Thursday, October 28, 2021

NRCS Announces Conservation Funding Opportunities for FY2022


NRCS Announces Conservation Funding Opportunities for FY2022

COLUMBUS, Ohio, Oct. 22, 2021 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is announcing fiscal year 2022 assistance opportunities for agricultural producers and private landowners for key programs, such as the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (ACEP), Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) andAgricultural Management Assistance (AMA)program. While USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) accepts applications for these programs year-round, producers and landowners should apply by state-specific, ranking dates to be considered for this year’s funding. For Ohio, this includes Jan. 14, 2022 for EQIP, CSP, RCPP, and AMA. ACEP ranking dates are Dec. 3 for Agricultural Land Easement and Dec.17 for Wetland Reserve Program. CSP FY23 Renewal’s ranking date is tentatively scheduled for March 31, 2022.

Through conservation programs, NRCS provides technical and financial assistance to help producers and landowners make conservation improvements on their land that benefit natural resources, build resiliency, and contribute to the nation’s broader effort to combat the impacts of climate change.  


“NRCS conservation programs are good for Ohio’s natural resources and for your operation’s bottom line,” said Lori Ziehr, NRCS Acting State Conservationist in Ohio. “Whether this is your first time working with NRCS or you want to take conservation to the next level on your land, we encourage you to contact your local NRCS field office to learn more.”


Applying for Assistance

NRCS accepts applications for its conservation programs year-round. These dates account for producer needs, staff workload and ensure potential participants have ample opportunity to apply. Producers should apply by their state’s ranking dates to be considered for funding in the current cycle. Funding is provided through a competitive process.

Ranking dates for all programs and states are available at Applications received after ranking dates will be automatically deferred to the next funding period. Producers, landowners and forest managers interested in applying for assistance should contact the NRCS at their local USDA Service Center, or contact Jay McElroy for the Guernsey / Noble County NRCS Office.  He can be contacted at 740-421-3370; or at 1300 Clark St. Unit 10, Cambridge, OH 43725.






Program Options

EQIP provides cost share assistance for producers to use 170-plus conservation practices to address a wide variety of resource concerns. Within EQIP, Conservation Incentive Contracts allow producers to further target priority resource concerns. CSP helps producers take their conservation activities to the

next level through comprehensive conservation and advanced conservation activities. ACEP helps producers enroll wetlands, grasslands and farmlands into easements for long-term protection. Additionally, through RCPP, producers and landowners can work with partners who are co-investing with NRCS on targeted projects.


Historically Underserved Producer Benefits

Special provisions are also available for historically underserved producers. For EQIP, historically underserved producers are eligible for advance payments to help offset costs related to purchasing materials or contracting services up front. In addition, historically underserved producers can receive higher EQIP payment rates (up to 90% of average cost). NRCS sets aside EQIP, CSP and ACEP funds for historically underserved producers.


NRCS also recently announced the availability of funding for cooperative agreements for partners to provide outreach and support for historically underserved producers. Applications from individuals and entities are due Oct. 25. 


Conservation Practices and Climate

NRCS conservation programs play a critical role in USDA’s commitment to partnering with farmers, ranchers, forest landowners and local communities to deliver climate solutions that strengthen agricultural operations and rural America. States may prioritize a variety of voluntary conservation practices through these NRCS programs, including those that support climate-smart agriculture and forestry (CSAF). 


In fiscal year 2022, EQIP and CSP will provide targeted funding for CSAF practices, and Conservation Incentive Contracts – a new EQIP program – will be available nationwide with an emphasis on CSAF practices. Building on these efforts, NRCS will also prioritize climate investments through ACEP, RCPP and Conservation Innovation Grants. 


Under the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is engaged in a whole-of-government effort to combat the climate crisis and conserve and protect our nation’s lands, biodiversity and natural resources including our soil, air and water. Through conservation practices and partnerships, USDA aims to enhance economic growth and create new streams of income for farmers, ranchers, producers and private foresters. Successfully meeting these challenges will require USDA and our agencies to pursue a coordinated approach alongside USDA stakeholders, including State, local and Tribal governments.


