middle and working class," Rep. Cera said. "Any increase in severance tax revenue should be used to support the shale communities and build infrastructure that can help the oil and gas and related industries in Eastern Ohio continue to grow."

The challenge of compiling the report, said 2020 co-chair and workgroup member Sen. Bob Peterson, was gathering information to compare Ohio's tax climate against states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Louisiana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas and West Virginia.  "It's very hard to do," Sen. Peterson said of the comparison. "I think the thing you find in this report is that we've pulled together information so you can compare very different tax structures...and try to get more of a total tax burden on the industry."

In a statement, Renew Ohio Executive Director Michael McGuire praised lawmakers for prioritizing tax reform, urging the commission to build on prior tax cuts and to not hike the severance tax.  "The commission should summarily discard the proposal to increase the severance tax on oil and natural gas producers, which would only dissuade new producers from relocating to Ohio and unfairly penalize the ones that already made the decision to do business here," Mr. McGuire said.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District Annual Meeting and Election

On Wednesday October 28th, the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District will be holding their 73rd annual meeting and banquet.  Every year the GSWCD holds an annual meeting for the purpose of electing members to the five member board that comprises the board of supervisors for the district.  This year there will be two members elected to a three-year term.

The mission of the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District is to promote through education and technical assistance the sustainable use of natural resources for the benefit of present and future generations.  The traditional perception of the Soil and Water Conservation District has been one of working primarily with the agricultural community.  The district does work on natural resource issues with local agriculture but in addition to that it is a considerable resource to all landowners and land users in Guernsey County.

This year's slate of candidates for election to the district board of supervisors include;
 Bill Bertram 
 Edward Kennedy
Jo Lucas
Rusty Roberts

 The two candidates with the most votes will be elected to a three-year term.  The official election will begin at 6:00 pm Wednesday, October 28th at the Mr. Lee’s Restaurant banquet facility, 2000 E Wheeling Ave, Cambridge, Ohio.  Voting may be done from 6:00pm to 7:30pm.

The buffet will be served at 7:00pm, with a brief program following the meal. Abraham Lincoln will be the guest speaker for the evening.   Tickets for the banquet are $10, and can be purchased from any current board member, or from the SWCD office.  If you are unable to attend the day of the election, absentee ballots are available at the district office located at 335C Old National Rd, Old Washington, Ohio until 3:00pm October 28th.  Eligible voters are all individuals who are at least 18 years of age and a resident of Guernsey County or at least 18 years of age and own real estate in Guernsey County.  Consider participating in this important process.  For additional information you may contact the Guernsey Soil and Water Conservation District office at (740) 489-5276.


You are right!  Abraham Lincoln will be joining us during our 73rd annual meeting on October 28th at 7PM.  He will share his experiences and words of wisdom on conservation in the 1800's.  
Please plan to attend the meeting and dinner, held at Mr Lee's banquet facilities on Wheeling Ave in Cambridge.  Tickets are $10.

John Cooper, age 60, has lived at the same home in Baltimore, OH for 36 years (Pickerington Local School District). Married, father of four graduates of Pickerington High School. Mr. Cooper retired after 32 years at the Defense Supply Center Columbus (DSCC) where he last served as the Branch Supervisor of a team of Customer Account Specialists who handle processing of customer requisitions on behalf of the Department of Defense for all Army and Navy foreign military customers and the United States Coast Guard. This office is the primary in-processing site for these foreign militaries in their authorized purchases from the entire United States military supply system.

Mr. Cooper began portraying President Abraham Lincoln about 25 years ago, while his children were in elementary school in the Pickerington school system. A co-worker at DSCC constantly maintained that he reminded her of Abraham Lincoln due to his tall stature and Lincoln-styled beard. Having discovered an old Lincoln-styled coat in his mother's attic, he then acquired a stovepipe hat, and began impersonations around President's Day in the elementary schools. Mr. Cooper is a self-avowed history nut, and considers Lincoln as his favorite President and our greatest President (even above George Washington). He has an extensive personal history library that includes over 60 books about Lincoln and his colleagues.

