(A) As used in this section:
(1) "Wilderness area" means a contiguous area of relatively undeveloped state-owned land administered by the division of forestry and consisting of not less than five thousand acres or of sufficient size as to make practicable its preservation and use in an unimpaired condition that either has retained its natural character and influence or has been substantially restored to a near natural appearance and that meets both of the following qualifications:
(a) The area is one in which humankind's past influences are largely unnoticed;
(b) The area has outstanding opportunities for solitude or for a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.
(2) "Utility facility" includes, without limitation, towers, poles, pipes, sewers, tubing, conduits, conductors, cables, valves, lines, wires, manholes, and appurtenances thereto owned by a utility facility operator.
(3) "Utility facility operator" means a person or public authority that supplies any of the following materials or services by means of a utility facility:
(a) Flammable, toxic, or corrosive gas;
(b) Crude oil, petroleum products, or hazardous liquids;
(e) Electronic, telephonic, or telegraphic communications;
(f) Television signals;
(g) Sewage disposal or drainage;
(h) Potable water;
(i) Steam or hot water.
(B) That portion of contiguous state lands located in Scioto and Adams counties and within the Shawnee state forest and bounded by forest road seventeen and sunshine ridge to the north, by upper Twin Creek road to the east and northeast, by United States route fifty-two to the south, and by lower Twin Creek road to the west and southwest is hereby designated the Shawnee wilderness area. Except as otherwise specifically provided by this section or by rule adopted under this chapter, the provisions of this chapter apply to the Shawnee wilderness area, and that area shall continue to be a part of the Shawnee state forest.
(C) The Shawnee wilderness area shall be managed to preserve natural conditions and ensure the continuance of natural processes. The chief of the division of forestry, with the approval of the director of natural resources, shall administer the Shawnee wilderness area in accordance with a management plan, which the chief shall develop and adopt within one year after September 14, 1988. Sixty days prior to adopting a plan, the chief shall solicit public review and comment on a draft plan. At least once every ten years, the chief shall conduct a review of the plan, with public input, and revise the plan as appropriate. The chief shall make the plan available for review by any person upon request.
(D) Notwithstanding any other authority granted to the chief under this chapter, the chief shall include within the management plan adopted under division (C) of this section prohibitions of the following activities within the Shawnee wilderness area except for the areas exempted in division (E) of this section:
(1) Picking, removal, cutting, or alteration in any manner of any vegetation unless the person first has obtained written consent from the chief for that activity and the action is necessary for appropriate public access, the preservation or restoration of a plant or wildlife species, or the documentation of scientific values;
(2) Granting of any easement or license, or sale or lease of any of the land, for any purpose. Division (D)(2) of this section does not apply to any private easement or license in existence on September 14, 1988.
(3) Exploration for or extraction of any coal, oil, gas, or minerals;
(4) Operation, construction, or installation of a utility facility above or below the surface of the land;
(5) Operation of a commercial enterprise;
(6) Except as provided in division (D)(7) of this section, construction of a road upon any of the land or use of the land as a road;
(7) Except as is necessary to meet emergency requirements for administration of the area:
(a) Landing of an aircraft;
(b) Operation of a motor vehicle, motor boat, other form of mechanical transport, or motorized equipment;
(c) Construction of any building or other structure;
(d) Use of the land as a temporary road.
(1) The following areas, which now are necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest and the state forest system, are not subject to the prohibitions of division (D) of this section:
(a) The Buena Vista manager's residence;
(b) The Buena Vista walnut seed orchard
(2) The following areas, which now are necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest and the state forest system, are not subject to the prohibition established in division (D)(7)(b) of this section for the purpose of trail maintenance:
(a) The hiking trail west of upper Twin Creek road known as the wilderness loop;
(b) Buckhorn ridge bridle trail;
(c) Cabbage patch bridle trail.
(3) At any time that the chief makes a determination that it is no longer necessary for the administration of the Shawnee state forest or the state forest system for an area excluded in division (E)(1) or (2) of this section to be excluded, the area shall become subject to the prohibitions established in division (D) of this section or the prohibition established in division (D)(7)(b) of this section, as applicable.
(F) The chief, in developing a management plan under division (C) of this section, may not prohibit any hunting, fishing, or trapping that is done in conformity with Chapters 1531. and 1533. of the Revised Code or any rules adopted under those chapters.
Amended by 129th General AssemblyFile No.127, HB 487, §101.01, eff. 9/10/2012.
Effective Date: 03-18-1999 .