Press Release

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Shawnee Backcountry Area Saved from Logging

Ohio Environmental Council, October 4, 2013

Deep in southern Ohio’s rugged hills lies an 8,000-acre tract of unbroken state forest land called the Shawnee Backcountry Area.

Bobcats, timber rattlesnake, and other threatened and endangered species survive in precious habitat in this swath of oak and hickory and other native woods once roamed by the Shawnee people.

The Shawnee Backcountry Area is adjacent to the Shawnee Wilderness Area, a rare bit of state land that is off limits to logging, mining, and oil and gas drilling.

For more than a decade, the Ohio Division of Forestry (ODF) has pledged to take special care of the Backcountry Area, limiting timbering and consulting state wildlife and natural areas managers to protect its state-listed species.

But this summer, the forest managers wanted to reverse course. They wanted to drop the special designation of the Backcountry Area, which would reopen forest roads and start intensive logging in the Backcountry Area.

This could have been the death penalty to bobcats and other rare animals and plants in the Backcountry Area.

But the OEC, Buckeye Forest Council, and thousands of our members and supporters convinced ODF to do the right thing.

We told them to protect, not destroy, this special habitat!

And they did.

They dropped their plans and will keep the Backcountry Area as a specially designated area that includes restrictions on logging.

Thank you to everyone who sent emails to the Ohio Department of Foresty to help save Ohio’s wild areas!