Editor’s note: This report has been updated to clarify Congressman Bill Johnson’s thoughts on the McGuffey Wildlife Life Preserve and historical site.

COITSVILLE, Ohio (WKBN) – A local lawmaker is speaking out about the decision to keep the McGuffey Wildlife Preserve and the McGuffey Family Pond and Dock under the control of Mill Creek MetroParks.

Residents have complained that the area has not been kept up by the park system and want it taken over by another entity

Rep. Lauren McNally, D-59th District, wrote a letter to the Mill Creek MetroParks Director Aaron Young and its board suggesting that she could mediate a resolution.

“I am writing to express my concern over the state of the McGuffey Family Pond and Dock at the
McGuffey Wildlife Preserve. My office has received numerous correspondence from stakeholders in and around the Preserve describing the detrimental effects the change in this property has had on the community,” McNally wrote.

McNally said she wants the board to reconsider its decision to allow the preserve to “return to nature.”

In July, Congressman Bill Johnson wrote to Governor Mike DeWine asking him to recognize the historical significance of the preserve. He visited the McGuffey site and was impressed with how the site is being managed. His office issued this statement Monday:

“He certainly recognizes its historical significance and is supportive of its status as a National Historic landmark, He has spoken to many stakeholders involved at the local and state levels, but ultimately this is a matter between local interests and the State of Ohio — not a federal issue.”

Ben Keeler, Communications Director, Office of Congressman Bill Johnson