In the earliest days, impersonations were mostly confined to Pickerington Schools and a few other close schools (maybe due to lack of the requisite wrinkles in his face). Having grown naturally into those wrinkles and entering the sesquicentennial of Lincoln's presidency and the civil war, he has expanded his personal appearances to many adult performances, including the Violet Township (Pickerington) Bicentennial Celebration, The Defense Federal Executive Conference (Columbus), unveiling of the 200th anniversary Lincoln postage stamps with the Columbus Post Office, the Akron-Canton airport kick-off of direct flights to Washington, DC, and the Ohio State Fair the past three years. He enjoys the opportunity to meet with people of all ages (but children remain the favorite) and sharing stories about Lincoln and his life.

He is enjoying the sesquicentennial Civil War celebrations that occur between 2011-2015 and the opportunities that might be presented to be involved in additional commemorative events. He is available for community celebrations, historical societies, lunch and dinner speeches, conventions, fairs and festivals, schools, and home and birthday parties.

The toughest part of portraying a dead historical figure is trying to remain in character and time period, when many audience questions refer to subject matter that cannot be fully discussed without references to events and facts that were not known until after Lincoln's assassination.


We have 2 openings on the board to be elected during the annual meeting on 10-28-15.  Here are the 4 people running for the board.

Bill Bertram
Bill and his wife, Shirley, live in Londonderry Township.  They have two children.  Bill was born and raised in Guernsey County.  He graduated from Ohio State University with a degree in Horticulture.  Formerly employed in NE Ohio by the Farm Credit Agency, he returned to Guernsey County to take over managing the family farm from his father,  and established Bertram’s Orchard.  His father received a conservation award from the district, and the sign still hangs proudly at the orchard.Bill serves on the board of directors for several area Farmer’s Markets.   He and his family attend Oak Grove Baptist church.  He has served on the Advisory Committee  of Harrison/Belmont Vocational school in Cadiz,  where he also substitute teaches.  He also substitutes in East Guernsey School District.

Ed Kennedy
Ed and his wife, Sandy, have 2 sons who are also involved in the farm. They have recently been recognized as a century farm.  They own 240 acres and farm 900+ and custom farm another 250.  In 2010, The Kennedy’s were recognized with the district’s Co-operator of the Year award.   He has participated in the SWCD cover crop program for the past 3 years.  Born and raised in Guernsey County, Ed attended and graduated from Newcomerstown schools.Ed is a member of the Plainfield United Methodist Church.  He is a member of the Elks, Farm Bureau, and has served on the Farm Service Agency’s county committee in the past.Ed is retired from Gencorp Plastics.

Jo Lucas
Jo and her husband, Don, share 2 children and six grandchildren.  They own 100+ acres of pasture and managed timber.  Jo grew up on a small farm in Holmes county and has lived in Guernsey county about 35 years.  Jo is a member of and serves as treasurer of the Mt. Herman Presbyterian Church.  She is one of the original Guernsey county Master Gardeners, having been so for over 10 years.  She has been a member of the Grow & Show garden club and has held a number of offices in that club.   She served as of the president of the auxiliary of SEORMC for 3 years, and also sat on the hospital board of trustees.Jo is retired from Southeast Equipment where she worked in the accounting department for over 10 years.

Rusty Roberts
Rusty and his wife Gayle have 2 children, Josey and Gregory.  They live in Cambridge Twp.  
Rusty grew up in Cambridge and graduated Malone University. He was a health educator at Meadowbrook MS, from which he retired in 2015 with many teaching awards. He has also served on the Cambridge City Board of Education for the past 15 years.   He is an Eagle Scout, and is currently a merit badge counselor for the Boy Scouts of America.Rusty is a former Guernsey County Commissioner.He has served for 8 years on the Mid-East Career & Technology Center Board, and 2 years as vice-president of that board.His environmental interests include assisting with a longterm study conducted by the National Environmental Council with the University of Cincinnati.  
Rusty is an active public speaker, and enjoys speaking to groups.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Ohio EPA Accepting Proposals for Recycling Grants; Schedules Information Session and Webinar

 Ohio EPA is accepting applications for several types of recycling grants and will host an informational meeting on Thursday, October 29, 2015, to explain them and discuss who is eligible for the 2016 grant application process.

The October 29 grant informational meeting will be held at 10 a.m. at the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, 2045 Morse Road, Building E (Assembly Center), Columbus, Ohio 43229. Those attending should be prepared to provide a photo I.D.

