Egypt Valley is a government wasteland



In 1994, the Ohio Dept of Natural Resources, with the use of tax funds, purchased the first part of Egypt Valley Wildlife Refuge. Since then, more land has been acquired, making the ODNR properties, in mostly Kirkwood township, totaling about 28,000 acres.

In 1994, ODNR officials outlined a grandiose plan to Kirkwood folks that a huge lake would be built, public tourist shelters and attractions for drawing thousands of nature-loving guests to the area.

Hiking, hunting and fishing opportunities would be developed. Business opportunities for food and sporting supplies could benefit local vendors. ODNR promised it would be a draw to the area, offering many profit options. ODNR alleged that with its construction of a 100-acre lake that a local city water system could be developed that would furnish ample water for Fairview and Hendrysburg residents.

This area has suffered due to poor water wells and cistern roof-water collection; it was excited at this new opportunity. The lake would provide abundant water for residents as well as open up opportunities for development, housing and increased area population. Land values would also increase. Even with resistance from the township trustees, with big promises, the government moved forward.

The lake never happened. The tourist shelters never happened. Yet, instead, 28,000 acres was taken out of the tax roll making Kirkwood the poorest funded of any township in Belmont County. ODNR pays no taxes and provides no funding for road maintenance, schools or law enforcement.

The fact is this land is not owned by farms and families in manageable parcels. Billions of dollars in cattle, hunting fees, timber and farm produce is not being grown for public income and food.

Kirkwood Township suffers from this massive government boondoggle. Egypt Valley Wildlife Refuge has become a costly wasteland jungle to every tax payer and adjoining landowner.

In Ohio, ODNR now boasts they have purchased — with tax funds — 800,000 acres. This isn’t just Ohio. President Biden boasts his administration has acquired over 24 million acres for “protection” from private use. The federal government wants to own 50% of the U.S. land mass by 2050.

As folks drive along I-70, see the refuge signs and assume it is a harmless government adventure, there is more under the carpet than meets the eye. ODNR tossed Kirkwood Township citizens under the tractor, plus all the adjoining neighbors, with no remorse in sight. They plan to buy more land with your tax collections.

Darol Dickinson

Barnesville, Ohio


  1. Farm and Dairy,
    Please do some research before you print someones rant about government wasteland.
    1. the ground was purchased with sportsmen dollars not taxes
    2. it was funded with help from partners like the NWTF, Ducks Unlimited etc.
    3. it is not a refuge. It is a wildlife area where hunting, fishing, berry picking, bird watching, and hiking takes place.
    4. it is used heavily during hunting seasons by instate and out of state users.


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