USDA touches the lives of all Americans each day in so many positive ways. In the Biden-Harris Administration, USDA is transforming America’s food system with a greater focus on more resilient local and regional food production, fairer markets for all producers, ensuring access to healthy and nutritious food in all communities, building new markets and streams of income for farmers and producers using climate smart food and forestry practices, making historic investments in infrastructure and clean energy capabilities in rural America, and committing to equity across the Department by removing systemic barriers and building a workforce more representative of America. To learn more, visit


Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Guernsey SWCD Seeks Wildlife/ Forestry Specialist


Wildlife/Forestry Specialist Job Opening with Guernsey SWCD

Responsibilities: Providing education, technical assistance, and field assistance to landowners,

primarily in wildlife & forestry issues.  Aides in educational programming

in local school systems. Minimum of 2-year degree and/or related experience in wildlife, forestry,

or natural resources management. Prefer experience in Microsoft Office and ArcGIS software. 

Resume & cover letter must be submitted/post-dated by November 29, 2021 by 8 am. You can email them to:

Or mail them to:

Guernsey SWCD

335C Old National Rd.

P.O. Box 310

Old Washington, OH 43768

(740) 489-5276

Tuesday, July 20, 2021

Ohio Tree Farm of the Year Tour

Come learn about what the Brammer family has done to earn the title of Tree Farm of the Year!


Monday, July 19, 2021

Hunter Education Course Offered

 Are you or someone you know interested in getting your hunter education certification? Here's your chance! The Guernsey SWCD along with Noble SWCD is hosting a hunter education class at the Guernsey SWCD office on Saturday, August 7th from 9 AM to 5 PM and Sunday, August 8th from 12 PM to 5 PM. The instructors leading this course will be Levi Arnold and Dave Schott. Space is limited so, to register for this class please call 1-800-WILDLIFE or visit . For questions about this event please call the Guernsey SWCD at 740-489-5276. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Take Precautions to Avoid Ticks in the Outdoors this Summer


Take Precautions to Avoid Ticks
in the Outdoors this Summer

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife is encouraging hunters, anglers, birders, and all outdoor enthusiasts to use caution and take steps to avoid contact with Ohio’s tick species while exploring the outdoors this summer. Ticks are found throughout Ohio and sometimes carry potentially dangerous diseases.
Ohio has three medically important species of ticks: the American dog tick, blacklegged tick, and lone star tick. All three of these species have the potential to carry and transmit diseases to humans and pets. The American dog tick is the most common tick in Ohio and is found in grassy areas. This tick is most active during the summer months and is the primary transmitter of Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
When exploring the outdoors, everyone should take precautions to prevent a tick from becoming attached to the skin. Outer clothing should be sprayed with permethrin-based repellent according to the label directions. Pants should be tucked into socks or boots and shirts into pants to keep ticks on the outside of the clothing. Wear light colored clothing which will make spotting ticks easier. Thoroughly check clothes and skin for any attached ticks. Don’t forget to check pets and gear, too.
Attached ticks should be removed as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of contracting tick-borne diseases. To remove a tick, use tweezers or gloved hands. Grasp the tick as close to the skin as possible and pull straight out with steady, even pressure. Do not use petroleum jelly, fingernail polish, alcohol, cigarettes, matches, or other similar methods to try to kill or stimulate the tick to back out. These methods do not work, delay proper removal, and may be dangerous.
“Ticks have the ability to transmit diseases to humans in 36 to 48 hours after the initial bite,” said Ohio Wildlife Council President and retired veterinarian Dr. Paul Mechling. “Urban and suburban development as well as outdoor recreation allows the spread of these diseases as people come in close contacts with mice, white-tailed deer, and other hosts for ticks. Pets in an outdoor setting should have tick control.”
Blacklegged tick populations have increased in Ohio since 2010, particularly in areas with forested habitat. This species can carry Lyme disease and is active throughout the year, including during the winter. Also known as the deer tick, blacklegged ticks are frequently found on white-tailed deer. The lone star tick is found mostly in southern Ohio and can transmit several diseases. It is found in shaded, grassy areas and is active during the warmer months of the year.
“Ohioans are at greatest risk for contracting tick-borne disease from June through August, but Lyme disease is possible year-round,” says Dr. Glen Needham, Associate Professor Emeritus of Entomology at The Ohio State University. “Wear proper clothing and use repellent to help prevent tick attachment.”
Dr. Mechling also advises landowners, particularly those who own woodlots, to consider the makeup of plants on their property. According to recent research conducted by the University of Maine, woodlots with invasive plants such as bush honeysuckle, Japanese barberry, and buckthorn had three to four times the number of blacklegged ticks compared to woodlots with no invasive plants.
It is important to note that unlike humans and pets, wild animals such as deer are not affected by the blacklegged tick and suffer no ill effects from Lyme disease. Additionally, Lyme disease cannot be transmitted by the consumption of venison. Hunters should remember that hunting and dressing deer may bring them into close contact with infected ticks.
More information on these and other tick species, and photos to help identify ticks can be found on the Ohio Department of Health webpage. To learn more about tick-borne diseases and their symptoms, visit
The Ohio State University is hosting a day-long Ohio Regional Tick Symposium 2021 in October. Registration is available at For more information on ticks in Ohio, visit
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at



