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Wayne National Forest Wheelin’ Sportsmen program honored

PEDRO — The Wayne National Forest Wheelin’ Sportsmen Program on the Ironton Ranger District was recognized on Friday, Feb. 20, during the National Wild Turkey Federation (NWTF) annual Convention and Sport Show in Nashville, Tennessee.

The NWTF presented the Ironton Ranger District the Making Tracks with the Forest Service National Award for Conservation Education. The award recognizes conservation and education projects for wild turkey restoration, management and conservation.

The organization spoke highly of the district’s work to partner with the South Hills Longbeards Chapter of the NWTF to provide several events and new venues for sportsmen with disabilities in the national forest during the past five years.

Since 2004, the Wayne National Forest has hosted an annual Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Day, designed to provide an opportunity for disabled individuals to enjoy the outdoors, and to fish on Lake Vesuvius. This year’s event is scheduled for Thursday, April 16.

In 2007, the NWTF provided a $34,000 matching grant to help fund the construction of a half-mile barrier-free archery trail and parking lot on Wayne National Forest. The half-mile Longbow Trail opened to the public on July 4, 2008. The trail provides 18 field targets for archery practice.

The trail is highly visible within the popular Lake Vesuvius Recreation area and is located directly across from the boat dock along the route to the beach and Oak Hill Campgrounds.