Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Salamander stalls historic renovation

By Lew Moores
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        DELHI TOWNSHIP — The prospect of finding a salamander listed as endangered in Ohio living in the Sedam Springhouse has stopped, for now, any restoration work on the historic structure.

        The township has been conducting an environmental assessment of the area around the springhouse before beginning any engineering or construction work.

        It is unclear what may happen if the salamander is discovered living in the springhouse when scientists go in search of the amphibian this spring, once its hibernation season has ended.

        Bob Bass, township road superintendent, said an environmental consulting firm had been combing the area in search of an endangered plant called running buffalo clover and evidence of the area being habitat for Indiana bats when it was discovered that the cave salamander — scientific name Eurycea lucifuga — has been found within a mile or so of the area in Embshoff Nature Preserve.

        The stone used to construct the springhouse — which dates to the late 1700s — and its moist environment could very well provide suitable habitat to the cave salamander, which prefers limestone outcrops and caves to woodland habitats.

        As early as mid-March or by April, scientists from Environmental Solutions & Innovations (ESI), an environmental consulting firm based in Delhi that specializes in endangered species, will head out at dusk on two or three occasions, flashlights in hand, and look for the salamander.

        What they find will be reported to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources.

        “That's a real good question,” said Mr. Bass of what will happen if it's found.

        The final decision would belong to ODNR. Options include relocating the population, or capturing the salamanders until the work is complete, then reintroducing them to the springhouse.

        The township was awarded a grant for $114,000 last summer by the Ohio Department of Transportation to help pay for the restoration work, which involves dismantling the structure, shoring up the hillside behind it, then reassembling the springhouse.

        It is on Delhi Pike just south of Mayhew Avenue.


FAA: Fewer delays with new runway
Where to have your say on airport project
Beverly Hills site astir
Ringer's statement: Shot ex-girlfriend by accident
Schools cram for proficiency tests
Background on Ohio's proficiency program
Contractors ripped off
Ohio ponders incentives for lottery sellers
Zoo pays back improper expenses
Blackwell passes on administration job
PULFER: Adoptee wins on long shot
- Salamander stalls historic renovation
Death shuts Milford school
Ex-teacher guilty in sex case
Mardi Gras arrests drop dramatically
Kentucky Digest
Local Digest
4th man guilty in videotaped assault
Church gives bar new life
Evolution supplement urged
GE volunteer corps boosts food bank
Mother denies endangering girl
Newport limits tools for graffiti
No more mold seen at school
Police ask voters for raise
Police panel asks for money
Protest at Duro Bag