Ohioans’ commitments to state’s natural resources are recognized

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COLUMBUS – The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded its highest honor to three individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the protection and enjoyment of the state’s natural resources.
Inducted into the Ohio Natural Resources Hall of Fame were Eric Metzler, formerly of Columbus, Fred Abraham of Navarre, and the late Floyd Bartley of Pickaway County.
The department also presented its annual Cardinal Award for conservation achievement to Chase Heyman of Norwalk, Ed Honton of Columbus, Bob Downing of Akron, Jane Ann Ellis of Columbus, and the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy.
The department’s director, Sam Speck, presented the awards during a ceremony at the agency’s Fountain Square Headquarters Complex in Columbus.
Hall of fame. The department established the hall of fame in 1966 to recognize a lifetimes devoted to the preservation, protection and wise management of Ohio’s natural resources.
To date, 138 individuals have been inducted, including the legendary Johnny Appleseed (John Chapman), Ohio-born explorer John Wesley Powell, botanist Lucy Braun, and conservationist and novelist Louis Bromfield.
Metzler. Eric Metzler is considered one of the nation’s premier butterfly and moth experts.
His dedication to the study of insects has made Ohio a national leader in the field of insect conservation.
Metzler is a co-founder of The Ohio Lepidopterist Society, the Midwest Biological Diversity Institute and the Ohio long-term Butterfly Monitoring Program.
He has authored 38 scientific publications on lepidoptera, and in 2002, was credited with the discovery of a new species of moth, Spinipogon resthavenensis, which exists in only two places in the world.
Abraham. A wildlife conservationist and avid outdoor sportsman, Fred Abraham has invested more than 55 years ensuring the quality and vitality of Ohio’s hunting and trapping heritage.
A former manager of the Division of Wildlife District No. 3 office, he spent 24 years with Ducks Unlimited. During that time, he significantly increased the number of Ducks Unlimited chapters in the state.
An advocate of wetland rehabilitation and protection, he also was instrumental in acquiring funds from U.S. Congress to create the Pickerel Creek and Metzger Marsh state wildlife areas.
Bartley. The late Floyd Bartley was a Pickaway County farmer and self-described “amateur” botanist.
He collected plants from all over Ohio, placing thousands in numerous herbaria throughout the United States, including more than 5,000 donations to Ohio University, where he was honored with a herbarium in his name.
The recipient of numerous conservation and botanical awards, today, he is remembered as having a remarkable knack for discovering plants, including an Ohio grass species in 1934 that was later named in his honor.
Cardinal Awards. The department’s Cardinal Awards honor individuals and organizations demonstrating exceptional awareness and concern for ideals reflected in the department’s mission statement: to ensure a balance between the wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.
Heyman. Chase Heyman has served as an elected supervisor of the Huron Soil and Water Conservation District for more than 45 years.
In this role, he has advocated and demonstrated the importance of preventing soil erosion, implementing sound drainage practices, managing woodlands and controlling nutrient runoff.
Additionally, he has helped garner significant state and federal resources that assist Huron County landowners implement widespread conservation practices.
Honton. For more than a decade, Ed Honton has been an energetic force behind the completion of the Ohio to Erie Trail, which upon its completion will offer outdoor enthusiasts more than 453 miles of trail from Cincinnati to Cleveland.
An avid cyclist, he has pedaled countless miles across the state, helped develop numerous other trails and created trail maps and publications, including 36 Bike Routes in Central Ohio.
Downing. A longtime environment writer for the Akron Beacon Journal, Bob Downing has consistently provided northeastern Ohio residents with thoughtful, well-balanced coverage of the Ohio environment and outdoor recreation, covering a wide range of natural resources topics.
Ellis. Through the work of Crane Hollow Inc., founded with her late husband, Bill, Jane Ann Ellis, a Columbus-area resident, has led one of the most far-reaching and effective private land preservation efforts in Ohio.
Her stewardship has ensured the protection of 1,400 acres in the Crane Hollow watershed of the Hocking Hills in southeastern Ohio, including the 1,112-acre Crane Hollow State Nature Preserve.
Group effort. For more than 50 years, the Ohio Chapter of The Nature Conservancy has been a major partner in preserving more than 35,000 acres of ecologically and geologically significant natural areas in the state.
Most recently, the organization protected more than 4,000 acres of ecologically diverse forested land in the Ironton area of Lawrence County.

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