2. The major private thrust statewide for natural area
preservation began in 1958 when the Ohio Chapter
of The Nature Conservancy was founded.
By the mid-1960s, it became obvious that Lynx Prairie, the Ohio
Beginning in 1959, with the acquisition of private efforts alone
could not stop natural areas remarkable destroyed saving natural
Chapter of TNC compiled a from being record for by agricultural,
residential, and Dysart Woods, Mentor Marsh, Brown’s Lake Bog
areas including commercial development. Only the State with
its resourcesand Buzzardroost Rock.
Frame Bog, and power of eminent domain, could protect the
best remaining natural areas in the state.
3. At its annual meeting in 1966, the Ohio Chapter of TNC called
for the creation of a state nature preserve system and a
committee was formed to work toward that goal.
In August of 1967, the Ohio House adopted a resolution
sponsored by State Representative Robert A. Holmes
expressing concern over losses of wilderness and threats
to the last remnants of Ohio’s natural heritage.
Two years passed before the Ohio Legislative Service
Commission approved a study of the “means of identifying,
locating, and preserving areas of unusual natural significance
for the beneficial use of generations to come.”
4. We owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us and
worked so hard over so many years to forge a natural areas
program for the citizens of Ohio, both present and future.
Those in Whose Footsteps We Attempt to Follow:
Dr. E Lucy Braun, Professor Emeritus Plant Ecology, University of Cincinnati
Dr. David Blyth, Columbus Audubon Society
Dr. Charles Dambach, Ohio Biological Survey & OSU Natural Resources
Dr. Oliver D. Diller, Head Dept of Forestry, Ohio Agr. Exp. Station, Wooster
Dr. Richard H. Durrell, Geology Professor, University of Cincinnati
Dr. J. Arthur Herrick, Professor of Botany, Kent State University
Hon. Robert E. Holmes, Speaker, Ohio House of Representatives
Dr. Kenneth Hunt, Director Glen Helen, Antioch College
Dr. Charles C. King, Executive Director, Ohio Biological Survey
Dr. E. J. Koestner, Director, Dayton Museum of Natural History
William Scheele, Director, Cleveland Museum of Natural History
Dr. Edward S. Thomas, Curator of Natural History, Ohio Historical Society
Walter A. Tucker, Director, Columbus Metropolitan Parks
Dr. Warren Wistendahl, Dept of Botany, Ohio University
Harold J. Zimmerman, Burroughs Nature Club, Willoughby
5. As a result of this study, State Senator Clara Weisenborn of
Dayton sponsored S.B. 113 calling for the creation of the state’s
Natural Areas Program. Senator Weisenborn also had $400,000
appropriated for land acquisition in ODNR’s Capital Budget.
The Natural Areas Bill, Amended S.B. 113 which later became a
national model, was given final approval by the Ohio General
Assembly and was signed into law by Governor James A. Rhodes
The Natural Areas Act of 1970 allowed the Ohio Department of
Natural Resources to purchase and administer state nature
preserves and to protect, through dedication, natural areas in
both public and private ownership.
6. On May 20, 1970, ODNR Director Fred E. Morr handpicked
Richard E. Moseley Jr. to put together this new program.
ODNR established a Natural Areas &
Scenic Rivers Planning Section in the
Office of Program & Planning to
administer the new natural areas and
scenic rivers programs and to provide
technical assistance to the Ohio
Natural Areas Council.
Richard E. Moseley, Jr.
7. With the initial appropriation of $400,000, the Department
acquired 14 properties totaling 632 acres on six natural areas.
In 1971, William B. Nye became the fourth Director of
of ODNR under the Gilligan Administration. By 1973,
“Division of Forestry and Preserves”
the Natural Areas Program had grown to the extent that
Director Nye, by Executive Order approved by the
Forestry was reassigned Division of Forestrystate nature
Governor, renamed the management of all to the -
preserves not contiguous to other state lands managed by
either the Division of Parks & Recreation or the Division of
Unfortunately, it just didn’t work out.
8. In 1975 when James A. Rhodes was
once again elected governor for what
became his second 8 year term in
in office, he appointed Dr. Robert W. Teater
as the fifth Director of ODNR.
