Jim Bryan, Kentucky Division of Forestry, provided some background on Pennyrile State Forest. The state owns and manages ten forests. The state bought these forests between 1932 and 1939, resettling the people who lived there. Pennyrile Park opened in 1937.
In 1930, as part of the Land Use and Resettlement Program, the Division of Forestry acquired leases on land in Christian, Hopkins and Caldwell counties, which became the Pennyrile State Forest. It now includes 14,648 acres of forest. These leases were sustained until 1954, when the property was deeded (with certain reservations) by the U.S. government to the Commonwealth.
An invasion by pine beetles prompted clear-cutting of conifers in the 1970’s and conversion to hardwoods. However, Virginia pines soon re-established in the forest. A program of helicopter spraying and “hack and squirt” successfully removed the pines. Money from timber harvests goes to KDF.