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Ohio purchases land for endangered species preservation and public use

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In order to protect the endangered species in the area, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources purchased large tracts of land in Brown County.

Ohio’s Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) purchased more than 1,800 acres of land in Brown County last week and designated the land as Ohio’s 152nd designated wildlife area.  

According to a press release from the ODNR Division of Wildlife, the department closed on this property in December 2018, but has only recently designated the land as a wildlife area. While the initial purchase was for 1,825 acres, an additional purchase of 474 neighboring acres will be made later this year.

ODNR stated that the Land and Water Conservation Fund, the Wildlife Diversity Fund and the Ohio Department of Transportation provided $4.1 million to purchase the land from the Robert Perin family.

According to Kathy Garza-Behr, Wildlife Communications Specialist for the ODNR Division of Wildlife, prior to the purchase, some of the land had been enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), while other parts of it had been leased for hunting or used for farming.

The Division of Wildlife stated that it has worked for years to acquire the property. Garza-Behr said this long-standing effort has partially been due to a desire to preserve wildlife in the area, including the Indiana bat and the long-eared bat, which are both listed as endangered.

The land is also an ideal habitat for deer, wild turkey and bobcats. This rich array of wildlife will allow visitors to partake in public hunting, fishing, trapping or wildlife viewing.

The area, which the ODNR said will later be renamed Eagle Creek Wildlife Area, will open to the public later this year. Before it opens, the department will be posting area boundaries, installing parking lots, creating maps of the area, and listing the wildlife area in the Ohio Administrative Code as a public area.

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