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OH Grouser

Ohio Wayne NF Habitat Project

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OH Grouser

Ruffed Grouse habitat managment in Ohio's Wayne National Forest has been neglected for over 20 years. I cut my teeth hunting birds on the Wayne, and at one time had numerous good covers to hunt in the area shown on the map in the link below. I finally had to move on as the forest matured and grouse populations predictably declined. I ran into a couple of forestry guys from the Wayne during a hunt a few seasons back...when I asked about the current state of the forest, their reply was not encouraging - still no managment occurring, and nothing more than at best a remnant population of grouse left in my old stomping grounds.

 

The Wayne contains some of the largest acreage of contiguous forest land left in Ohio, and now it needs our help. I want to encourage all of the Ohio members, and anyone else with a concern about Ruffed Grouse populations in Ohio, to please comment in support of this recently announced habitat project. Projects like this have not occurred for a long time on the Wayne, this is a prime opportunity to let the Forest Managers hear from bird hunters and others who support this type of habitat management.

 

Thanks,

Roger

 

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD575811

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oak stob

10 years or so ago, the Wayne ES was reckoned at 3.2%...now, who knows, as management is often directionally tugged by the obstructionists.

There was another proposed Wayne project a while back and I do not believe it survived the planning/public comment stage.

Regardless, Ohio still has a paper mill that needs fed so....habitat ain’t the entire story of the grouse decline....and, never has been.

 

On a positive note, the Mon NF in WV has some 5K acres set aside for prescribed burns, if the weather cooperates, in 2018.

 

 

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fishvik
1 hour ago, OH Grouser said:

Ruffed Grouse habitat managment in Ohio's Wayne National Forest has been neglected for over 20 years. I cut my teeth hunting birds on the Wayne, and at one time had numerous good covers to hunt in the area shown on the map in the link below. I finally had to move on as the forest matured and grouse populations predictably declined. I ran into a couple of forestry guys from the Wayne during a hunt a few seasons back...when I asked about the current state of the forest, their reply was not encouraging - still no managment occurring, and nothing more than at best a remnant population of grouse left in my old stomping grounds.

 

The Wayne contains some of the largest acreage of contiguous forest land left in Ohio, and now it needs our help. I want to encourage all of the Ohio members, and anyone else with a concern about Ruffed Grouse populations in Ohio, to please comment in support of this recently announced habitat project. Projects like this have not occurred for a long time on the Wayne, this is a prime opportunity to let the Forest Managers hear from bird hunters and others who support this type of habitat management.

 

Thanks,

Roger

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/wayne/news-events/?cid=FSEPRD575811

As a veteran of the FS, I think you may stand a chance getting this project through with the present administration. Since about the early 1990's the FS became very defensive about timber management. Rightfully so to some extent. When I worked for them in Idaho from 1970-1992 the general approach was the only good tree was a stump. We harvested too much, too fast and with methods that lead to soil erosion and sterilization, stream bank destruction, and way too high road densities. This lead to destruction of both wildlife and fisheries populations. The paradigm then in the last 20 years became management for only old growth and we have seen 20 years of managing for a lack of successional timber stands.  But things have changed. The pendulum swung way to far the other way in my opinion and the opinion of my natural resource professional buddies. We learned what doesn't work the hard way. Today cutting prescriptions are far more geared to the species being harvested, vegetation treatment for species other than timber are being initiated, the dependence on roading for harvesting has decreased and present and past roads are being rehabilitated with sale receipts.  Fire prescriptions are meant to mimic more natural fire regimes too. Good luck with this project it sounds like a good one.

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Korthaar
6 hours ago, oak stob said:

10 years or so ago, the Wayne ES was reckoned at 3.2%...now, who knows, as management is often directionally tugged by the obstructionists.

There was another proposed Wayne project a while back and I do not believe it survived the planning/public comment stage.

Regardless, Ohio still has a paper mill that needs fed so....habitat ain’t the entire story of the grouse decline....and, never has been.

 

On a positive note, the Mon NF in WV has some 5K acres set aside for prescribed burns, if the weather cooperates, in 2018.

 

 

The paper mill of which you speak is in my home town. It has changed hands 3 times  but I'm not sure much of the lands have. Friends of mine still lease land from the original mill. I am not satisfied with overall land mgt here for small game. Many of the public hunting areas not planted in beans and corn in the spring have been left overgrown in recent years. Seems like mgt is geared toward deer and Turkey, or none at all. 

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oak stob
45 minutes ago, Korthaar said:

Seems like mgt is geared toward deer and Turkey, or none at all. 

 

Having lived in Ohio for 65 years and counting, I agree....deer and turkey require nothing, comparably, re management and they bring in $$$s....just Life afield these days.

There is a move to acquire some coal land, I believe, but the governor’s recent shake-up of the ODNR and his moves against the DOW do not bode well, longterm, imo.

New days, sadly and the Wayne issues also offer little to hang a cap upon.

But, fingers crossed.

 

The point with the paper mill, it is hungry and habitat is being created and exists...add in the ice storm area that befuddled many with it’s near zero response and habitat simply is not all the story.