For more information, contact:
Brian Plasters, Division of Wildlife
(614) 601-3836

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Ohio’s 2021 Spring Wild Turkey Hunting Season Concludes


Ohio’s 2021 Spring Wild Turkey
Hunting Season Concludes

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Ohio’s 2021 spring wild turkey hunting season ended Sunday, May 30 with 14,541 birds taken, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife. Ohio’s spring wild turkey hunting season concluded on Sunday, May 30 in the northeast zone, and Sunday, May 23 in the south zone. In 2020, hunters harvested 17,894 wild turkeys during the spring hunting season.
The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during the 2021 spring hunting season include: Columbiana (454), Belmont (444), Meigs (437), Tuscarawas (417), Jefferson (408), Monroe (408), Ashtabula (401), Washington (398), Guernsey (378), and Muskingum (373).
“Wild turkey populations appear to have declined in much of the eastern U.S., including Ohio,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “The Division of Wildlife, in consultation with the Ohio Wildlife Council, other state wildlife agencies, and our non-government wildlife partners will be examining if further conservation measures are needed to stabilize and improve Ohio’s wild turkey population.”
Youth hunters harvested 1,473 wild turkeys during Ohio’s youth season on April 17-18. The youth season results are included in the final tally.
Ohio has two zones for spring wild turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The northeast zone includes Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties, while the south zone covers the rest of the state. In the south zone, 13,510 turkeys were harvested, with 941 turkeys checked in the northeast zone.
Adult male turkeys (gobblers) made up 82% of the total 2021 harvest with 11,976 turkeys taken. Hunters checked 2,397 juvenile male turkeys (jakes) represented 16% of the harvest, and 173 bearded female turkeys (hens) were checked. The Division of Wildlife sold and distributed 61,135 wild turkey permits during the spring hunting season.
The 2021 spring turkey season limit was two bearded wild turkeys. Hunters could harvest one bearded turkey per day using a shotgun or archery equipment. All hunters were required to check in their harvest using the game-check system.
The Division of Wildlife began an extensive program in the 1950s to reintroduce wild turkeys to the Buckeye State. Ohio’s first modern day wild turkey season opened in 1966 in nine counties, and hunters checked 12 birds. The total number of harvested turkeys topped 1,000 for the first time in 1984. Turkey hunting was opened statewide in 2000. The record Ohio wild turkey harvest was in 2001, when hunters checked 26,156 birds.
Connect with the Division of Wildlife by downloading the HuntFish OH app and on 
Twitter and Facebook for instant news stories, outdoor recreation ideas, local wildlife information, and so much more. The Your Wild Ohio Hunter Facebook page provides hunting tips and useful information as you get outside this season.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at


Editor’s Note: A county list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters during the 2021 spring and youth hunting seasons are shown below. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2021, and the 2020 numbers are in parentheses. Harvest numbers below are raw data and subject to change.
Adams: 358 (421); Allen: 65 (79); Ashland: 149 (170); Ashtabula 401 (449); Athens: 324 (380); Auglaize: 29 (54); Belmont: 444 (533); Brown: 345 (433); Butler: 173 (237); Carroll: 286 (368); Champaign: 56 (106); Clark: 12 (17); Clermont: 249 (367); Clinton: 51 (92); Columbiana: 454 (395); Coshocton: 331 (450); Crawford: 47 (59); Cuyahoga 10 (7); Darke: 48 (68); Defiance: 160 (244); Delaware: 85 (127); Erie: 47 (41); Fairfield: 82 (115); Fayette: 7 (17); Franklin: 17 (21); Fulton: 104 (118); Gallia: 359 (398); Geauga 163 (214); Greene: 17 (22); Guernsey: 378 (508); Hamilton: 83 (147); Hancock: 28 (48); Hardin: 84 (103); Harrison: 351 (458); Henry: 48 (56); Highland: 317 (412); Hocking: 217 (271); Holmes: 167 (241); Huron: 88 (112); Jackson: 293 (351); Jefferson: 408 (413); Knox: 271 (317); Lake 60 (70); Lawrence: 182 (228); Licking: 277 (319); Logan: 88 (116); Lorain: 107 (141); Lucas: 50 (54); Madison: 5 (11); Mahoning: 181 (198); Marion: 30 (46); Medina: 97 (118); Meigs: 437 (503); Mercer: 10 (30); Miami: 18 (29); Monroe: 408 (532); Montgomery: 23 (28); Morgan: 267 (322); Morrow: 107 (146); Muskingum: 373 (499); Noble: 347 (399); Ottawa: 1 (1); Paulding: 70 (75); Perry: 249 (283); Pickaway: 13 (33); Pike: 185 (197); Portage: 185 (248); Preble: 82 (125); Putnam: 40 (61); Richland: 209 (221); Ross: 262 (334); Sandusky: 23 (23); Scioto: 228 (272); Seneca: 123 (108); Shelby: 42 (39); Stark: 240 (270); Summit: 64 (79); Trumbull 307 (378); Tuscarawas: 417 (528); Union: 34 (48); Van Wert: 10 (22); Vinton: 233 (294); Warren: 67 (110); Washington: 398 (484); Wayne: 102 (123); Williams: 183 (192); Wood: 24 (31); Wyandot: 77 (87).
2021 total: 14,541
2020 total: (17,894)

