The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) will seek to reclaim parts of Perry State Forest in Blue Rock, Ohio, which could potentially impact the 16 miles of All Purpose Vehicle (APV) trails in the forest.
The ODNR’s Division of Forestry and Division of Mineral Resources Management will spearhead the project, with their focus on revitalizing several of the forest’s retention ponds by reducing the levels of acid drain, and decreasing the slope of highwalls throughout the forest.
At this time, the ODNR is yet to produce any formal documented plans — as the project is in its earliest stages — and there is no set timeline for the project.
Although the ODNR seeks to reclaim pieces of Perry State Forest, the department reassured the American Motorcyclist Association that they have no plans to shut down the forest for APV access. If the ODNR is required to shut down pieces of APV trails during the project, the department noted that they would create a new trail of equal distance elsewhere within the forest grounds.
As the project develops, the ODNR will continue to update the AMA regarding their plans for the area and are open to comments or concerns from the public with respect to the project. The ODNR is also looking forward to engaging with the public in an open house setting once formal plans for the project are developed.
“This is an excellent example of our membership letting us know what they’re seeing in their communities,” AMA Eastern States Representative Shayna Fritz said, “and things they believe the AMA should be paying attention to. Please don’t hesitate to inform us of riding rights topics in your area that you feel the AMA could help provide insight and guidance on.”
“As for the Perry State Forest project,” Fritz added, “the AMA encourages its members, especially those in Ohio who frequent Perry State Forest and can speak to the benefit of the trails, to stay engaged with ODNR as they continue formalizing a forest reclamation plan. Comment periods are the perfect time to inform state agencies of your past experiences and knowledge on topics that are important to you.”
For further information regarding Perry State Forest, visit https://ohiodnr.gov/go-and-do/plan-a-visit/find-a-property/perry-state-forest. To contact the ODNR, go to https://ohiodnr.gov/discover-and-learn/safety-conservation/about-odnr/contact-us.