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Nearly 3,500 Acres Of Land To Be Purchased For New

1487 Views 10 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  lureboy98
New property to be known as Jockey Hollow State Wildlife Area
AKRON, OH - Nearly 3,500 acres of reclaimed mined lands in Harrison and Belmont counties will become a new state wildlife area, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). The property, to be known as Jockey Hollow State Wildlife Area, will more than triple ODNR’s recreational land holdings in Harrison County.

The land lies within Athens and Moorefield townships in the southeastern corner of Harrison County and Flushing Township in Belmont County. Acquisition of the land was approved by the State Controlling Board on December 16.

“In addition to providing more hunting and fishing opportunities, we expect this new state wildlife area will be an asset for the local economy,” said Mike Budzik, chief of the ODNR Division of Wildlife. “For example, the nearby Egypt Valley State Wildlife Area represents an estimated $5 million benefit to Belmont County each year.”

The property is currently owned by The Conservation Fund and will be purchased for
$1.4 million. Two-thirds of the funding for the purchase will come initially from the state NatureWorks program and the balance will be paid for with Division of Wildlife funds.

Recognized for its abundant recreational opportunities, the ODNR Division of Wildlife will manage the area for hunters, anglers and nature enthusiasts. The area is home to white-tailed deer, wild turkey, grouse, squirrels, rabbits and river otters. Ponds that dot Jockey Hollow offer anglers the opportunity to catch largemouth bass and a variety of panfish.

The ODNR Division of Wildlife manages 120 state wildlife areas that offer hunting opportunities on more than 173,000 acres.
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Sounds great! Down here in Southern Ohio getting access to private land is getting harder every year..Thanks mainly to slob hunters and fisherman:(
That's going to be great for the ODNR and the local hunters.

Excellent! a new grouse spot providing it's not all open strip land like some of the others.
Well, I look at this with a different set of glasses than you guys, and they sure are not "rose colored".

I despise our State and Federal authorities in the "land acquiring" department. They have purchased too much land in my eyes. And some of the prices they give is truely relentless to the previous owner.

Sure, these places are nice, great place to drive to and "get away", beautiful scenary and all. But to have it in your "township" is another. This land now is "not productive" and will never see private ownership/tax base again. Sure , they will say it generates X amount of revenue, but I think they hit that number just about as accurately as they catch poachers and do "deer counts"....doing that stuff is their job, coming up with "economic imapacts" is not, and to see how the ODNR managaes the hunting,deer counts, poaching issue, fishing issues and such, then I'd hate to see what accounting system they are using!

Some may think that this is a "gift horse", but please consider taking a look at what is in their mouth!

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$1.4 million/3500 acres = $400/acre...geesh, where to I sign up?

Land value vs price paid

Not having seen the land yet I can't say it's value but if it turns out to be more reclaimed strip the value is probably not that far off. You always get a better price per acre when you buy alot of land be it farm land or strip. I've seen a number of listings for 500+ acres in the $500-$700 acre range for reclaimed land over the past 5 years.(not that I can afford them)

As far as your comments about amount of land held and tax base. I never really thought about the affect on the property tax base for these townships. I imagine that it can't be good if they are not doing anything to subsidize the loss. I kind of figured they'd do SOMETHING.

I don't agree that the land will become unproductive because it's public. I've got a couple a couple public areas that boast excellent deer and turkey numbers and the small game numbers are comperable to the private areas that have equal habitat, the birds are just "jumpier". Sure some get hit harder than others but I've also noticed that as the state has added additional areas the pressure seems to be spreading out and the areas that were getting hit harder have leveled off or improved.

My 2 cents.
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You made some valid points about the land coming off of the tax rolls. I also can't speak to the ODNR resource management as I haven't hunted OH in about 15 yrs. But I can tell you with total confidence what it is like to hunt in a state that has very little public lands. 120 wildlife areas, I know IN has less than 20. We could add the State forests, Reservoirs to that list and still not get to 120.

IN's last two or three FWA are established on old reclaim lands that are still owned by the coal companies. If the coal co wanted to re-start operations tomorrow, less public land to hunt :(

So OH grouse season lasts thru Feb......hmmmmm

When I spoke of "productivity", I was meaning in the terms of "economic productivity". Sure, it will be productive as far as hunting, no doubt.


We have an abundance of "Wayne NATIONAL Forest" here in Ohio and plenty of State land also. It's mainly in the South Eastern part of the State. You can't quote me on this and this is coming off the top of my head, but I think in the county I was raised in, there is something to the tune of 60,000 acres of Public hunting. Sure, in some parts of the State, there isn't much "public" land at all, and I can see guys wanting some places to hunt. So I can agree to the idea/thoughts that it's a good thing for most hunters/Outdoorsman in a place that might be "land-locked".

I think "Wayne National Forest" does some "dirty dealing" when it comes to land here in Ohio. A few years back, the citizens of a certain county here in Ohio was "fed-up" with the purchasing of land by the National Forest, that they petitioned "The Wayne" to stop buying up land. Well, there was a "freeze" put on that would allow individuals/private citizens to have a chance to buy some land. Well low and behold, a nice little track of land just magically turned into "Wayne National Forest" when they were not supposed to be buying.

I've hunted all over the Southeastern part of Ohio, what gets you, is that one day, you'll stop by and talk to a farmer, then the next week, "The Wayne" has bought the land and it's "public". There were never any "For Sale" signs or nothing, no chance for you or I to buy it, it just magically turned up National Forest. (One track of land that comes to mind, was on a "dead-end dirt road" that was maybe 3 miles long. A farmer owned all the bottoms up that hollow, and "the Wayne" owned all the hills, well, when they purchased the land form the farmer (un-beknownst to the locals), they preceded to tear out all the bridges that permitted access, put up a gate and a sign that says "Foot traffic Only". Now, the only way into that land is to "hump it", how many folks are going to enjoy this land other than your guy whom likes to walk to hunt, think your typical family out on a Sunday drive is going to?).

Another thing, did you know that in the "Wayne" here in Ohio that you are not allowed to even pick up a rock or a pine cone from the land and take it home! Not even a leaf! So let's say your out hiking, run into a stand of pines and decide to pick up some pine cones to add to your collection, maybe 3 or 4, this is illegal! Now I can see some of this as being "in the best interest" of preserving the forest. The mineral rights are still "there for the taking" from any ol sole who wants to claim them, so I can see no excavating going on, but a Leaf or a pine cone? Make no mistake about it, these are "OUR" lands, bought and paid for through taxes. And you can bet that as soon as you pick up an item of the forest floor, that you'll get caught, yet the Feds and the State can't cut down on all the Marijuana growing that goes on on Public lands (that's where they grow it in Ohio, who'd be dumb enough to put it on their own land?..yeah, I've ran into a few while out hunting, and believe me, I done an about face and slipped right outta there!).

I'm getting a bit "long winded" here, but consider this, what do you think about:

National Healthcare
Social Security
Government Control Of Industry
etc. etc.

So, should they buy up all the land also?

Private property Ownership is the basis of our being, what happens when it belongs to the State? (property is a general term used in regards to ownership, here it is literally, the subject).

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National vs. state

Sorry it took me so long to get back on this. When your talking about Wayne that's a completely different animal and I understand some of the frustration that goes along with that. The feds seem to have a different set of rules they play by with land acquisition. I've seen it in the Cuyahoga Valley National Recreation area up here. They seem to have a "way" of forcing out private ownership where they don't want it.
I always like to see land being claimed as wildlife areas. We have too few of these areas as there is.
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