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State disburses nearly $58,000 for timber sales out of Blue Rock State Forest

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State disburses nearly $58,000 for timber sales out of Blue Rock State Forest

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

Muskingum County, Blue Rock Township and the Franklin Local School District are all receiving a portion of the $57,911.30 disbursement through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources for forest timber sales.

Each year, timber is harvested from state forests and the money from the profit is put back into the local communities.

“It’s our annual Trees to Textbooks,” David Glass, Forest Manager III at Blue Rock State Forest, said. “We don’t pay taxes, state land taxes, and this is a way that we can return some of the local money back to the local state governments.”

All nearly 5,500 acres of Blue Rock Forest are located in Muskingum County which grants the county, local township and local school district in the area a portion of money every year.

“Harvesting is one of the more sudden changes that we do, but to see the standing timber, to have a small part in its growth cycle, and to do actual land management that’s what’s most exciting about timber business,” Glass said.

Muskingum County received $14,477.82, Blue Rock Township received $14,477.83 and Franklin Local School District received $28,955.65.

Glass said the annual check, which he presented to the Muskingum County Commissioners Thursday afternoon, came in a couple months later this year as Vinton County, which is home to three state forests, received a disbursement of a little over $1 million. Typically, the check is received in November each year.

Many other counties have forests with more acreage than Blue Rock which yields more profit, Glass said. Muskingum County typically receives roughly a similar amount each year.

The funds given to the county are added to the general fund, Commissioner Cindy Cameron said.

Glass emphasized that the State Forest System, which offers many recreational activities, is open and welcome to everyone in Ohio.

The annual handicap turkey hunt at Blue Rock State Forest will be held on April 6 and 7.

For more information on activities at the forest, visit forestry.ohiodnr.gov/bluerock.

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