Posted: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 12:15 am | Updated: 6:12 pm, Mon Nov 19, 2012.
Commissioners to support Clean Ohio land acquisition
By MICHAEL O’BRIEN Courier staff journalist
Vinton County Commissioners agreed Monday to support a request by Appalachia Ohio Alliance to acquire a small tract of land in what the group calls Bison Hollow in northern Vinton County. The acquisition would be funded through a grant from the Clean Ohio Green Space Conservation Program.
Commissioners voted unanimously to provide a letter of support to the grant application. Commission President Mike Bledsoe said he did not see a problem with supporting acquisition. “I think it’s a good use of the property and is good for the county and the community,” Bledsoe said.
AOA President Brian Blair informed the commission of the group’s plans to purchase land in Jackson Twp. that would expand a conservation area known as Bison Hollow. The group currently owns 80 acres of native forest south of Ash Cave. “The hollow is thought to be the last reported location of wood bison once native to Ohio,” Blair said.
Blair said the last of the bison was killed in 1799. A wood bison is a subspecies of bison of the North American bison or buffalo and once ranged over a large area of Canada and the Northwest Territories.
“The area is known for its rock formations, waterfalls and parts of the Buckeye and North Country trails goes through the hollow,” Blair said. “This land conservation project provides habitat to a variety of plants and animal species.”
The purchase price of the land would not exceed the appraised value. Grants from the Clean Ohio Fund have been used in the past to acquire and preserve other areas of Vinton County. Clean Ohio funding was used in the Moonville Railway Open Space Acquisition which consists of 145 acres along the nine miles of the Moonville Railway corridor.
The fund was also used to purchase 80 acres of land in Elk Township. The acquisition to preserved forested land that buffers tributaries to a branch of Elk Fork Creek which flows into Raccoon Creek.
The Clean Ohio Fund provides assistance to a variety of projects including clean up and restoration of brownfields, farmland preservation and for the development and maintenance of recreational trail areas