Preserved recreation land open to the public
COSHOCTON — An additional 934 acres of forestland in Linton Township has been permanently preserved, thanks to AEP, Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Ohio Public Works and Muskingum Watershed Conservancy District.
The extension property is adjacent to the original 1,827 acre Coshocton Forest Property (to the north) and the 3,807 acre Wills Creek Lake Property (to the south). This land, which has been open for public use for years as part of the Conesville Public Recreation Area, will forever remain open to public use due to a successful partnership between a large corporation, local and state government and the largest land trust in Ohio.
The permanent conservation of the forest will ensure recreational use for community members and visitors and continue to contribute to the local economy with tourism revenue.
Utilizing Clean Ohio funding, the MWCD and Western Reserve acquired the property from AEP. The vast natural area will be open to the public for hiking, bird watching, nature study, fishing, hunting and more. The property will offer immense community benefit, adding to the $56.5 million tourism industry in Coshocton County.
Coshocton Forest Extension is located in the Muskingum River Watershed, the largest wholly contained watershed in the state of Ohio, encompassing 8,051 square miles.
“The Land Conservancy is proud to play a role in the conservation of such a large and important addition to a well-established conservation area,” said Alex Czayka, senior vice president for conservation transactions at Western Reserve, in a press release. “Putting the puzzle pieces together to create a contiguous corridor of conserved land benefits wildlife and people alike, we are grateful to our partners for working together to achieve these shared goals.”
The acquisition of Coshocton Forest Extension will preserve 100 acres of wetlands and more than 16,000 linear feet of primary headwater streams as they originate on the property. The acquisition and preservation of Coshocton Forest Extension will protect the integrity of these valuable natural resources and sustain their capacity to provide high-quality plant and animal habitat, storm water mitigation and water quality protection within the Muskingum River watershed, among other benefits.
“Deals like this are complex and take a lot of time,” said Craig Butler, MWCD executive director, in the release. “We appreciate the teamwork with AEP, Western Reserve Land Conservancy and the Office of Public Works to help MWCD acquire this property. By securing this property, MWCD will have multiple opportunities to implement conservation and recreation measures in line with MWCD’s mission, that will further enhance the preservation, conservation and recreation of the property for the benefit of the public for generations to come. We are excited to start talking to our stakeholders on how best to manage…
Read more:: 943 acres added to Coshocton Forest Extension