Wednesday, November 24, 2010

AEP Ohio Adds 26,000 Acres to ReCreation Land

American Electric Power (AEP) Ohio continues to add to their conservation legacy with the opening of an additional 26,000-acres in the ReCreation Land agreement area located in Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Guernsey counties, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR). This area will be in addition to the existing 34,000 acres of the ReCreation Land for a new total of approximately 60,000 acres in a cooperative management agreement with ODNR’s Division of Wildlife.

The AEP ReCreation Land is the largest of five agreement areas owned by AEP Ohio that allow for public use of the property including hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing, and hiking and camping in designated areas. With the addition of these acres, AEP has more than 85,000 acres of agreement land in more than nine counties including Athens, Coshocton, Gallia, Guernsey, Meigs, Morgan, Muskingum, Noble and Perry counties. Other AEP lands that are in agreement with the Division of Wildlife include: Avondale Wildlife Area (4,919 acres), Conesville Coal Lands (14,640 acres), Gavin Wildlife Area (6,885 acres), and Poston Plant Lands (2,300 acres).

Visitors of the AEP ReCreation Land and all other AEP agreement areas must obtain and carry a lifetime permit issued by AEP. The permit is free and can be obtained online, from the McConnelsville American Electric Power office, the Division of Wildlife or at many local convenience stores in the area. An AEP permit allows recreational use of lands that are posted as public recreation areas only. Visitors to all AEP agreement areas are responsible for obtaining maps of the areas and reminded to respect fences, gates and the boundaries of these areas. Entering AEP properties that are not open to recreational use is prohibited by law.

Recreational users must obey all Ohio laws and regulations in addition to regulations specific to AEP agreement areas. An updated map of the area is available online, by calling the McConnelsville AEP office at (740) 962-1205 or by calling ODNR’s Division of Wildlife at (740) 589-9930.

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.