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As we celebrate Earth Day, let’s preserve Little Beaver Creek

To the editor:

No matter what any of us are going through right now because of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is comforting to know that just about anywhere across Ohio we can still get outside and enjoy this beautiful time of year. It is a time of renewal for most of us spiritually, as well as a renewal of life itself in our natural world.

This time of year I always reflect on Earth Day and what it means. On April 22 we will be celebrating an important milestone, the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10 percent of the U.S. population at that time — participated in Earth Day activities all across this country, a unified response to an environment in crisis. Some say we have come a long way since then; some say not so much. No matter what your feeling is on our progress, there is little doubt that we still have a lot of work to do.

I have always felt that acting locally, whether it is protecting our environment, or any of many other actions that we can take which will positively impact our lives, is something that all citizens should be involved in. Here in the Columbiana County area we have many wonderful natural resources, including Little Beaver Creek, that people can help to protect by volunteering to help with different conservation efforts. I believe there are still many who do not realize what a gem Little Beaver Creek is. It is a state designated Wild and Scenic River, and a federally designated Scenic River. Those designations are a big deal!

Little Beaver Creek has come through the last 50 years in pretty good shape overall, but there are still some issues of concern. Sediment getting into the stream is one of the biggest concerns. Another issue is illegal dumping in many areas around the watershed. There is a local, volunteer, citizen advisory council which advises the Director of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources on issues with Little Beaver Creek. The advisory council will be planning a local cleanup of some of the illegal dumping sites and plan to make the cleanup an annual event. We have done some of these cleanups in the past and there is a lot of labor involved in this work. It would be great to have some volunteers to help with this work. Stay tuned for details at a later date on how you can participate.

As we celebrate this beautiful time of year, think of the progress we have made in helping the environment in the last 50 years, and also think of ways that we can all come together to keep Little Beaver Creek clean and healthy for future generations.

Tom Butch,

Salem

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