Last updated: July 24. 2013 2:14PM - 97 Views

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Frank Lewis

PDT Staff Writer

According to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources’ Division of Forestry, repairs to the Churn Creek Lake dam at Shawnee Forest have been successfully completed.

State Forester and Chief of ODNR’s Division of Forestry Robert Boyles said the Shawnee State Forest staff, with assistance from the ODNR Division of Engineering, repaired the dam to ensure that it once again functioned effectively.

“I am pleased that ODNR had the funding and workforce talent to repair and save this important icon of our conservation legacy,” Boyles said. “Money for the repairs was supplied through Shawnee State Forest’s annual operating budget, which is supported through timber sale revenue.”

A leak had developed near the spillway in the Churn Creek Lake dam. Repairs involved lowering the water level, excavating a portion of the earthen dam that was leaking and subsequently repacking the soil into the excavated dam.

When the leak was initially discovered, the ODNR Division of Engineering inspected the dam and made a recommendation of either breaching the dam and restoring the creek bed to its natural channel or repairing the dam. The ODNR Division of Forestry presented the recommendations to the local community, which resulted in strong public support for repairing the dam. State Rep. Johnson also supported and encouraged the repairs to the dam.

“This is a prime example of how a government agency can utilize its employees’ expertise and its funding for the betterment of the local community,” Johnson said. “It was important for all of us to work together to fix this problem.”

Churn Creek Lake is one of five small lakes located in Shawnee State Forest. The lakes were originally constructed as a water supply to Civilian Conservation Corps camps in the 1930s.

Boyles said anyone wanting to learn more about Ohio’s woodlands, forest health and tree care, can visit ohiodnr.com/forestry.

Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com

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