COLUMBUS, OH – Forest land totaling more than 1,200 acres adjacent to Shawnee State Forest in southern Ohio will be acquired with a federal partnership grant through the Forest Legacy Program, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Forestry.

“This is a great development,” said Governor Mike DeWine. “Through this program, we will expand Shawnee State Forest and protect and conserve important forest land in Ohio.”

Ohio’s Forest Legacy Program was established in 2005, and to date, the Division of Forestry has obtained Legacy Program funding to permanently protect 8,648 acres of important forests within Ohio. These forests protect water quality and provide multiple benefits, including wildlife habitat, forest products and recreational opportunities. More information about Ohio’s Forest Legacy Program can be found online at forestry.ohiodnr.gov/legacyprogram.

“The purchase of this forest next to Shawnee State Forest will significantly expand Ohio’s largest contiguous block of forest land, enhancing biodiversity and providing a mix of recreational opportunities,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “We are excited about this opportunity.”

The land will become part of Shawnee State Forest and will be near Shawnee State Park and The Nature Conservancy’s Edge of Appalachia Preserve. Multiple partners have expressed support for the project, including The Nature Conservancy and the Buckeye Trail Association. Financial support will be provided through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service with grant cost-share from the state.

The 1,200-acre tract is in Scioto County, approximately 75 miles south of Columbus and 65 miles east of Cincinnati.

The Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov, or follow us on Instagram at @odnrforestry (instagram.com/odnrforestry).

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

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