The 2013 Wildlife Diversity Conference explores Ohio’s backyards to find a great variety of animal life and conservation techniques, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR).

The conference entitled “A Conservation State of Mind” will be held on Wednesday, March 13, at the Aladdin Shrine Center, located at 3850 Stelzer Road, Columbus, Ohio 43219. The conference is sponsored by the ODNR Division of Wildlife and is open to the public.

Doors open for registration at 8 a.m., and the conference runs from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. The keynote speaker is retired Toledo Blade Outdoors Editor Steve Pollick. After traveling extensively as a writer and reporter, Pollick will discuss how Ohio compares to other parts of the world in “Made in Ohio: A Conservation Choice.”

Other topics discussed at the conference include the Ohio Breeding Bird Atlas, ticks expanding their range, certified volunteer naturalist programs, aquatic algae and its impact on wildlife, bats and white-nose syndrome, social media participation by public agencies and eastern box turtles.

People may register online at wildohio.com or call 800-WILDLIFE (945-3543). Registration before Feb. 26 costs $25 and the cost will be $35 after that date. A reduced-price student registration is also available for $10.

The Wildlife Diversity Conference continues to grow. The first conference was held in 1985 with 40 people in attendance. Approximately 1,000 people attended last year’s daylong event. Representatives from a range of conservation and natural resource organizations, including the Ohio Bird Sanctuary, Ohio Biological Survey and Ohio Bird Conservation Initiative, will offer displays and answer questions at this year’s event.

The fourth Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp, featuring a black-capped chickadee, is available for purchase to conference attendees. Those who pre-register online for the conference may purchase this collectible stamp at a discounted price of $12, which is a 20 percent savings. Details about the Ohio Wildlife Legacy Stamp are available at wildohiostamp.com.

Proceeds from the sale of the stamp will be used to support endangered and threatened native species, habitat restoration, land purchases and conservation easements and educational products for students and wildlife enthusiasts.

ODNR ensures a balance between wise use and protection of our natural resources for the benefit of all. Visit the ODNR website at ohiodnr.com.

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