In addition, Ohio EPA will host a webinar about the grants on Wednesday, November 18, 2015 (details can be found at

Ohio EPA administers programs relating to statewide source reduction, recycling, market development, litter prevention and scrap tire recycling projects. Grant applications for all four programs are due February 1, 2016.

Grant programs available include:

Community Development Grants support Ohio community recycling and litter prevention efforts, including new infrastructure to collect and process materials such as construction and demolition debris, electronics (such as cell phones or computers), glass, paper-based materials, and plastics.

Litter Management Grants improve local environments through litter prevention, beautification and waste reduction. Ohio communities can receive funding for litter cleanup, litter prevention and awareness. Grant proposals must include litter cleanup on public land, roadsides or public waterways, and involve the use of volunteers.

Market Development Grants are offered to Ohio businesses and non-profits to create infrastructure that develops successful markets for recyclable materials and related products, using recyclables collected or processed in Ohio.

Scrap Tire Grants are available to Ohio business and local communities interested in either converting manufacturing operations to accept scrap tire material, expanding tire processing, developing a scrap tire reuse or installing civil engineering or construction projects that utilize scrap tires. Project materials must be collected or processed in Ohio.

Grant awards will be announced in April 2016, with funding available in July 2016. For more information, applicants can download grant information from or contact Chet Chaney, Environmental Supervisor, at,(614)728-0043, or Marie Barnett, Grants Administrator, at, (614) 705-1019.

The grant programs are available to a variety of eligible applicants that include municipal corporations, counties, townships, villages, state colleges or universities, solid waste management districts or authorities, park districts, health districts, non-profit organizations, statewide recycling and litter prevention trade associations, “Keep Ohio Beautiful” affiliates, boards of education and businesses.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

DeWine Welcomes Federal Court's Stay Of Fed's Clean Water Rule

The U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday put a hold on the Obama Administration's new rules for water quality, saying opponents, including the State of Ohio, were likely to prevail on the merits.  The court issued a stay on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rules in a 2-1 decision welcomed by Attorney General Mike DeWine. Last June he joined attorneys general in several other states in filing lawsuits to block the proposed expansion of what constitutes the "waters of the Unites States" to include tributaries.   "I am glad that the Sixth Circuit Court has temporarily stopped the effect of this sweeping, illegal rule that claims federal jurisdiction over about every damp area of public or private land in the nation," Mr. DeWine said in a statement.

The appeals court, after mulling dozens of briefs on the issue, questioned the rulemaking process by which the distance limitations were adopted as "facially suspect." While determining that a stay would not result in "immediate irreparable harm" to petitioners, the decision written by appeals court Judge David McKeague stated, "neither is there any indication that the integrity of the nation's waters will suffer imminent injury if the new scheme is not immediately implemented and enforced."  "What is of greater concern to us, in balancing the harms, is the burden - potentially visited nationwide on governmental bodies, state and federal, as well as private parties - and the impact on the public in general, implicated by the Rule's effective redrawing of jurisdictional lines over certain of the nation's waters," the court found.  "A stay allows for a more deliberate determination whether this exercise of Executive power, enabled by Congress and explicated by the Supreme Court, is proper under the dictates of federal law.

 A stay temporarily silences the whirlwind of confusion that springs from uncertainty about the requirements of the new Rule and whether they will survive legal testing," Judge McKeague wrote. "A stay honors the policy of cooperative federalism that informs the Clean Water Act and must attend the shared responsibility for safeguarding the nation's waters."
Appeals Judge Damon Keith joined in the majority opinion in the case, which pitted some 30 states against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Judge Richard Allen Griffin dissented, writing that it was "not prudent for a court to act before it determines that it has subject-matter jurisdiction."

Among the groups who supported the rule change were the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition, National Wildlife Federation and the Natural Resources Defense Council, who argued that it would better protect the environment and build more safeguards against pollution and damage to the nation's waterways.  NWF said the new rule would restore Clean Water Act protections to waters that more than 5 million people in Ohio depend on for drinking.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Leave it to Beavers

DOVER, OHIO - At the October 7, 7:00 PM meeting of the East Central Ohio Forestry Association (ECOFA), Marne Titchenell, Wildlife Extension Program Specialist,for OSU Extension will present her program 'Leave it to Beavers'.  She is going to talk about beavers habitat and biology. How the American Beaver deal with adaptation and conflict and their unique and interesting role in our eco-system.
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