For more information, contact:
Brian Plasters, Division of Wildlife
(614) 601-3836


Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Ohio’s Wild Turkey Harvest Results Through Sunday, May 9

 Ohio’s Wild Turkey Harvest Results Through Sunday, May 9


Ohio’s wild turkey hunters have harvested 11,783 birds through Sunday, May 9, 2021. Ohio has two zones for 2021 spring wild turkey hunting: the south zone and the northeast zone. The total harvest represents 16 days of hunting in the south zone and nine days in the northeast zone, and includes the 1,473 wild turkeys taken during the 2021 youth season.


Hunters harvested 14,215 wild turkeys over the same time period during the 2020 spring hunting season.


Hunting in the south zone is open until Sunday, May 23, and the northeast zone (Ashtabula, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, and Trumbull counties) is open until Sunday, May 30. Find complete details in the 2020-2021 Hunting and Trapping Regulation Booklet.


The top 10 counties for wild turkey harvest during 2021 season: Columbiana (385), Meigs (372), Belmont (370), Monroe (359), Tuscarawas (348), Jefferson (339), Guernsey (333), Muskingum (327), Washington (325), and Adams (303).

Editor’s Note: A county list of all wild turkeys checked by hunters through Sunday, May 9, 2021 is shown below. Results from the south zone include 16 days of hunting, nine days in the northeast zone, and includes the youth hunting season. The first number following the county’s name shows the harvest numbers for 2021, and the 2020 numbers through the corresponding season length are in parentheses. Harvest numbers below are raw data and subject to change.


Adams: 303 (346); Allen: 50 (67); Ashland: 120 (139); Ashtabula 241 (257); Athens: 263 (316); Auglaize: 20 (42); Belmont: 370 (433); Brown: 287 (351); Butler: 143 (188); Carroll: 244 (296); Champaign: 45 (85); Clark: 11 (13); Clermont: 202 (291); Clinton: 40 (75); Columbiana: 385 (320); Coshocton: 283 (354); Crawford: 25 (42); Cuyahoga 3 (3); Darke: 38 (53); Defiance: 129 (200); Delaware: 71 (108); Erie: 34 (32); Fairfield: 68 (93); Fayette: 7 (15); Franklin: 15 (16); Fulton: 81 (99); Gallia: 292 (326); Geauga 102 (123); Greene: 12 (16); Guernsey: 333 (420); Hamilton: 62 (116); Hancock: 22 (37); Hardin: 59 (79); Harrison: 292 (363); Henry: 40 (50); Highland: 251 (338); Hocking: 191 (223); Holmes: 138 (194); Huron: 73 (95); Jackson: 241 (287); Jefferson: 339 (331); Knox: 214 (254); Lake 40 (43); Lawrence: 154 (199); Licking: 226 (249); Logan: 70 (100); Lorain: 84 (111); Lucas: 41 (41); Madison: 4 (7); Mahoning: 139 (152); Marion: 23 (42); Medina: 73 (96); Meigs: 372 (420); Mercer: 9 (25); Miami: 15 (23); Monroe: 359 (432); Montgomery: 18 (23); Morgan: 218 (258); Morrow: 83 (125); Muskingum: 327 (380); Noble: 280 (332); Ottawa: 1 (1); Paulding: 56 (62); Perry: 202 (226); Pickaway: 12 (28); Pike: 151 (149); Portage: 140 (202); Preble: 62 (99); Putnam: 32 (51); Richland: 167 (166); Ross: 215 (267); Sandusky: 23 (21); Scioto: 208 (239); Seneca: 94 (91); Shelby: 34 (36); Stark: 198 (222); Summit: 53 (54); Trumbull 190 (222); Tuscarawas: 348 (426); Union: 25 (34); Van Wert: 7 (16); Vinton: 198 (238); Warren: 55 (90); Washington: 325 (375); Wayne: 86 (99); Williams: 149 (157); Wood: 17 (25); Wyandot: 61 (75).


