We are a nationally accredited nonprofit that uses a science-driven and community-minded approach to protect Kentucky’s irreplaceable wildlands. Foundational to ecological, human, cultural and economic health, the benefits of wildlands are vast – maintaining natural systems that sustain life on Earth, allowing wildlife (living things in wild places) to flourish not only for humanity but for their own sake, enabling nature’s recovery and fostering healthy communities.
Since 1995, KNLT has protected more than 50,000 acres of wildlands throughout the Commonwealth, ranging from the lush eastern mountains, to the rolling central forests and grasslands, to the meandering western sloughs.
Large, ecologically healthy, and connected landscapes are essential to protecting biodiversity and maintaining ecosystem resilience that in turn safeguards communities. Our approach focuses on increasing and restoring landscape connectivity, and fostering collaboration in ways that transcend arbitrary political boundaries and ideologies. KNLT is committed to fulfilling our mission in a just and equitable manner.
• KNLT was formed by a group of friends and launched a successful campaign to raise the funds necessary to purchase the old growth forest that is now part Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve.
• KNLT worked with Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission to acquire additional lands at Blanton Forest and provided stewardship assistance.
• KNLT honored David Burns with the first One Square Mile Award for his commitment to protecting the wildlands of Kentucky.
• KNLT acquired the 741-acre Arrington property, now part of our Salt Trace Gap Preserve,
• KNLT purchased the 786-acre Parsons tract and later resold the property to the Kentucky Department of Parks for the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail. A portion of this tract later became the E. Lucy Braun State Park State Nature Preserve.
• KNLT assisted Kentucky Department of Parks in purchasing the 1,027-acre Howard Property as an addition to the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail.
• KNLT purchased 386 acres in Harlan County to connect two noncontiguous tracts of Blanton Forest Nature Preserve Design.
• KNLT and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Kentucky Ecological Services Field office partnered to establish the Indiana Bat Conservation Fund to help protect bat, forest, and at-risk terrestrial species Kentucky.
• KNLT received its first donated conservation easement of the 83-acre Good Spring Farm in McCreary County.
• KNLT joined forces with Fort Knox to purchase conservation easements in the forest corridor around Fort Knox and launches the Bernheim-Fort Knox Wildlands Corridor project.
• KNLT acquired two conservation easements in Bullitt County, totaling nearly 308 acres within the Bernheim-Fort Knox Wildlands Corridor.
• KNLT’s “South America” project was featured on KET’s Kentucky Life.
• KNLT paid tribute to major donors to the Blanton Forest campaign with a permanent plaque at Blanton Forest. Those honored were David Burns, Tom Dupree, Sr., Augusta Wallace Lyons, Herb Emrich, and Sara Shallenberger Brown.
• KNLT purchased nearly 2,000 acres in the area known as “South America” on the southern end of Pine Mountain in Kentucky.
• The Indiana Bat Conservation Fund protected over 2,650 acres of bat habitat.
• KNLT received a gift of 140 acres that protect an important water source in Bell County. The donated land became the Colson-Fitzpatrick Preserve.
• KNLT’s Executive Director, Hugh Archer, attended the White House Conference on Conservation and the Outdoors, as a representative for Kentucky.
• KNLT purchased 155 acres creating the Crooked Creek Preserve in Bullitt County. The preserve is part of the Bernheim-Fort Knox Wildlands Corridor.
• KNLT sold 1,864 acres to Kentucky State Nature Preserves establishing the Archer Benge State Nature Preserve in Whitley County.
• KNLT was selected for the Land Trust Alliance Excellence Enhancement Program.
• The Indiana Bat Conservation Fund protected over 4,500 acres of bat habitat.
• KNLT acquired 224-acre addition to Salt Trace Gap Preserve.
• KNLT began its partnership with the Forecastle Foundation.
• KNLT honored the Augusta Wallace Lyons Family with the One Square Mile Award for their commitment to protecting wildlands in the Kentucky.
• The Indiana Bat Conservation Fund protected over 7,150 acres of bat habitat.
• KNLT purchase 46 acres adjacent to the Archer Benge State Nature Preserve creating the Hyslope Preserve.
