Businesses show their support for the Ohio Wildlife Project

Businesses show their support for the Ohio Wildlife Project
A big shout out for those businesses who have chosen to partner with the Ohio Wildlife project.
Fin Feather Fur Outfitters of Ashland, Boardman, Canton, Middleburg Hts., and Milan Ohio. At The Fin, they pride themselves on customer service & product knowledge. They have gone to great lengths to make sure they are at the forefront of the industry’s new technology and gear. Above all, they want you to feel like family when you walk in their doors.
The Sportsman’s Den is your source for Firearms, Sporting Goods, Hunting Supplies, and Outdoor Gear in North Central Ohio. Located in Shelby it’s just a short drive from Mansfield, and centrally located between Columbus, Cleveland, and Toledo, it is worth the trip to come and see them.
Rural King Supply of Norwalk, America’s Farm and Home Department Store. They have an outstanding product mix including livestock feed, farm equipment, workwear, hunting supplies, housewares and toys. You never know what you will find at your local Rural King and that’s why every trip is an adventure.
Wild Birds Unlimited of Sandusky can help prepare you for the best backyard bird feeding experience possible. At Wild Birds Unlimited, their Certified Bird Feeding Specialist are trained to show you how to turn your yard into a bird feeding habitat that not only brings song, color and life to your home, but also benefits the wild birds and the environment in your area.
Buckeye Acres Campground and Its restaurant the Buckeye Fire & Grill of Clyde Ohio. Located in a quiet country setting, it is the perfect place for a seasonal family getaway, staycation, family vacation, or an enjoyable meal. Their location allows easy access to Cedar Point, Seneca Caverns, Attica and Fremont Speedways. They offer one of the areas longest camping seasons from early April to November.
These businesses have agreed to either have donation box’s placed on their countertops or have a change round up at their registers. We would encourage all outdoor enthusiast to support these local businesses and when checking out don’t forget the Ohio Wildlife Project. The best way to show your support of these businesses is by patronizing them. Let them know you appreciate their partnership with the Ohio Wildlife Project.
If you would be interested in partnering with the Ohio Wildlife Project or know of someone who might be please contact us at

Tribute to the monarch butterfly: Ohioans gather milkweed seeds to save a species

Ohioans know if they want a sky filled with the wings of the monarch butterfly, it’s going to take healthy habitat for monarchs and other pollinators. That’s why hundreds of Ohioans worked together last fall to collect approximately 200 pounds of common milkweed seeds, totaling over 19 million seeds! If you live in Ohio, you can take part in the 2017 statewide milkweed seed pod collection.
Last year’s massive statewide seed collection effort was spearheaded by the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative, which is working to get the word out about why monarch butterflies are disappearing and help partners create monarch habitat.
The disappearance of milkweed, the only host plant for monarch caterpillars, across the U.S. has contributed to the 80% decline of the eastern monarch butterfly population over the last 20 years. Regionally adapted milkweed grows and blooms when monarchs need it most. The dried husks of the common milkweed pods are a treasure chest filled with biological gems – viable milkweed seeds. The decrease in local milkweed plants makes local seed collection efforts all the more important.
“If we want monarchs, we need to protect their awe inspiring multigenerational migration to and from Mexico,” explains Marci Lininger, Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative Coordinator and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Ecological Services Biologist. “That means more milkweed across monarch habitat and speaks to the Initiative’s motto ‘All you can, where you can’.”
From September 1 to October 31, 2016 Ohioans showed their overwhelming support for monarch conservation. Local agencies and individuals came together across 88 counties to collect, label and drop off their common milkweed pods. In preparation for this massive collection effort, Waste Management Inc. donated 90 specially marked collection bins and Soil and Water Conservation District offices served as drop off locations.
“The driver for our expanded efforts to collect common milkweed pods was the increased price of common milkweed seed,” said Lininger. “Adding in common milkweed seed to pollinator mixes doubled the price of our mixes and we decided that we could harvest the seeds ourselves and add it to our mixes once we purchased them.”
Over 2,500 gallons of pods were collected, enough to fill five truck beds! The majority of seeds collected are being grown into plugs with the help of prison horticultural programs. These seedlings will be tended overwinter to increase survival rates when they are transplanted next spring. About 5% of the seeds were given to participating Soil and Water Conservation Districts to thank them for their efforts in the statewide collection. The remaining seeds have been used for outreach and in seed mixes to establish connected monarch habitats across Ohio. The seeds sprouting today are priceless, because they are also the seeds of hope for a future filled with monarchs.
Lininger offered this advice to other states looking to start milkweed collection programs: “Early on you have to establish a firm foundation of partnership and interest. A shared understanding of goals and missions among our partners has given us the ability to make the Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative a sustainable, long term grass roots program that will be around for future generations – of both Ohioans and monarchs”.
The Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative and other partners help create pollinator habitat to achieve the Pollinator Health Task Force’s goals of 7 million acres of pollinator habitat established across North America over the next 5 years and increase the Eastern population of the monarch butterfly to 225 million butterflies.
The amazing results of the 2016 collection would not be possible without the support of Ohio Pollinator Habitat Initiative’s partners including: Ohio Soil and Water Conservation Districts, Ohio Department of Natural Resources – Division of Wildlife, Waste Management Inc., Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Transportation, Ohio Department of Agriculture, Ohio State University, Wright State University, Master Gardeners, Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalists, and many more.
For more information about the Ohio Pollinators Habitat Initiative contact: Lori Stevenson: or Marci Lininger:
This story originally published in the USFWS Inside Region 3 Newsletter. Written By Melissa A. Clark, USFWS Midwest Regional Office – External Affairs and Lori Stevenson, USFWS Ohio Private Lands Office. Header photo by Jeff Burris, Ohio Division of Wildlife

