Department of Parks
Buffalo Will Roam to a New Home
FRANKFORT, Ky. – Since the early ‘90s, the bison herd at Big Bone Lick State Park at Union in Boone County has occupied an 18-acre plot situated near the Big Bone Creek that runs through the park. The land drains poorly and, as a result, runoff from the enclosure has degraded the creek’s water quality.
The buffalo have roamed to a new home. The herd, which numbers about 15 head, is being moved to higher ground – a 40-acre pasture a short distance away. The move will allow the previous site to regain its vegetation and serve as an interpretive wetland and will therefore eliminate the threat of creek pollution. The bison have been moved to a temporary pen to help them acclimate to the new surroundings, and are expected to be coaxed into the new pasture in about a week, said John Kington, deputy commissioner in the Department of Parks.
The new site will also be convenient to visitors who enjoy viewing the massive mammals from the fence. A new hiking trail will be built to make the site even more accessible.
The project’s cost, estimated at $70,000, is being shared with two other agencies – the Boone County Natural Resources Conservation Service and the Northern Kentucky University Center for Applied Ecology. NKU is in the midst of an extensive stream restoration project at the park employing cutting-edge practices.
“This is an ideal example of interagency cooperation on behalf of Kentucky’s environment,” Kington said. “We appreciate the involvement of the conservation service and NKU.”
Kentuckians will join others across the world in celebrating Earth Day on Saturday, April 22. Spearheaded by the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet, a number of state agencies, local governments, businesses and organizations have joined together to celebrate Earth Day in the Commonwealth. Some of these partners have organized environmental activities throughout the month of April while others are providing information and resources on protecting Kentucky’s environment.
This is the third year in a row for a month-long, organized campaign in celebration of Earth Day. Among activities planned are hikes, special events, college campus programs, environmental award presentations and demonstrations of new, environmentally friendly technology. Visit the state Earth Day Web site at www.earthday.ky.gov to learn more about Kentucky's Earth Day celebration.
The Kentucky State Park System is composed of 52 state parks plus an interstate park shared with Virginia. The Department of Parks, an agency of the Commerce Cabinet, operates 17 resort parks with lodges -- more than any other state. Each year, Kentucky parks draw 7 million visitors and contribute $317 million to the economy. For more information on Kentucky parks, visit our Web site at http://www.parks.ky.gov