$48 million was secured for the Clean Ohio Trails, Green Space Conservation, and Agriculture Easement Purchase Programs in H.B. 487, thanks to a Nature Conservancy-led coalition of statewide stakeholders.
Building on previous successes, this year the Conservancy in Ohio began two new projects as part of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. Totaling $1 million, the projects—on Crane Creek and in the Ashtabula River watershed—will improve wildlife habitat, riverbanks and local water quality.
The Conservancy will help chart the course of conservation in the Grand River watershed—key to the health of Lake Erie—as part of its new leadership role within the Grand River Partnership. Conservation efforts will include land protection, restoration and public policy.
The United States Fish and Wildlife Service will start using the statewide Indiana Bat habitat maps provided by the Conservancy to guide development away from important places, prioritize new areas for conservation, and identify important places to target bat habitat funding. The Indiana bat was listed as an endangered species in 1967.
The Conservancy’s prescribed fire program grew this year to include more than 200 acres at its Northwest Ohio Kitty Todd Preserve, which is a fire-dependent ecosystem. Prescribed fires are used as an important habitat management tool and help to increase resilience to climate change and other threats.
The Nature Conservancy in Ohio and Honda of America Mfg., Inc. launched Natural Treasures of Ohio, a summer sweepstakes challenge giving Ohioans the opportunity to explore the state’s rich natural heritage for the chance to win a new 2012 Honda Insight Hybrid vehicle.
The Ohio River Basin Fish Habitat Partnership developed an assessment to help scientists rank habitat suitability and ultimately steer conservation efforts in the region. The Conservancy helped to launch the Partnership.
One of the largest stream restoration projects in Ohio’s history was completed by the Conservancy at its Big Darby Headwaters Nature Preserve, where a new foot trail recently opened. The project restores more than a mile of stream at the headwaters of the Big Darby Creek.
With your help, 2013 can be another successful year for conservation in Ohio.