The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) invites public comments regarding the 2014-2015 hunting, trapping and fishing regulations at open houses on Saturday, March 1, from 12-3 p.m., and online through Sunday, March 2. Input concerning proposed hunting season dates, bag limits and rule changes will be accepted during open houses and online at wildohio.com. Comments about Ohio’s white-tailed deer and wild turkey hunting seasons are welcomed. Regulation proposals were presented to the Ohio Wildlife Council at meetings on Jan. 8 and Feb. 5.
Open houses are open to the public. Anyone interested in providing input and participating in Ohio’s professional wildlife management process is welcome. ODNR Division of Wildlife biologists and law enforcement officers will be available to answer questions and receive comments.
People who are not able to attend an open house at one of the seven locations can provide input online. Comments are accepted through March 2 at wildohio.com. Click on Proposed Rule Changes/CSI Review to share comments.
Public input gathered at these open houses and through the online form will be considered during the formulation of regulations. For more information or directions to the open houses, visit wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543).
Open house location information for March 1:
Central Ohio: Wildlife District One office, 1500 Dublin Road, Columbus 43215; 614-644-3925;
Northwest Ohio: Wildlife District Two office, 952 Lima Avenue, Findlay 45840; 419-424-5000;
Northeast Ohio: Wildlife District Three office, 912 Portage Lakes Drive, Akron 44319; 330-644-2293;
Southeast Ohio: Wildlife District Four office, 360 E. State Street, Athens 45701; 740-589-9930;
Southwest Ohio: Greene County Fish and Game, 1538 Union Road, Xenia 45385; 937-372-9261;
Lake Erie (east): Fairport Fisheries office, 1190 High Street, Fairport Harbor 44077; 440-352-4199;
Lake Erie (west): Lake Erie Shores and Islands Regional Welcome Center, 770 SE Catawba Road, Port Clinton 43452; 419-625-8062.
Open house attendees and online visitors will have the opportunity to learn more about and comment on Ohio’s State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP), which is currently under revision. The purpose of Ohio’s SWAP is to provide direction for conserving wildlife diversity in Ohio. The plan specifically addresses species and habitats in greatest need of conservation and the development of conservation actions to abate problems for those species and habitats. Ohio’s SWAP is being revised for use by people with an interest in wildlife conservation. Comments will be accepted at wildohio.com from Saturday, March 1, through Wednesday, April 30.
A statewide hearing on proposed rules will be held on Thursday, March 6, at 9 a.m. at the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s District One office. This hearing is open to the public, and comments on the proposed rules will be accepted.
The Ohio Wildlife Council is an eight-member board that approves all of the ODNR Division of Wildlife’s proposed rules and regulations. The council will vote on the proposed rules and season dates during its meeting on April 9 after considering public input. Council meetings are open to the public. Individuals who want to provide comments on a topic that is currently being considered by council are asked to preregister at least two days prior to the meeting by calling 614-265-6304. All comments are required to be three minutes or less.
ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.gov.