Ohio DNR Announces Forest of Honor Inductees

Ohio DNR Announces Forest of Honor Inductees

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources honored the Wildlife Management Institute along with other conservationists during an October 11 tree-planting ceremony at ODNR’s Zaleski State Forest near McArthur. WMI was recognized for its support for forest management on state forests, including providing interpretative signs for woodcock conservation, and grant dollars for site rehabilitation supplies such as seed mixtures to control soil erosion and benefit wildlife.

Ross Lake Wildlife Area, southern Ohio

WMI provided funding and advice to ODNR biologists to create patch cuts, such as this opening on Ross Lake Wildlife Area in southern Ohio. As flowering plants, native shrubs, and young trees regrow on the managed sites, the developing young forest provides abundant food and cover to wildlife such as American woodcock, ruffed grouse, and songbirds that do not inhabit older woodlands.

Charles Fergus

“Good forest stewardship has many environmental and economic benefits,” said Robert Boyles, Ohio’s state forester. “Privately owned forest lands as well as ODNR lands are important to all Ohioans, and our inductees exemplify active forest stewardship of these resources.”

ODNR noted that WMI has been a strong supporter of the ODNR Division of Forestry’s mission over many years, and actively promotes sustainable forestry practices in the state through its Young Forest Initiative. The Division of Forestry cited WMI’s support of annual work plans for state forests, including providing expert opinions of strategies for managing those forests from a wildlife biology point of view.

WMI also works with ODNR’s Division of Wildlife to identify and create areas of young forest, promoting a range of habitats that support diverse local populations of game animals, nongame wildlife, and plants.

Forest gamebird biologist Mark Wiley said: “WMI is a valued partner with a shared interest in the sound management of Ohio’s wildlife and the habitats on which they rely. Not only has WMI helped our agency raise awareness of the importance of young forest for wildlife, such as the American woodcock, but it has also played a key role in creating and managing this crucial habitat type in Ohio.”

Also recognized at the Zaleski State Forest tree-planting ceremony were Tom Berger, a forest and tree farm owner and ODNR service forester; the late Dr. Richard Potts, a significant contributor to advancing private land forest management practices; and Superior Hardwoods of Ohio, a private forest industry company that has fostered public awareness of the importance of forestry and forest products in the Buckeye State.

November 16, 2018