DIVISION OF NATURAL AREAS & PRESERVES
2045 Morse Rd, Building C-3
Columbus, Ohio 43229-6693
Established through the Scenic Rivers Act of 1969 and Natural Areas Act of 1970, the division was statutorily created in 1976 and is responsible for the acquisition, management and protection of Ohio?s best remaining areas of statewide significance that characterize the state?s natural landscapes, scenic rivers, vegetation, geology, and habitats for rare and endangered species.
The division oversees 20 scenic rivers and 128 nature preserves statewide. The division also administers the Natural Heritage Database and Endangered Plant Law.
Formulation of policies and plans for the identification and protection of caves.
Endangered Plant Law
Establish and maintain list of endangered and threatened native plants; promulgate rules restricting their taking, possessing, transportation and commercial sale, per Ohio Revised Code, Chapter 1518. List updated every two years.
Natural Areas and Preserves
Acquire, dedicate and accept donations of public and privately owned lands as nature preserves.
Natural Heritage Database
More than 13,000 records representing known locations of Ohio?s rare plants and animals, high quality plant communities and other natural features. Information is used in the department?s environmental review process and provided to consulting firms, federal, state and local government agencies, conservation groups and private citizens.
Ohio Natural Landmarks
Promotion of the preservation of significant natural areas containing distinctive ecological or geological features of state or national significance and worthy of special recognition. Program does not provide protection, only recognition.
Volunteering for Natural Areas & Preserves
Volunteers are used in a variety of division activities including specialized help with research and monitoring rare and endangered plant and animals; surveying aquatic ecosystems, conducting public interpretive programs; and some field operations, such as trail maintenance.