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WNF deserves honor earned

When Lake Vesuvius was re-opened in 2004, officials said it was a new era for recreation that would lead to more access and more memories for generations to come.

Five years later, the Wayne National Forest’s Ironton District can be proud of its efforts and feel confident that it is headed in the right direction.

The WNF — and primarily its Wheelin’ Sportsmen Program — was recognized at the National Wild Turkey Federation’s annual convention last month for conservation and education efforts.

The forest service has implemented a host of programs to greatly increase accessibility and opportunities in the recreation area for those with disabilities.

It started with construction of the fully-accessible boat ramp and boardwalk. Then the district began hosting the Wheelin’ Sportsmen Fishing Day, an event that has attracted hundreds of individuals with disabilities to be able to enjoy the restocked fishing on the lake.

Last year, the WNF continued its partnership with the turkey federation to build a half-mile long, 18-target archery trail.

Officials in the Ironton Ranger District of the Wayne should be proud of those accomplishments and proud of the recent award.

The community should be as well.

The Wayne National Forest — Ohio’s only one of its kind — and the Lake Vesuvius recreation area are shining jewels for southern Ohio that could truly shine even brighter for years to come.

Thankfully, it will be shining for all citizens to see.