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Ashland University Environmental Lecture Set

Published on March 29, 2010
College of Arts & Sciences

3/30/10 ASHLAND, Ohio --Ashland University's 2009-2010 Environmental Lecture Series, "Sustainability and Environmental Issues in Ohio," continues on April 15 when Richard E. Moseley, retired chief of Ohio Department of Natural Resources' Natural Areas and Preserves, will present a presentation titled "Preserving Ohio's Natural Heritage." The lecture is at 7:30 p.m. in the Hawkins-Conard Student Center Auditorium and is free and open to the public.
Moseley will talk about how Ohio is endowed with a diversity of plant and animal life, unique habitats, and outstanding geological features. Preserving these natural resources has not always been a high priority in Ohio. Since its statehood in 1803, the driving force was conquering the wilderness and changing the state into farm land and cities leaving little of Ohio's natural areas remaining. However, in the late 1950s with a sense of urgency, several private organizations acquired areas as preserves with The Nature Conservancy being a leader in this endeavor. By the end of the 1960s, it was obvious that private efforts alone could not stop natural areas from being developed into housing projects, shopping centers, and industrial projects as suburban sprawl became an ever driving force in the state.

Only the state, with its power of eminent domain, could protect some of these unique areas. In 1970, the Ohio's Natural Areas Bill was passed by the legislature and signed by Governor James A. Rhodes. This bill established that the Department of Natural Resources could purchase and administer state nature preserves. Since its inception, the Natural Areas Program has acquired a statewide system of 134 nature preserves encompassing nearly 27,000 acres of forests, bogs, marsh lands, prairies, and geological features. Although the areas are protected from development, recent state budget shortfalls are now threatening their future management and protection. What the future will bring, only time will tell.

Richard Moseley served from 1975 to 1990 as the first chief of the Division of Natural Areas and Preserves, Ohio Department of Natural Resources.  He was involved in the planning and development of the state nature preserve program from its inception.   His earlier service included appointments as the Chief Naturalist for the Columbus Metropolitan Park District and for the ODNR Division of  Parks and Recreation.   Moseley's service to the state was recognized by resolutions by the Ohio Senate and the Ohio House of Representatives, and he received a Governor's Commendation for Exemplary Service to the State of Ohio.  He was elected to the Ohio Conservation Hall of Fame in 1993.  Moseley has authored books on Ohio's natural history and remains active in leading wildflower and nature walks in the state.

The 2009-2010 Environmental Lecture Series is sponsored by The Lubrizol Foundation. The Environmental Lecture Series was established at Ashland University when the Environmental Science Program was implemented in 1991-92. The lecture series is designed to support the Environmental Science Program by allowing students, faculty and members of north central Ohio communities to interact with leaders in the environmental field.  Previous lectures are archived at

Ashland University is a mid-sized, private institution conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students.