Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet
Five 'natural areas' designated at Pennyrile State Forest
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Dec. 18, 2006) - Five sites owned by the Kentucky Division of Forestry at the Pennyrile State Forest have been formally designated as state "natural areas" due to their ecological significance.
Leah W. MacSwords, director of the Kentucky Division of Forestry, and Donald S. Dott, Jr., director of the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC), today jointly announced inclusion of the five sites in the Kentucky Natural Areas Registry.
The combined sites cover about 75 acres. They are clustered in a 1-square-mile area south and southeast of Pennyrile Lake and west of Clifty Creek in Christian County. By agreeing to have the sites registered as natural areas, the Division of Forestry acknowledges their importance and voluntarily commits itself to their protection.
Expanded protection of the sites will ensure critical habitat for plants and animals but also continued recreation such as hiking, hunting and bird watching for visitors.
The Kentucky Natural Areas Registry Program, managed by KSNPC, was established in 1986 for ecologically significant properties whose owners agree to protect rare species and natural communities that are present. Fifty-nine properties covering some 4,784 acres in 39 counties are currently enrolled.
"State forests offer Kentuckians the opportunity to learn about our natural resources and their ecosystems and to enjoy the benefits of these areas," MacSwords said. "We believe that partnerships such as this one between the Division of Forestry and the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission help preserve the important landscapes that Kentuckians want protected."
The Clifty Creek sites include rare natural communities, including limestone barrens and prairie remnants, and support two species considered threatened in Kentucky - the Swamp metalmark butterfly and Carolina larkspur, a flowering plant. The five sites also are home to a variety of more common plants and animals.
"Collaborative conservation efforts between the commission and other agencies, such as the Division of Forestry, who own important natural lands are critical to providing meaningful and lasting protection for rare species and natural communities that occur in Kentucky," Dott said.
For information on the Kentucky Natural Areas Registration Program or the KSNPC, contact Ron Scott at 801 Schenkel Lane, Frankfort, KY 40601, or call (502) 573-2886. For additional information regarding the Division of Forestry or the Pennyrile State Forest, call (502) 564-4496 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. EST.