Celebrate the Myriad Benefits of National Wildlife Refuges During Refuge Week October 8-14

October 4, 2017
Vanessa Kauffman

National Wildlife Refuge Week, observed this year on October 8-14, celebrates the world-class recreation brought to Americans by the National Wildlife Refuge System, the nation’s largest network of public lands managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There is no better time to rediscover the rivers and trails that put national wildlife refuges on the “must visit” list for millions of Americans.
National wildlife refuges have been part of America’s proud natural heritage since the first refuge was established in 1903. Refuges provide vital habitat for thousands of species and access to world-class recreation, from fishing, hunting and hiking to nature watching, photography and environmental education. You can find at least one refuge in every state and every U.S. territory.
“Americans are fortunate to have access to an unparalleled network of national wildlife refuges close to where they live,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke, who kicked off Refuge Week early today while visiting with staff and touring Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. “Whether you are hunting, fishing or just enjoying the great outdoors, I encourage everyone to get out and visit a refuge near you. One of my top priorities is to open up access wherever possible for the public to enjoy these lands so that more families have the opportunity to pass down that heritage as I have with my children.”
In 2016 alone, hunting, fishing and other outdoor activities contributed more than $156.3 billion in economic activity across the United States, according to the Service’s National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, published every five years. More than 101.6 million Americans, or 40 percent of the United States’ population 16 and older, pursued wildlife-related recreation.
“For hunters, anglers, wildlife watchers, photographers and hikers, the National Wildlife Refuge System is the jewel of our nation’s public lands,” said Fish and Wildlife Service Principal Deputy Director Greg Sheehan. “Refuge Week is a good time to remind ourselves of what America would be like without access to these amazing places.”
Americans living in most of the nation’s largest communities can find a national wildlife refuge within an hour’s drive. Hunting, within specified limits, is currently permitted on 372 wildlife refuges. Fishing is currently permitted on 309 wildlife refuges.
This year’s Refuge Week launches a year-long celebration of America’s rivers and trails in partnership with federal agencies and non-profit organizations, leading up to the 50th anniversaries of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and National Trails System Act on October 2, 2018. Take the opportunity to #FindYourWay to national wildlife refuges: walk, hike, bike, float, paddle, serve and learn alongside our nation’s wild and majestic birds, mammals and fish that call these unique places home. There are more than 340,000 miles of river that flow through refuges to #MakeYourSplash, as well as more than 2,100 miles of land trails on refuges across the country.
The Refuge System includes 566 national wildlife refuges and 38 wetland management districts covering over 150 million acres of lands. More than 50 million Americans visit refuges every year. Refuges support regional economies to the tune of $2.4 billion per year and more than 35,000 jobs.
During National Wildlife Refuge Week, held annually during the second full week of October, you can find special events, festivals, tours and even chances to volunteer to help wildlife. While you’re there, learn how refuges protect green spaces and improve life for you and your community.
Learn more about this year’s celebration by visiting: