Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge Proposal at Critical Juncture

Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge Proposal at Critical Juncture

Little Darby National Wildlife Refuge Proposal at Critical Juncture

The proposal by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service for the creation of a national wildlife refuge to preserve 23,000 acres of prairie and stream habitat and 23,000 acres of farmland in the Darby Watershed, 25 miles west of Columbus is fighting for life. The Little and Big Darby Creeks, named a “Last Great Place” by The Nature Conservancy, are home to 103 species of fish and 38 species of mussels, including two federally endangered mussel species. The refuge would protect the Little Darby as well as restore a small portion of Ohio’s tallgrass prairies.

Members of Congress are hearing from proponents at this critical time making the points that the proposed wildlife refuge would:

 

  1. Provide habitat for federally endangered and state threatened species and restore a portion of Ohio’s historic tall grass prairie, a rare habitat that has all but disappeared from Ohio.
  2. Preserve farmland that is threatened by constant development pressure from several surrounding communities by implementing the only funded program to preserve farmland in Ohio.
  3. Provide recreational opportunities in a unique ecological preserve.
  4. Be an entirely voluntary option for landowners; eminent domain will not be used and the agency will pay full, fair- market value for land purchased thereby saving this very special place for future generations to enjoy by using voluntary purchases only.

 

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Images courtesy of Steven Huyser-Honig,
West Grand Boulevard Collaborative, & Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.