Wildlands News: Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) has been working with a diverse group of landowners along Pine Mountain for decades. Over the last few years, a series of five KNLT acquisitions in Harlan and Letcher counties established the Warbler Ridge Preserve which now protects 3,045 acres of vital forested habitat, headwater streams and links of the unfolding 1,800-mile Great Eastern Trail. At the end of 2021, KNLT partnered with a local couple to secure another 110 acres on the south face of the mountain near Cumberland, KY.
The matrix of conservation lands along Pine Mountain provides critical habitat for thousands of plants and animals while also offering recreational opportunities that are important to local communities and the emerging outdoor recreation economy of the region. KNLT has spent more than 25 years working with landowners, local communities and conservation partners to protect biodiverse and climate resilient landscapes. These collaborative efforts benefit local, regional and global communities. Through public-private partnerships more than 69,500 acres (nearly 40%) of the mountain has been protected.
The power of partnership is foundational to our work and has enabled these conservation successes. We are very grateful for support from individual donors, foundations, and partners. In particular, we would like to thank the James Graham Brown Foundation, the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kentucky Field Office) and the many donors who generously contributed to the Warbler Ridge Expansion Campaign.
In the coming year, KNLT hopes to purchase and protect additional tracts nearby to continue to expand the Warbler Ridge Preserve. Anyone interested in learning how to get involved with this project can sign up for our E-news: KNLT.org/get-involved/#stayintheknow
Learn more about our Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor project: KNLT.org/pmwc/
1/31/2022 – KNLT Press Release (pdf)
cover photo: Warbler Ridge Ridge Preserve ~ Ted Wathen, Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project
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