The sun is shining today, but it's gonna dump buckets of rain soon and the rivers will swell and get that coffee-with-creamer look to them. It's spring in Ohio, the days are getting longer and greener, and turkey season will come quick and be here before we fully have time to prepare. Some of us have bailed out for spring break, using our kids being off from school as a good excuse to cruse down to Florida for some fishing and heat. Although we may escape for a few days, we look forward to morels, and gobbles in the morning, and wet wading through long evenings. As summer approaches, the Ohio chapter is charging ahead on all fronts (between getting out in the woods and water, of course)!
The tragic train derailment and subsequent chemical fires and contamination in East Palestine have been top of mind in recent weeks. Our hearts go out to the citizens. It's not easy to wonder if your home is safe, and the response from both business and government has been slower and more ham-fisted than we'd hope. There have been some recent good signs, though. A couple of hellbenders were spotted in North Fork Beaver Creek. It took the weight of substantial public interest and disapproval, but we've seen the gears of government grind toward reducing the likelihood of these kinds of disasters too, and we applaud the efforts of our Ohio senators to that end. The story is not a positive one, but if we prevent these kinds of disasters in the future, some good will have come of it.
The threat of unfettered oil and gas leasing under Ohio state parks, forests, and wildlife areas remains, a side effect of the infamous "chicken bill" and the delayed implementation of a rigorous rule making process. We are actively exploring options to help fill this gap, this period where the "shall" language of the chicken bill (currently in effect) and the delayed implementation of the rule making process (which will not be in force for some time) does not allow for any scrutiny of leases for extraction under state parks. We do not oppose mineral extraction in principle, but we do oppose any use of public lands that does not allow for public comment. We will have more to say, and much more to do on this topic in the future!
We've had some bomber events recently, and are spooling up some more events for the upcoming year! We had a simply great time hanging out with friends old and new at the Sportsmans Expo in Columbus, then met for beer and raffles at a pint night at Parsons North Brewing. It was a very successful weekend, where we sold some stuff and picked up a bunch of new members, but also had a really good time. During that same weekend, BHA members met up with some friends from the Ohio Department of Wildlife and helped make some new fish attracting structure on Rocky Fork Lake in southern Ohio.
We have a bunch of events planned in upcoming months, and hope to hear your tales of turks and tarpon!