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Shawnee’s small lakes should be saved

Attention fishermen and women as well as nature enthusiasts!

The Ohio Division of Forestry is considering draining Churn Forest Lake and Pond Lick Lake, two of the five lakes in Shawnee State Forest. Pond Lick Lake, also known as Shawnee Lake, is listed in the scenic drive brochure as a point of beauty. It is on Pond Lick Road, Forest Road 1.

These lakes are a part of our local heritage. Over the years my family, friends, and I have enjoyed Pond Lick Lake and the natural beauty of the forest which surrounds the lake.

I know that many others have fond memories of this area, and many go there today to enjoy the peace and tranquility of nature.

These ponds are self-sustaining ecological systems, home to a multitude of life forms and living organisms, as well as a habitat for at least several rare and uncommon flora and fauna species: Freshwater Jellyfish, Red Salamander, Long Tail Salamander and several plants.

Churn Creek Lake has its own unique ecological niche, which includes a small wetland. If DOF drains the ponds, this is destroyed forever.

A rich and interesting history surrounds the lakes. The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) built these lakes in addition to three others in the forest. The CCC was initiated in 1933 to help the country recover from the Great Depression. One of the many original purposes of the ponds was to attract wildlife.

The creeks at the lakes are often dry. The lakes are a very important source of water even today.

Shawnee brings in more money than any other state forest due to the excessive logging. A large percent of this money is supposed to be used for maintenance there. Instead, it seems like Shawnee’s money goes to maintain forests and parks closer to the cities.

It is about time that Shawnee and the locals benefit from the money the trees pour into the state coffers.

It reminds me of the old adage, “Take from the poor to give to the rich.”

Shawnee will not be the same without these lakes. The south side has been demolished from clear-cutting and the lakes are the main attractions now.

Please contact Rep. Terry Johnson at terry.johnson@ohr.state.oh.us or (614) 466-2124 and Sen. Tom Niehaus at Niehaus@ohiosenate.gov or (614) 466-8082.

Ask them to save both lakes for our children, grandchildren and all future generations.

Cheryl Carpenter, Lucasville