If you still remember a painful encounter with the “business end” of an ill-tempered honey bee, you are likely to have limited appreciation for the value of these unique insects. But, appreciation is indeed deserved. The honey bee’s well-known contribution of honey is far out-shadowed by its value as a pollinator of food, fiber and […]
We get to meet a lot of interesting and dedicated people at the local soil and water office. I answered the telephone recently and was asked, “My neighbor said some government program would pay me to build fence to keep cattle out of the creek. Do you know anything about that?” Choosing programs I explained […]
Most aquatic insects live in the bottom of our streams, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. They are good indicators of a water’s health because they live in the water for all or most of their lives, differ in their tolerance to amount and types of pollution and stay in areas suitable for their survival.
Like most people, radio stations, diner conversations and forecasters, the talk of late has been about the dreaded wet weather we have been experiencing. Even when the sun does come out, we have a long ways to go before the fields dry up. Although it may feel good to vent, complaining doesn’t change the situation. […]
Many soil and water conservation offices have been busy working with high school students who compete in the area Envirothons. For those unfamiliar with the Envirothon, it is an environmental education competition that tests high school students’ knowledge of soil, forestry, aquatic ecology, wildlife and current environmental issues. Envirothon. In Ohio, the Envirothon is sponsored […]
I love those moments when I am talking with someone about a natural resources issue and I actually see the light bulb turn on. I had one of those moments several summers ago on a camping trip with one of my close friends, and recollect it proudly on rainy days like these. We were about […]
This year, we have seen a tremendous amount of water due to snow melt and several 2- to 4-inch rainfall events.
As I write this, it’s raining. Again. And the weather forecast shows little clouds with raindrops and lightning bolts almost every day this week. But you don’t need me to remind you that we had some wet and wild weather this past winter and spring. And a drive through the countryside shows the toll it’s […]
If you have a serious case of cabin fever, like I do, you will be glad to read that the Eastern Ohio Grazing Council is kicking off the pasture walk series at the end of the month. This is the second year for this group to have these educational meetings in the field. During the […]
Conservation is everyone’s responsibility.
We are a rural area, but by now many of these students are at least two generations removed from any family member involved in agriculture. They may live near a farm, or pass farms on the way to school every day, but what they know about farming or the environment is very limited.
Oh the joys of spring, birds migrating back, grasses starting to green up, blowing winds, extreme weather changes, and yes, mud! Very few of us can escape the wrath of soil mixed with excessive amounts of water, otherwise know as mud. For livestock owners, this is a critical time of year when we must manage […]
If you sold timber and the company’s poor management practices led to soil erosion and stream sedimentation, you’d probably have some choice words for the person responsible. However, you’d be talking to yourself. When woodland owners sell timber, their legal responsibility for preventing water pollution doesn’t automatically pass to the logger harvesting the trees. Under […]
When drilling a water well, no one can guarantee you that you will have water or how much water you will have. When you hire a well driller to drill you a well, you are paying for a developed hole in the ground — nothing more.
Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD) can offer more than just technical assistance to the public. Many of Ohio’s Soil and Water Conservation Districts employ education specialists as part of the staff. These folks are specialists in the field of natural resource education. On behalf of the districts, they go out into the community and […]
Hooray for tile! Now that’s something you don’t hear too often from people these days. Seems over the last decade or so in certain quarters that tile drainage is viewed as some sort of menace to society in our politically correct world. In fact, you might wonder, has it become a four letter word ? […]
They are out there. Inconspicuous and undetected, many buried underneath a hardened blanket of snow and ice, they are scattered throughout our Ohio woodlands. And they are waiting. Though winter has declared her reign, it will be only a few more weeks until these silent, dormant spaces tucked away on the forest floor will awaken […]
The Stark Soil and Water Conservation District was recently asked to help the ODNR Division of Soil and Water Resources host several dam safety workshops. While researching information related to Ohio’s dams, I came across some eye-opening information Catastrophe Did you know that the IVEX Dam (Chagrin River, northeastern Ohio) failed catastrophically on Aug. 13, […]
In my last article – Kids Caring about Conservation — I eluded to the fact that a large percentage of today’s youth do not get a chance to experience the great outdoors. This lack of experience often leads to a complete disconnection with the wild world around them. As we encourage the conservation of our […]
As I look out my window and see the snow covering the ground, it is hard to believe that spring is just 60 days away. Even with the snow on the ground, now is a perfect time to think about spring planning. Spring planning can include all sorts of projects and goals, such as planting […]