Wildlands News: Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) has protected an additional 340 acres of wildlands on Pine Mountain in Harlan County. The tract expands the Warbler Ridge Preserve to 2,935 acres and links multiple state lands to form 9,000 acres of contiguous protected wildlands. The newly acquired south face land safeguards known forest habitat for rare plants and animals, as well as, headwater streams of the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River which is part of a notable aquatic system with extraordinary biodiversity.
Pine Mountain has a matrix of conservation lands that are helping to advance outdoor recreation and tourism, which are essential to the transitional economy within the region. The new addition to Warbler Ridge Preserve is an important link in the unfolding route of the 1,800-mile Great Eastern Trail which is planned from New York to Alabama.
This project builds upon KNLT’s more than 25-year history of working to protect Pine Mountain, a biologically diverse and climate resilient landscape that is important to the communities of the region. Pine Mountain is a 125-mile wildlands corridor running from Tennessee through Kentucky to Virginia that is part of a continental scale ecosystem. The mountain is vital habitat for thousands of species of plants and animals; 100 of these species are considered rare, and some are found nowhere else on Earth. Through public-private partnerships more than 69,500 acres (nearly 40%) of the mountain has been protected by federal, state and nonprofit conservation organizations.
This conservation success is made possible by the power of partnership. We are very grateful for support from individual donors, foundations, and partners. In particular, we would like to thank the James Graham Brown Foundation and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kentucky Field Office) for their funding support for this project.
Learn more about our Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor project: knlt.org/pmwc/
8/22/2021 – KNLT Press Release (pdf)
Warbler Ridge aerial photography by Ted Wathen, Kentucky Documentary Photographic Project
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