Amid Covid-19 Ohio BHA works to remove Wayne National Forest illegal dump site

A limited number of Ohio BHA members congregated under the complicated web of COVID-19 restrictions to tackle a massive dumpsite in the Athens District of the Wayne National Forest. 

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Prior to getting our hands dirty, we met at forest headquarters to receive our U.S. Forest Service Eastern Region Volunteers and Service Award that recognized a 2019 tree planting project at Lake Vesuvius Recreation Area – HUGE props to Josh Keenan for being instrumental in that project’s planning.

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Forest Supervisor Carrie Gilbert was on hand for the award presentation, and she shared 30 minutes of good conversation that ranged from future project ideas to the status of the Forest Plan Revision process.  Eventually we made it to the task at hand, and with more than the normal (any other year than 2020!) garb of PPE, volunteers twice filled a dump truck with trash from a single dumpsite a little outside of Nelsonville, Ohio.  With the oppressive humidity, the task was a labor of love but not without reward.  In the chatter of the morning, the subject of foraging for wild edibles was broached.  One of the event’s organizers – Evan Siembida of Siembida Custom Knives – was a local who knew of a probable nearby chanterelle flush.  He delivered on an overly generous offer that let us cap off a great morning with a heaping tailgate of summertime gold.

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