Budget cuts to hurt environmental efforts?

When the Trump administration releases its budget, early indications are concepts like global warming, clean water and clean air will be severely short-changed.

Perhaps it is a bit premature to issue a “sky is falling” decree, but some folks who make it their business to know say big cuts are coming for just about anything environmental.

“If true, the level of cuts being discussed would be devastating,” said Chad Lord, policy director for the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. “Federal Great Lakes restoration investments are producing results across the region, but serious threats remain. These cuts will essentially stop restoration efforts in their tracks, in states like Michigan, Wisconsin and Ohio.”

The cuts apparently will include grants from the federal governments to states and that could be a severe blow to efforts to clean up the toxic algae problems in Ohio in places like Lake Erie, Grand Lake St. Marys and others.

Youth turkey hunt: Although the youth turkey hunting season does not take place until April 22-23, young hunters should take note of a permit-only opportunity at Paint Creek State Park. Sections of the park will be available to permitted youth only (accompanied by a non-hunting adult) on April 22, 29 and May 6, 13 and 20.

A drawing for permits will be held at 1 p.m. on March 25 at the Fallsville Wildlife Area, 10221 Careytown Road, New Vienna. The non-hunting adult accompanying the youth hunter on the day of the hunt must enter the drawing. The permit will be issued in the adult’s name. If drawn, the youth hunter must purchase an Ohio hunting license and youth turkey permit prior to the day of the hunt. For more information, call Fallsville Wildlife Area at 937-987-2508, or the District Five Headquarters at 937-372-9261 or visit wildohio.gov.

Officer honored: Clinton County Wildlife Officer Matthew Roberts has been named wildlife officer of the year by the Ohio Bowhunters Association. Roberts started his career with ODNR in 2003 at Rush Run Wildlife Area. Roberts also spent two summers working with Wildlife District Five's fish management section as a creel clerk on Acton and Rush Run Lakes. In January 2005 Roberts entered the wildlife officer training academy and has served as the state wildlife officer assigned to Clinton County since July of 2005.

Spring Aboard: That's the name of the new push by ODNR to encourage boaters to take a safety course. "Spring Aboard" is actually a national program set for March 19-25. The national boating safety campaign was created to help educate boaters and reduce the number of serious boating accidents.

U.S. Coast Guard statistics show that of accidents where the level of operator education was known, 71 percent of boating deaths occurred on boats where the boat operator had never received boater education.

In Ohio, a boater education course is required for anyone wanting to operate a boat over 10 horsepower who was born after Jan. 1, 1982. For more information about boater education, visit watercraft.ohiodnr.gov/boatereducation.

Take a hike: Join the “Spring into Fitness Hike” at Caesar Creek State Park. Meet at the nature center for a five-mile guided hike on March 19, from 1-4 p.m. For more information, call 513-897-2437.

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