Ohio Conservation December 03, 2007
This was the week to think about great bird conservation. Audubon just released its WatchList '07 (see the last post) and many of Ohio's conservation concerned citizens gathered for a fantastic conference at Deer Creek Lodge. I had previously posted links to OOS for the details and agenda, and now Jim McCormac's blog has a nice recap of this event. Overall there is some fantastic work being done to conserve birds in Greater Mohican Audubon's counties. As Paul Baicich said, counting birds doesn't conserve them, but it does generate the data we need to do conservation work. GMAS has some of the finest Christmas Bird Count compilers around, and our list of CBC's is posted on our website. The Bobolink is GMAS' icon bird. And last year the Bobolink received a lot of attention by being a bird of concern. Ashland County Parks are fortunate enough to have Bobolinks nesting at Byer's Wood, in the grasslands created on a capped landfill. Unfortunately, their nesting had been interrupted in previous years by mowing which killed their young nestlings. GMAS held a seminar at Byers to help educate, protect Bobolinks and promote better timing for grassland mowing. Many of our members were involved in this great effort and the photo frame above was featured at that seminar. Wetlands conservation is also key. Thanks to Sam Weyrick's and Louise Fleming's hard work, GMAS purchased 100 acres of wetlands with Clean Ohio Funds and donated the parcel to the Ashland Park District. With a conservation easement in place, these wetlands will be preserved in perpetuity, providing habitat for wetland birds. One more item of note, the folks in our counties have united in an effort to preserve the forest canopy in Mohican State Forest. MPG, Inc has been dedicated to working with Ohio Department of Natural Resources to minimize the impact of line clearing on the Columbia Gas Transfer lines which criss-cross the forest and their 50+ well-heads. Public outcry and political pressure is often the best way to keep the attention of these large corporations, who place profit before protection of habitat. We are trying to hold them to a higher accountability in the State Forest. Again, this is important conservation work that many have had a hand in. Conservation of habitat is important, not only for birds, but also for the botany- as well as all of the life (Think Insects!) it supports. Ducks Unlimited and Pheasants Forever does a great job setting aside habitat, and it is time for bird watchers and botanizers to give them a run for the money. With everyone helping just a little, great things can be done!