Ohio DNR Purchases 3,600 Acres Land

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In 2007, Wallace "Wally" O'Dowd of Powell left a bequest to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) Division of Wildlife to acquire land for the purpose of wildlife conservation, propagation, and habitat management. The bequest was the single largest donation in the history of the Division of Wildlife.

In September of 2009, O'Dowd's dream became a reality when the Division closed on property along the Athens-Hocking County line. The newly purchased 3,600-acre parcel, which is contiguous to the existing Trimble Wildlife Area, will be combined to create one 6,694-acre site to be known as the Wallace H. O'Dowd Wildlife Area. The newly formed wildlife area will be the sixth largest in the state.

Mr. O'Dowd's bequest of more than $4.5 million was combined with an additional $560,326 from the ODNR Division of Wildlife to cover a few extra acres and other costs associated with the acquisition. The land was purchased from the Sunday Creek Coal Company.

As stipulated in the O'Dowd will, the newly purchased land will be open to public hunting, fishing and trapping. Wally had requested that the property acquisition be a contiguous block of land in southeastern Ohio.

"I am sure Wally would be pleased that not only were we able to identify and purchase a sizeable portion of land, but that it is adjacent to an existing land holding that will result in more habitat and therefore greater opportunities for enjoyment by the state's sportsmen and women," said David M. Graham, chief of the Division of Wildlife. "We believe this is a fantastic legacy and an outstanding example of generosity to and for all Ohioans."

Wallace "Wally" O'Dowd was an avid sportsman who traveled the world following his passion for hunting and fishing. A veteran of the Korean War, Wally was also an entrepreneur who had established his own manufacturing business.

A dedication ceremony for the new Wallace H. O'Dowd Wildlife Area will be held in the spring of 2010.

Wildlife conservation is an interest and love for many individuals. Persons who might like to consider a bequest for wildlife conservation or make a donation in memory of a loved one can contact the Division of Wildlife at 1-800-WILDLIFE (1-800-945-3543).

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR web site at www.ohiodnr.com.