By 1975, the Natural Areas Program had
purchased 18 areas encompassing 3,398
acres and dedicated 8 additional natural Director Robert W. Teater
It had become apparent that in order to consistently and
properly manage the state nature preserves, a new management
strategy had to be adopted. To that end, Director Teater
created, by Executive Order with approval of the Governor, a new
Division of Natural Areas & Preserves in February of 1975. This
new division was given “permanency” with passage of H.B. 972 in
June of 1976.
9. Chief: Richard E. Moseley
Asst. Chief: Guy L. Denny
Field Operations Mgr:
Scenic Rivers Administrator:
W. Stu Lewis
Real Estate Administrator:
Ohio Natural Heritage
10. By 1999, DNAP had grown to 124 natural areas, had a full
time staff of 48, including 13 preserve managers, an annual
operating budget of about $3.6 million, and was nationally
recognized as one of the best natural areas programs in
11. By the year 2000, management within DNAP had changed
dramatically. Unlike in its early years, the Division was no
longer being administered by experienced field naturalist.
In 2004, a decision was made within DNAP to transfer Old
Woman Creek National Estuarine Sanctuary to the Division
In 2004, a decision was made within DNAP to disband the
Ohio Natural Areas Council.
As the original preserve managers retired, they were replaced
The. Monitoring & Research Program
12. In 2009, ODNR Director Sean Logan, faced with sever
budget cuts to ODNR’s operating budget, made the
decission to dismantle DNAP as a cost saving measure.
The Scenic Rivers Program was transferred to the
Division of Watercraft.
The Natural Heritage Program with its botanists and
ecologists was transferred to the Division of Wildlife.
The nine preserve managers were transferred to the
Division of Parks & Recreation.
13. Even under the new Kasich Administration, the Strickland
Administration’s ODNR Director Sean Logan’s plan for
dismantling DNAP continues in motion.
Language contained in the Department’s FY 12-13 budget
bill (Sub. H.B. 153) would have officially abolished the
Division of Natural Areas & Preserves as of July 1, 2011, and
would have made the DNAP income tax check-off a State
Parks and Natural Areas check-off administered by the Chief
of the Division of Parks & Recreation.
14. Ohio House District 70
Home Town: Millersburg, in
More than 15 years working in the
private sector as a pipe inspector
Holmes County Park District
Director in 1995
Holmes County Commissioner
1999 - 2008
Chair of the Ohio House Agriculture
and Natural Resources Committee
15. The Ohio General Assembly adding an additional $2.4
million for FY 12-13 apparently in Joint Conference
Committee so that the State Nature Preserves would be
This would have been adequate funding if it were used
exclusively to manage state nature preserves and not
additionally used to shore up a financially ailing State
Efforts continue to make the Natural Areas Program a
sub-program in the Division of Parks & Recreation
supervised by local district park managers rather than
by trained ecologists/field biologists who understand and
are experienced in the challenges and complexities of
natural areas management.
16. What are the most serious threats to a
dedicated State Nature Preserve?
1. Invasive species from both non-native as well
as native species of plants and animals
2. Unchecked natural succession
Natural Areas & Preserves Association
The purpose of ONAPA
is to protect Ohio’s Natural
Heritage by bringing together
organizations and individuals
to help maintain, monitor,
restore, and support Ohio’s
important natural areas.
To learn more about ONAPA visit us at www.onapa.org
Natural Areas & Preserves Association
Recruit and organize volunteers to
participate in habitat management
and preserve maintenance projects.
Help establish preserve “Friends Groups.”
Promote the DNAP income tax check-off.
Promote the DNAP auto license plate.
Monitor the preserves for vandalism,
maintenance and other problems.
Send emails and write letters of
support when necessary.
26. ODNR Director Zehringer
Deputy Director (K. Gebhardt)
Central Office Volunteer Advisors Natural Areas Advisory Council
Chief Botanist Monitoring & Research Special Projects Volunteer Coordinator
R. Gardner R. McCance J. Kasai
Columbus Audubon Individual
Special Projects Preserve
Statewide Work Group Friends Groups
Natural Heritage Data Base
G. Schneider – D. Woischke
Preserve Mgr. Preserve Mgr. Preserve Mgr. Preserve Mgr.
S.W. Ohio S.E. Ohio N.E. Ohio N.W. Ohio
M. Comer Boch Hollow M. Grote