Habitat is still the largest chapter in the book but does not always drive the plot as many assume.....region and particulars matter, to my eye....they really matter!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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OH Grouser

A little more info on the project and how it is being presented to the public:

https://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/109013_FSPLT3_4282135.pdf

 

oak stob, I agree the issues with our grouse population involve much more than just lack of suitable habitat...but absent that, the rest of the discussion is a mute point. The general area of this project is sorely in need of habitat management, sounds like Mr. Slone might understand what we've lost in the WNF.

 

We're still feeding that paper mill and some of the timber is coming from state land harvests...a little help for our birds, but not as beneficial as were the old Mead Paper lands Korthaar noted. We lost public access to that land some years back. I passed by some back in Feb. during a scouting trip, some of it still has the blue 'lease' signs posted on trees along the road - but most is posted 'no trespassing'. There is still some really good looking cover present, sure wish I could have put the dog down and made a run thru it.

 

Roger

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oak stob

The present Ohio Forestry Chief is one who understands proper management and does what he can...compared to the previous fella to hold that position.

That has helped, to a point, re those state lands you mention and timber harvest/decisions.

However, he will not hold that position forever...the dice will soon be rolled.

 

It is best to consider, imo, that despite any forestry management mindset on the Wayne NF or prescriptions like Shelterwood onward which are agreed to ...what really matters is the projects actually witnessing blue smoke.

Agreed to and reality have often been worlds apart.

Perhaps, this time will be different than the past, perhaps a new mood reigns.....I hope so but unlike the ruffed grouse in Ohio, I will not be holding my breath.

Been there, done that.

 

I do well understand the loss of the old “Mead” lands to Leasing.

I understand why it happened, I understand what was taken for granted and, I understand one critter group that chose not to exert a concerted effort to help.

There was a point where the door was open to help thru creativity in leasing structure(a la the WV Grouse Permit-type ideas) by allowing the TIGs to still profit and the Public to still be allowed historical access.

However, too much in Ohio was then and continues to be written off as a lost cause...in part, that is now sadly true, despite the existence of swell cover.

Still, one tries....so good luck to the NF project described and any future projects....luck well past the feel-good moment when  all appears on the surface to be, a go.

 

 

 

 

 

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Tim Frazier

I'm really going to sound like a Debbie downer but 2900 acres is a spit in the bucket.  There are private cuts in PA and WV bigger, than that.  So while any cutting is good, it's not a serious effort. I too miss the days of grouse in Ohio, short of some sort of large scale natural disaster they won't be back in numbers in our life times.

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barna
On ‎4‎/‎14‎/‎2018 at 1:12 PM, oak stob said:

I do well understand the loss of the old “Mead” lands to Leasing.

I understand why it happened, I understand what was taken for granted and, I understand one critter group that chose not to exert a concerted effort to help.

There was a point where the door was open to help thru creativity in leasing structure(a la the WV Grouse Permit-type ideas) by allowing the TIGs to still profit and the Public to still be allowed historical access.

However, too much in Ohio was then and continues to be written off as a lost cause...in part, that is now sadly true, despite the existence of swell cover.

Still, one tries....so good luck to the NF project described and any future projects....luck well past the feel-good moment when  all appears on the surface to be, a go.

 

 

 

 

 

What is the back story on the MEAD lands? 

 

Unfortunately I started late in the grouse game, was only able to hunt a few years before the MEAD lands were leased off, but had some very nice and productive sections.  Most days I could  move 10+ birds in 4 hrs, that is very good for OH. 

 

Barna

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oak stob

Dollars and Deer.

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barna
3 minutes ago, oak stob said:

Dollars and Deer.

That's what I figured.

 

I had a chance to get on a lease on one of my favorite spots just north of Jackson, the price was about 300 per year, not bad deal but I could not bring anyone with me.  At that time I was hunting with a couple of guys on a regular basis, decided to pass on the lease. 

 

Barna

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Korthaar
3 hours ago, barna said:

That's what I figured.

 

I had a chance to get on a lease on one of my favorite spots just north of Jackson, the price was about 300 per year, not bad deal but I could not bring anyone with me.  At that time I was hunting with a couple of guys on a regular basis, decided to pass on the lease. 

 

Barna

My buddy and his family have maintained a Mead lease in this exact area for many years. Seems to be all pretty well mature woodland now.

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barna
14 hours ago, Korthaar said:

My buddy and his family have maintained a Mead lease in this exact area for many years. Seems to be all pretty well mature woodland now.

Is it Erwin Hollow?

The spot I was at was just clear cut the last year I hunted, that was about 14 years ago, so the area should be prime right about now,

 

Barna

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Tim Frazier

We have a farm in Monroe county on the river and with all the gas line work there maybe some benefit.  I hope to hear a few drummers this turkey season but it's been quite a while.  My last hunt there I put up 9 birds in 90 minutes (2 re-flushes for sure though) but that has to be pushing 8-10 years ago.  I know   back in the day 30-40 flush days around Pevine were not uncommon.  Shame really and even hard to talk about.

 

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Korthaar
8 hours ago, barna said:

Is it Erwin Hollow?

The spot I was at was just clear cut the last year I hunted, that was about 14 years ago, so the area should be prime right about now,

 

Barna

That doesn't sound familiar, but it has to be close by.  I was down that way today. Toms were out in force. I made note that Scioto land company owns a lot of the land down there too.

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