YOU are now part of Kentucky’s conservation history! Whether you made a donation, “liked” and shared our posts on social media, or told a friend about this special project, you helped make this moment possible. We are excited to announce that KNLT has achieved our goal of raising $50,000 from individual donors, and we have secured the remaining funding for the SEF project through a grant from the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund. We’ll be finalizing the purchase of the nearly 1,400 acres this week and will be publicly announcing the project next month.
Cheers to you for your role in protecting biodiversity, advancing local economies and supporting KNLT’s partnership with a regional educational organization. We look forward to inviting you to Pine Mountain (hopefully in 2021) to see these newly protected wildlands for yourself!
These wildlands are purchased from the Southeast Education Foundation (SEF). KNLT’s partnership with the SEF to purchase and permanently protect these lands is significant for three key reasons:
ECOLOGY: The SEF lands and waterways are part of a biologically diverse landscape that is home to endangered Indiana bats, rare plants like the variable-leaved heartleaf, yellow wild indigo, and American chestnut, black-throated blue warblers, green salamanders and American Black Bears. The parcel contains seven headwater streams that flow into the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River.
ECONOMY: The tract contains a 5-mile section of the proposed Great Eastern Trail, a long-distance trail that will stretch 1,800 miles from Alabama to New York. The trail will expand outdoor recreation and ecotourism in Eastern Kentucky, supporting the economic transition of the region.
EDUCATION: This partnership will infuse nearly $1.4 million in vital funds to the Southeast Education Foundation. With a mission to support the Southeast Kentucky Community & Technical College network, the SEF will deploy these funds towards scholarships for students and investments in campuses in Whitesburg, Cumberland, Harlan, Pineville and Middlesboro.