• KNLT honored Thomas Dupree, Sr. with the One Square Mile Award for his commitment to protecting wildlands in the Kentucky.
• The Indiana Bat Conservation Fund protected over 500 acres of bat habitat.
• KNLT sold 386 acres to Kentucky State Nature Preserves as an addition to Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve in Harlan County.
• KNLT expanded the Pine Mountain Wildlands Project targeting 14 new tracts totaling over 9,000 acres.
• KNLT honored Christina Lee Brown with the One Square Mile Award for her commitment to protecting wildlands in the Kentucky.
• KNLT was included in the Royal Visit activities, and staff had an opportunity to briefly discuss KNLT’s work with Prince Charles.
• The Indiana Bat Conservation Fund was renamed to Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund and was expanded to cover the newly listed Northern long-ear bat.
• KNLT became a nationally accredited land trust and received the Energy & Environment Cabinet Secretary’s Award for our public-private partnerships.
• KNLT purchased 2,050 acres on Pine Mountain near Pineville in Bell County establishing the Narrows Preserve.
• KNLT acquired three tracts of forestland totaling 651 acres along Pine Mountain in Bell County establishing the Calloway Gap and Cumberland River Bottoms Preserves.
• The Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund protected nearly 6,000 acres.
• KNLT purchased and protected a 353-acre addition to the Narrows Preserve on Pine Mountain.
• KNLT purchased nearly 2,000 acres on Pine Mountain near Cumberland, Kentucky creating three new preserves: Line Fork Preserve, Hurricane Gap Preserve, and Kingdom Come Preserve.
• KNLT was honored with the opportunity to hold a retreat at the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s Pocantico Center in New York. The gathering of KNLT leadership, partners and consultants offered a unique opportunity to review our strategic positioning.
• KNLT purchased and protected a 376-acres in Harlan County establishing the Laden Trail Preserve; the new preserve is adjacent to Kentenia State Forest and near Pine Mountain Settlement School.
• KNLT purchased and protected a 127-acres in Whitley County establishing the Granshire Preserve; the new preserve is adjacent to the Archer Benge State Nature Preserve.
Kelly D. Bartley, Board Chair
Julia Taylor, Vice Chair
Associate, Strobo Barkley PLLC
Bert Lyons, Secretary & Treasurer
Former Assistant Adjunct Professor, UofL
Attorney, Childers & Baxter PLLC
PhD Candidate, University of Kentucky
Professor, UK Dept of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine
Mo McKnight Howe
Owner, Revelry Boutique Gallery
Marc Evans, KNLT Founder
Retired State Ecologist, KY State Nature Preserves
Visual Artist, Writer & Art Professor, Transy University
Retired Executive Director, Office of KY Nature Preserves
Hugh Archer, KNLT Founder
Founding Chair & retired Director of KNLT
Dr. Sara Ash
Lindsey Wilson College
Farmer & Author
Port Royal, KY
Retired Attorney, Stites & Harbison
Donald S. Dott, Jr.
Chair, Kentucky Land Trusts Coalition
Conservation Planning Consultant
Author & English Professor, University of Kentucky
Judith McCandless, KNLT Founder
CPA & Former Environmental Planning Consultant
Former Real Estate Appraiser, Allgeier Company
Attorney, Dinsmore & Shohl LLP
Mining & Forensic Engineer, R.R. Crawford Engineering
James G. Kuhns, Sr., M.D.
Former State Circuit Court Judge for Jefferson County
Jack A. Wilson
Former Administrator in Environmental Protection
Partnerships are key to our conservation successes. With limited funding for land acquisition partnering and collaborating with local, regional and global organizations is essential to our effort. We have successfully cultivated a strong and wide-reaching group of private, nonprofit and government agency partners.
News & Wildlands Blog
Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) is proud to announce the establishment of the Panther Gap Preserve on Cumberland Mountain. The 426-acre preserve on the north face of the mountain is
phone: (859) 986-0744
mail: 433 Chestnut Street, Berea, KY 40403
physical address: 213A Short Street, Berea, KY 40403
We welcome visitors but recommend calling to make sure we aren’t out protecting wildlands.