Department of Natural Resources
Department overview
Formed1949 (1949)
HeadquartersColumbus, Ohio
MottoTo ensure a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all.
Department executive
  • Mary Mertz, Director

The Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) is the Ohio government agency charged with ensuring "a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all."[1][2]


ODNR regulates Ohio's oil and gas industry, the mining industry, hunting and fishing, and dams while maintaining natural resources such as state parks, state nature preserves, state wildlife areas, state forests, and state waterways. It was created in 1949 by the Ohio Legislature.[3]

ODNR owns and manages more than 640,000 acres of land, including 75 state parks, 23 state forests, 136 state nature preserves, and 150 wildlife areas. The department has jurisdiction over more than 61,500 miles of inland rivers and streams, 451 miles of the Ohio River, and 2.29 million acres of Lake Erie.

ODNR is responsible for overseeing and permitting all mineral extraction, monitoring dam safety, managing water resources, and mapping the state's major geologic structures and mineral resources. In addition, ODNR also oversees the registration of all of Ohio's watercraft and issues all of the state's hunting and fishing licenses. ODNR has two main focuses: Regulating the use of Ohio's reserve of natural resources and providing visitors with the recreational opportunities that these resources provide.[4]

See also


  1. ^ Ohio Rev. Code § 121.01 et seq.
  2. ^ "History and Purpose of the Department of Natural Resources". Retrieved 2019-03-19.
  3. ^ "About ODNR" (web). State of Ohio. Retrieved 2020-01-17.
  4. ^ "Ohio Department of Natural Resources | H2Ohio". Retrieved 2023-10-19.