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STATEMENT: OEC Supports Proposed Name Change of Ohio’s Only National Forest

Ohio Environmental Council, August 28, 2023

Columbus, OH — The U.S. Forest Service recently announced its proposal to change the name of Ohio’s only national forest, the Wayne National Forest, in response to requests from Indigenous Peoples and local community members.

The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) supports this proposal and encourages Ohioans to voice their support of the name change by emailing ahead of the Sept. 4 public comment deadline. 


The following quote can be attributed, in whole or in part, to Molly Jo Stanley, Southeast Ohio Regional Director for the Ohio Environmental Council (OEC):

“The Ohio Environmental Council supports the decision of the U.S. Forest Service to change the name of Wayne National Forest. Ohio’s public lands should be welcoming to all. It is important to acknowledge and understand past injustices, and how the names of our public lands can either perpetuate exclusion and injustice or help heal those wounds.

“The name ‘Wayne’ is associated with the U.S. government’s historic and violent genocide of Indigenous peoples and their cultures. More inclusive names can be drawn from Ohio’s Indigenous and natural histories. We encourage continued engagement with Native American Tribes, and careful consideration of their voices in matters impacting federal public lands in their traditional homelands.”



The Ohio Environmental Council (OEC) is the state’s most comprehensive and effective environmental advocate for a healthier, more sustainable Ohio. The OEC develops and ensures the implementation of forward-thinking, science-based, pragmatic solutions to secure healthy air, land, and water for all who call Ohio home.