Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Acquisition of new Kentucky state forest is celebrated
CLERMONT, Ky. (Aug. 24, 2006) - A 1,110-acre tract of land in Bullitt County officially became the sixth state-owned forest in Kentucky during an acquisition ceremony today.
Knobs State Forest is 28 miles south of Louisville. It is near the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest and Camp Crooked Creek, summer camp of the Lincoln Heritage Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Senator Mitch McConnell, who helped secure funding for the acquisition through the federal Forest Legacy Project and has demonstrated a commitment to habitat and nature preservation throughout his public service, was the featured speaker.
"Conserving the natural resources of Kentucky has been one of my priorities as a senator," McConnell said. "I am pleased to be here today for the dedication of the Knobs State Forest and know that it will be enjoyed by generations of Kentuckians to come."
LaJuana S. Wilcher, secretary of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet (EPPC), said Knobs State Forest will be another jewel adding to Kentucky’s "common wealth" of natural areas. "This is what makes Kentucky special," Wilcher said. "The beauty of a forest - its sights and sounds and sheer wildness - cannot be equaled or duplicated by any TV show or video game or computer special effects ever devised."
Leah MacSwords, the Kentucky state forester and director of the EPPC Division of Forestry, said the Knobs State Forest enjoys a prime location.
"We are pleased to have a new state forest so close to a large metropolitan area and hope that visitors enjoy all the gifts that this forest provides," MacSwords said.
The land was purchased from Dr. Greg Kuhns and Ann van der Steur for more than $3.3 million. The majority of the funding was through the Forest Legacy Program and the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund. The Knobs State Forest is Kentucky’s first Forest Legacy Project. For information about the Forest Legacy Program, visit: <http://www.fs.fed.us/spf/coop/programs/loa/flp.shtml>
The primary mission of the State Forest Program is education and demonstration of sound forest management practices in Kentucky. The Knobs State Forest will not be open to the public for a couple of months. The division is currently placing boundary markers and establishing parking areas. When the forest officially opens for public use, it will be open for day use only. Allowable activities include hunting, hiking, fishing and wildlife viewing.