Hello there, I am in need of help. Due to excessive gas destruction, ongoing...

Asked September 18, 2019, 2:36 PM EDT

Hello there, I am in need of help. Due to excessive gas destruction, ongoing drilling, disturbed streams, increased crop farming, and the resulting natural consequences my few acres of wilderness has progressed from our private growing nature preserve to an overpopulated last resort for all creatures great and small. We have gone from the pleasant regular sight of wildlife to territorial feuds on the part of highly agitated and displaced creatures. Not to mention a population explosion of salamanders, snakes, frogs, birds, insects, etc. never seen in our county before. We cannot walk though our one acre of grass (of 10 wooded) without killing hundreds of millipedes which we can't naturally control without killing slugs, snails, frogs, and the like. We have mutated flora & fauna. Our two small natural ponds are overflowing with reptiles, fish, amphibians and insects of all sorts. Our natural spring/streams are now carrying algae thanks to farming fertilizers and our pure well/spring water in now discolored and smells awful. I have a graveyard (now almost a quarter acre) not just for family pets but other creatures that have been ripped to disgusting, half eaten shreds near the house. Our little spot of paradise has become a place of gruesome survival horror. Instead of instilling a appreciation and caring for nature in our children we are explaining that their beloved pets were eaten by coyotes, that the bunnies are all gone, that they cannot explore in the ponds, and that they have to wear shoes outside. Moreover we have to coat ourselves in bug repellant poison so as not to return with 20+ ticks or bites from insects the size of our faces from a short walk in the woods. Our garden is no longer a source of food but an entomological nightmare. I'm not unaware loving nature requires accepting the cruelty with the beauty. I am thrilled to be providing a somewhere displaced animals can successfully breed. They are all welcome.
However, I am now acutely aware that I have no idea of how to manage a property that seems to be a last resort for everything from wild turkeys to erie area salamanders to incredibly aggressive jumping spiders. That doesn't count the species that have no natural place in this habitat because they belong in marshlands or caves. In ten years I have gone from being excited about finding rare species to having so many I just started to research & document them all. Our property is at maximum capacity for what it can support. I feel like it is my duty to preserve the creatures and their rightful environment. We've made a lot of changes to accommodate & help wildlife survive including eliminating chemical care, landscaping with native plants, and turning our koi pond into a standing vernal pool. I am educating myself as much as possible, and enough to know I'm still clueless. I cannot alone create the balance for these creatures to survive let alone flourish anywhere. Two days ago I found out they are going to start box mining in our area.

So here's the big question: Can you please link me with specific people or departments within organizations that are willing to help me address this issue on any level from wildlife expert to land management to state conservation law? I know there are other people out there who realize the long term impact of treating nature as disposable. I just can't find them.

Jefferson County Ohio

1 Response

You may want to first have a conversation with your local wildlife officer about managing predators and relocating wildlife - they would also have the expertise in conservation law. For Jefferson County, OH, Craig Porter is the contact. Visit http://wildlife.ohiodnr.gov/about-contacts/contact-information/wildlife-officers-by-county for contact information for each county.

Some conservation programs can provide assistance with wildlife habitat - you can review these programs here: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/oh/programs/ or visit your local Natural Resources Conservation Service office.