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Nearly 20,000 Acres Permanently Protected by Two Ohio Projects

Mike Reynolds, Research Biologist with Ohio Division of Wildlife, in naturallycreated canopy gap on the Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest; photo by Brian Smith.
Two large land acquisitions in southeastern Ohio will protect habitat for many of AMJV’s highest priority species. Both acquisitions protect great legacies.

In September 2009, Ohio Division of Wildlife closed on a 3,600-acre property adjacent to the existing Trimble Wildlife Area in southeastern OH. The combined area, now 6,694 acres and the sixth largest in the state, will be known as the Wallace H. O’Dowd Wildlife Area. Mr. O’Dowd bequeathed $4.5 million to Ohio Division of Wildlife in order to acquire land for the purpose of wildlife conservation, propagation, and habitat management. The bequest was the single largest donation in the history of the Ohio Division of Wildlife.

In October 2009, Ohio Governor Ted Strickland and Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Director Sean Logan announced the state’s intention to purchase the 15,849-acre Vinton Furnace Experimental Forest, possibly the most biologically diverse site in OH and a site offering a wealth of long-term, forest-related research. Vinton Furnace supports one the highest recorded densities of Cerulean Warblers throughout their breeding range, which made it an important research site to include in a regional project investigating silvicultural effects on Cerulean Warblers and other forest songbirds, in order to ultimately create Cerulean-centric BMPs. Private/industry, state, and federal funds were leveraged to make this deal a reality.