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ODNR Repairs Churn Creek Lake Dam at Shawnee State Forest

Brenda Gibson

January 2, 2013

Repairs to the Churn Creek Lake dam at Shawnee State Forest were successfully completed last month, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ (ODNR) Division of Forestry. Shawnee State Forest staff, with assistance from the ODNR Division of Engineering, repaired the dam to ensure that it once again functioned effectively.


“I am pleased that ODNR had the funding and workforce talent to repair and save this important icon of our conservation legacy,” said Robert Boyles, state forester and chief of ODNR’s Division of Forestry. “Money for the repairs was supplied through Shawnee State Forest’s annual operating budget, which is supported through timber sale revenue.”


“This is a prime example of how a government agency can utilize its employees’ expertise and its funding for the betterment of the local community,” said state Rep. Terry Johnson, who represents Scioto County and parts of Lawrence and Adams counties. “It was important for all of us to work together to fix this problem.”


A leak had developed near the spillway in the Churn Creek Lake dam. Repairs involved lowering the water level, excavating a portion of the earthen dam that was leaking and subsequently repacking the soil into the excavated dam.


When the leak was initially discovered, the ODNR Division of Engineering inspected the dam and made a recommendation of either breeching the dam and restoring the creek bed to its natural channel or repairing the dam. The ODNR Division of Forestry presented the recommendations to the local community, which resulted in strong public support for repairing the dam. State Rep. Johnson also supported and encouraged the repairs to the dam.


Churn Creek Lake is one of five small lakes located in Shawnee State Forest. The lakes were originally constructed as a water supply to Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the 1930s.


ODNR’s Division of Forestry works to promote the wise use and sustainable management of Ohio’s public and private woodlands. To learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, forest health and tree care, visit ohiodnr.com/forestry.


ODNR ensures a wise balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.