State Controlling Board Approves Funding for Multiple ODNR Projects

Division of Wildlife to invest $2.2 million in Delaware Shooting Range

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest $2.2 million into the Delaware Shooting Range in Delaware, Ohio. The project is being implemented to clean up the existing site via lead reclamation while increasing safety and shooting opportunities.

“The Division of Wildlife is excited to provide outstanding new range facilities for Ohio’s sporting enthusiasts,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This project includes an educational facility with family friendly amenities to welcome many recreational shooting sports enthusiasts.”

The new range will include more shooting positions for the 100-yard rifle range and the handgun range and reorienting the shotgun range for more efficient lead management. An archery range and educational building are also being constructed to create a one-of-a-kind opportunity for shooters in central Ohio.

The total cost of the project is $9,052,000: 75% of which will be paid for by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a required 25% state match of $2,263,000. The federal grant is funded by purchases of firearms and ammunition, and the Division of Wildlife is reinvesting these funds into Delaware and other shooting range projects around the state.

Division of Wildlife to invest $550K in Spring Valley Shooting Range

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest $550,000 into the Spring Valley Shooting Range in Greene County.

“The Division of Wildlife is excited to provide outstanding new range facilities for Ohio’s sporting enthusiasts,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This project includes an educational facility with family friendly amenities to welcome many recreational shooting sports enthusiasts.”

The second phase of the Spring Valley Shooting Range update includes the construction of the education center that will provide a facility for Hunter Education and R3-related activities (recruitment, retention, reactivation) to be facilitated onsite. This building will be a key component as the Division of Wildlife engages new audiences to increase participation in various outdoor pursuits. The completion date is set for next summer.

The total project cost is $2,200,000: 75% of which will be paid for by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a required 25% state match of $550,000. The federal grant is funded by purchases of firearms and ammunition, and the Division of Wildlife is reinvesting these funds into Spring Valley and other shooting range projects around the state.

Division of Wildlife to invest $575K in Tranquility Shooting Range

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest $575,000 into the Tranquility Shooting Range in Adams County.

“The Division of Wildlife is excited to provide even more excellent opportunities for Ohio’s sporting enthusiasts,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This project boosts our goal to encourage outdoor sports among Ohioans of all ages and experience levels.”

The Tranquility Shooting Range has been shut down for several years due to safety issues and increased erosion. Given a recent site assessment and geotechnical survey, the range will be updated with appropriate grading and drainage, and properly constructed backstops and shooting lines to accommodate the increasing numbers of shooters in southern Ohio.

The total project cost is $2,300,000: 75% of which will be paid for by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a required 25% state match of $575,000. The federal grant is funded by purchases of firearms and ammunition, and the Division of Wildlife is reinvesting these funds into Tranquility and other shooting range projects around the state.

Division of Wildlife to invest $325K in Indian Creek Shooting Range

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest $325,000 into the Indian Creek Shooting Range in Brown County.

“The Division of Wildlife is excited to provide even more excellent opportunities for Ohio’s sporting enthusiasts,” said ODNR Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “This project boosts our goal to encourage outdoor sports among Ohioans of all ages and experience levels.”

The Indian Creek Pistol Range project aims to create a new, small-bore range on the Indian Creek Wildlife Area. This project includes cleaning up the existing site via lead reclamation (previously a shotgun range that has been relocated) and constructing proper backstops and shooting lines necessary for meeting the needs of handgun shooters in southern Ohio.

The total project cost is $1.3 million: 75% of which will be paid for by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service with a required 25% state match of $325,000. The federal grant is funded by purchases of firearms and ammunition, and the Division of Wildlife is reinvesting these funds into Indian Creek and other shooting range projects around the state.

Division of Wildlife to invest $290K into Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest more than $290,000 for improvements at the Sandusky Fisheries Research Center.

“Fisheries research units play a vital role in managing healthy and thriving walleye populations,” said Division of Wildlife Chief Kendra Wecker. “Our data predicts strong walleye populations in Lake Erie for the next several years, and we want to keep it that way.”

