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Trail Volunteers Vital to Ohio's To Mohican-Memorial State Forest

January 1, 2009

Perryville, Ohio - Outdoor recreational opportunities abound at Mohican-Memorial State Forest and volunteers are the backbone of the trail system, having saved the Ohio Division of Forestry over $15,000 of maintenance labor costs plus more in material this past year.

"Annually, approximately 10,000 visitors trek across Mohican-Memorial State Forest trails and our dedicated volunteers help make sure their experiences are safe and enjoyable," said Forest Manager Tim Humphrey. "We rely on them for a great deal of trail maintenance."

In 2008, volunteers donated 788 hours of labor at Mohican-Memorial State Forest. Hikers, mountain bikers and horse riders who value the forest and its scenic trails contributed time, materials, tools and machinery use to ensure the facility's upkeep. Normal maintenance includes cutting tree branches, clearing debris and fallen trees, cleaning culverts and water diversions, maintaining signage, picking up litter and mowing one of the bridle day use areas.

Horse clubs, including Cowboys for Jesus and the Wayne County and Holmes County chapters of the Ohio Horseman's Council, purchased and spread forty tons of gravel for horse tie areas, spent four days cleaning bridle trails after the September 14, 2008 wind storm, furnished and installed two horse mounting stations and purchased and installed trail directional signs.

The Mohican/Malabar Bike Club worked five days clearing the twenty five-mile mountain bike trail after the wind storm. The Mohican Trails Club marked the Hog Hollow hiking trail and installed a forty foot bridge there. Hiking and biking volunteers also re-routed sections of trails.

"This outstanding volunteer effort, initiated and carried out annually by our recreation partners, has assisted us with routine tasks necessary to maintain trails, provided improvements, staging area maintenance and continued appreciation of this treasured forest," said David Lytle, chief of ODNR's Division of Forestry. "The volunteers are certainly the backbone of the trails at Mohican-Memorial State Forest."

The volunteer groups are working together to develop an area trail map to include the state forest, adjoining state parks and Pleasant Hill Lake. They are raising funds to cover the design and printing costs and will sell the resource to area visitors, using profits to produce more maps.

The 4,525-acre Mohican-Memorial State Forest was initiated in 1928. Easily accessible from Cleveland and Columbus, Mohican is the largest public land base in north-central Ohio. It is one of twenty state forests that encompass 191,000 acres statewide.

Over the past 80 years, Mohican-Memorial State Forest has been managed for land stabilization on eroded soils, clean water, native hardwood tree regeneration, pine plantation management, pine post and pole production, firewood production and other forest products, the profitable growth of timber, scientific tree growth and wildlife studies, wildlife habitat, evaluation of tree harvesting methods and recreation. The Mohican Discovery Forest interpretive trail showcases many of these sustainable forestry practices to the public on the north end of the state forest on County Road 939.

Ohio's State Forests provide recreational opportunities that are compatible with sustainable forest management.

For more information on Mohican-Memorial State Forest, visit the Division of Forestry web site at www.ohiodnr.com/forestry.

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.


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