COLUMBUS, Ohio – A wildlife specialist partnership with Soil and Water Conservation Districts is marking 25 years of providing technical assistance to landowners for habitat management, education, safety, and more, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife.
The partnership began in 1997 between the Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Division of Soil and Water Conservation (now part of Ohio Department of Agriculture), and the Division of Wildlife, with support from the Ohio Farm Bureau. The program arose to provide technical assistance to farmers suffering crop damage from wildlife. In 1998, 12 wildlife specialists were hired in 15 counties to educate farmers and landowners on resolving wildlife damage. Today, the partnership has expanded to 20 wildlife specialists in 20 counties.
Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) wildlife specialists provide wildlife damage and nuisance wildlife assistance, as well as support with wildlife habitat management, conservation programs, wildlife-related education, hunter safety, and more. Wildlife specialists are county employees. The Division of Wildlife contributes a portion of the specialists’ salaries and provides administrative support. The Division of Soil and Water Conservation provides administrative support.
Ohio’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts provide locally driven solutions to both urban and rural natural resource concerns through legislative advocacy, public outreach, grant support, training, and development programs. Wildlife specialists currently service Adams, Athens, Belmont, Brown, Columbiana, Erie, Fairfield, Guernsey, Hocking, Knox, Meigs, Monroe, Noble, Ottawa, Ross, Scioto, Seneca, Union, Vinton, and Washington counties.
The mission of the Division of Wildlife is to conserve and improve fish and wildlife resources and their habitats for sustainable use and appreciation by all. Visit wildohio.gov to find out more.
The Division of Soil and Water Conservation provides leadership and services that enable Ohioans to conserve, protect, and enhance soil, water, and land resources. Visit agri.ohio.gov to learn more.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.