Located on the Lake Erie shoreline, the Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit is operated by the ODNR Division of Wildlife. Its primary mission is to assess and manage fish populations and fisheries in Lake Erie’s Western and Central basins and their tributary streams. The facility houses staff members, a research lab, and research vessel to monitor the food web, the spread of exotic species in the lake, and the abundance, growth, age, diet and health of fish to insure habitat protection and resource integrity.

This project will replace the existing metal roof on the Sandusky Fisheries Research Unit’s office building with a new standing seam metal roof, gutters, and downspouts. Additionally, the doors and metal siding on the wet lab and storage building will be replaced as needed. Work is scheduled to be completed in June 2020.

ODNR to invest $2.85 million for improvements at Maumee Bay State Park

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest more than $2.85 million for campground electrical improvements at Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County.

“Our goal is to continue providing the high-quality services and amenities Ohioans expect,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Projects such as these at Maumee Bay State Park will help us offer first-rate overnight accommodations and an exceptional experience year-round.”

Electrical improvements will be made to 227 campsites at the park’s family campground. The electrical upgrade will include a new utility-owned primary cable, new utility-owned transformers, new stand-alone distribution panels, and new branch circuiting to new campsite pedestals with upgrade to 50/30/20A service.

Maumee Bay State Park is one of only nine lodge park complexes; it features a modern lodge, cabins, campground, nature center, golf course, swimming beaches and Lake Erie views. To learn more, visit parks.ohiodnr.gov/maumeebay.

Ohio has 75 state parks, 59 with campgrounds and nine with lodge and conference centers. The Buckeye State is one of only seven states in the nation where admission and parking at state parks are free. Many Ohio families and out-of-state residents turn to Ohio State Parks for hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, camping, biking, disc golf, horseback riding and much more.

ODNR to invest $475K for improvements at Mosquito Lake State Park

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest more than $475,000 for a new restroom facility at Mosquito Lake State Park in Trumbull County.

“Our goal is to continue providing the high-quality services and amenities Ohioans expect,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Projects such as these at Mosquito Lake will help us offer safe and modern facilities for both our day-use and overnight visitors.”

The project is being completed under the statewide campgrounds program, which addresses the need to upgrade Ohio’s state park campground amenities with infrastructure improvements including electric, water and sewer services, along with shower house and restroom improvements in select parks.

Mosquito Lake offers unlimited horsepower boating on a 7,850-acre lake as well as camping, hiking, swimming, fishing and picnicking facilities. The park is also popular for horseback riding, hunting and several winter sports including ice fishing. To learn more, visit parks.ohiodnr.gov/mosquitolake.

Ohio has 75 state parks, 59 with campgrounds and nine with lodge and conference centers. The Buckeye State is one of only seven states in the nation where admission and parking at state parks are free. Many Ohio families and out-of-state residents turn to Ohio State Parks for hiking fishing, swimming, boating, camping, biking, disc golf, horseback riding and much more.

ODNR to invest $3 million into Salt Fork Lodge

COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Parks and Watercraft received approval from the State Controlling Board today to invest $3 million for improvements at Salt Fork Lodge, located in Cambridge.

“Our goal is to continue providing the high-quality services and amenities Ohioans expect,” said ODNR Director Mary Mertz. “Making large scale improvements to the lodge at Salt Fork State Park will help ensure that we offer first-rate overnight accommodations and an exceptional visitor experience year-round.

Opened in 1972, the 102,800-square-foot facility includes the main lodge and guest areas. Due to the age of the facility it has become necessary for major renovations.

The funding will be used to replace the state park lodge’s roof. The existing roof is the original cedar shake roof and has exceeded its life expectancy. The roof replacement project includes the main lodge and guest room wings. The new roof will provide a warm, safe and dry facility for guests and have a 50-year warranty.

Additional improvements will address several structural needs, such as replacing the deteriorated roof areas over the pool and parts of the guest areas. The project is scheduled to be complete by August 2020.

Salt Fork State Park Lodge provides recreational activities, dining and lodging facilities along with conference space and access to outdoor facilities, such as a large swimming pool. The lodge also offers full-size modern cabins. Salt Fork also offers a large family campground, hiking trails, marina and two lakes for boating and fishing. To learn more, visit parks.ohiodnr.gov/saltfork.