2021 total: 11,783

2020 total: (14,215)


For more information, contact:

Brian Plasters, Division of Wildlife

(614) 601-3836


Thursday, January 14, 2021

Ohio Wildlife Council Receives Migratory Bird Hunting Season Proposals


For Immediate Release

January 14, 2021

Ohio Wildlife Council Receives Migratory Bird Hunting Season Proposals

COLUMBUS, Ohio – Proposed migratory bird hunting seasons that begin in the fall of 2021 were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council on Wednesday, Jan. 13, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
It was proposed Wednesday to increase the combined number of Canada geese and white-fronted geese that may be harvested daily during the waterfowl hunting season. The proposal would allow five geese to be harvested per day during open seasons across all waterfowl hunting zones. A limit of one brant was not proposed to change. The current waterfowl hunting season allows a combined limit of three Canada geese, white-fronted geese, and brant.
A change from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service allows for this increase throughout the Mississippi Flyway, which includes Ohio and other Midwest states. During Ohio’s goose hunting season, Canada geese are most commonly harvested, while white-fronted geese and brant are less common. This change is designed to allow additional harvest of abundant, resident Canada geese, and is based on research that shows limited impact to the migratory subspecies. Hunter preference surveys support the increased bag limit.
A notable update that was also proposed Wednesday would permit active military and veterans to hunt alongside a youth hunter during the special youth, active military, and veterans waterfowl hunting weekend. Previously, a youth hunter was required to hunt with a nonhunting adult, and this proposed change will allow eligible participants to hunt together.
A complete list of proposed hunting season dates for 2021-2022 are available at Proposals for Ohio’s white-tailed deer, wild turkey, furbearers, and small game hunting seasons will be presented at the next Ohio Wildlife Council meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all Ohio Division of Wildlife proposed rules and regulations. Council meetings are held virtually and open to the public. Individuals interested in providing comments are asked to call 614-265-6304 at least two days prior to the meeting to register. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
A statewide hearing on all proposed rules will be held virtually on Wednesday, March 18, 2021 at 9 a.m.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit to find out more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. The visit the ODNR website at


Migratory bird hunting season proposals can be found here.

For more information, contact:
Brian Plasters, Division of Wildlife
(614) 601-3836

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

2020 Guernsey County SWCD Cooperator of the Year


2020 Guernsey County SWCD Cooperator of the Year

            A lot of things have been different this year, but one thing that has not been canceled is conservation. Conservation is something that needs to happen everyday no matter what is going on the world. The 2020 Cooperator of the year has been continually active in soil conservation and proactive in stopping soil erosion and preventing nitrogen and phosphorus run off. In the last 6 years Wilbur Galbraith has prevented an estimated 14,208 pounds of nitrogen and 2,592 pounds of phosphorus from finding its way into the Wills Creek Watershed. Wilbur has done so by participating and signing up for the Muskingum Watershed Conservation District’s Cover crop program. By planting a fall cover crop after harvesting his beans and corn. Wilbur provides a root system to help hold the soil in place during the fall rains, winter weather and wind. Without the root system the soil would soon find itself out of the field and possibly into the Wills Creek watershed.  Galbraith farms has been a staple to the northeastern end of the county for over 50 years. Wilbur and his family raise corn, soybeans, and have a cow- calf operation, with a feed lot where he finishes out fat steers. If you happen to see Wilbur out and about be sure to congratulate him on all the effort, he has put towards conservation in Guernsey County.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2021 Tree Sale!

The 2021 Tree Sale seedling sale is here! Please print a copy of the sale flyer, fill out your order form and contact information, and mail back to us with payment. We will contact you with pick up dates for when your tree seedlings arrive. If you have any questions, please call the office at 740-489-5276. Order deadline is March 19th 2021.