KWOA annual meeting tests the waters at Pennyrile state forest and park

With clean water and forest management as its theme, the 2019 KWOA annual meeting explored the many ways in which forests impact water quality and quantity. Forestry and water quality professionals conducted presentations and streamside demonstrations on the ways in which the Pennyrile forest contributes to the excellent quality water supply of the park’s lake,

Amanda Gumbert, UK Extension Water Quality instructor, discusses habitat and riparian issues with participants. Photo by Ward Wilson, Kentucky Water Alliance

how citizens can participate in testing for water quality in their watersheds and efforts to strengthen the propagation of tree species such as white oak and American chestnut.

Not all of the expertise was at the podium. Attendees exhibited their depth and range of expertise by contributing concepts, experiences and challenges to consider additional perspectives in the complex relationships among the natural and human environments.

KWOA President Doug McLaren alerted members to the need to cultivate new champions for sustainable forests. We need to share what we’ve learned with our neighbors and communities. Members noted many additional sectors with which woodland interests intersect such as beekeepers, hunters, mushroom growers, maple syrup producers and the wives/widows/daughters of timber property owners.

KWOA has already launched a vigorous initiative to improve its internal coordination and communication while bringing onboard new faces and perspectives. As it enters its 25th year the association has a great opportunity to “pave the way forward” for the next generation of woodlands and the owners who care so much about them.

State of the Watersheds – Amanda Gumbert, UK Extension, Water Quality

 .01% of earth’s water is drinking water.

If it’s on the ground, it’s in our water.

Kentucky has seven river basins and 90,000 miles of rivers and streams.

Gumbert introduced members to the Kentucky Water Health Portal.

Streams and lakes all have designated uses and are coded in the portal as to which of those uses they support, such as aquatic life, swimming, fishing or drinking.

Gumbert left attendees with three to-do items:

  1. Learn about your watershed/stream.
  2. Develop and implement a Kentucky Agriculture Water Quality Plan [hot link]
  3. Enjoy Kentucky’s water resources.

Members joined Amanda streamside to observe and draw their concept of a typical riparian habitat.

Participants in streamside habitat and riparian issues proudly display their drawing of a typical meandering stream. Photo by Greg Kuhns

Editor’s note:  More detailed summaries of program sessions and speakers will be posted as they become available.