Category Archives: Events

Upcoming Events of Interest

Ongoing Work to Protect Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County

From the Kentucky Resources Council August 2019 newsletter

The defense of the Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest continues in Bullitt County. KRC’s Environmental and Community Defense team is gearing up its legal defense of Bernheim-owned tracts that are under a double-threat of taking by LG&E and of a future by-pass corridor. It is working alongside additional counsel to protect one of our state’s ecologically diverse  conservation corridors. The proposed pipeline threatens conservation efforts at Bernheim, and is the first known effort of a Kentucky electric utility to interfere with a conservation easement in order to locate an intrastate pipeline, and proposes to run gas service through the easement and across a number of private properties and waterways in order to serve populations other than those across whose property it will impact.

January 2020 Update – KRC continues its representation of the Isaac Bernheim Foundation in opposing the effort of Louisville Gas and Electric Company to condemn an easement across two properties acquired by Bernheim for a conservation corridor.  KRC has filed and briefed a motion to dismiss the condemnation petition for failure to have named and negotiated with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service which owns an interest in the properties conferring on it the right to allow or refuse to allow such easements.

For more information about how this matter has unfolded…

Bernheim Under Threat Roadshow

Representatives from Bernheim will travel Bullitt County and the surrounding area to provide direct education on their current threat. Bernheim’s road show  and schedule is planned for several months.

Contact the Corps of Engineers and Fish & Wildlife

KRC is working hard to represent Bernheim in this ongoing issue, and your voice can make a difference, too. If you’re interested in getting involved, please consider contacting the Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service using the information below. As LG&E seeks approval for a pipeline corridor that its own consultant recommended avoiding, now is the time to demand that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers consider not merely the water crossings and wetland loss, but also the impacts on terrestrial rare and endangered species and public and private lands, and that the Corps demand an individual 404 permit application and a complete terrestrial and aquatic biological assessment along the chosen route, as well as full consideration of alternatives.

Contact

Louisville District of the Corps of Engineers
Louisville District Regulatory Division Office, South Branch
502-315-6675

Kentucky Field Station of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office
502-695-0468 | kentuckyes@fws.org

Upper Cumberland Watershed Climate and Biodiversity Conference RESULTS

Cumberland Falls State Park, October 10-11, 2019

CONFERENCE RESULTS

The Upper Cumberland watershed is an exceptionally biodiverse landscape, including a wide range of habitat types. It is home to a large number of federally and state listed threatened and endangered species, and a very large number of other declining species of concern. The region includes major portions of the Daniel Boone National Forest (U.S. Forest Service), the entirety of Cumberland Gap National Historic Park (managed by the National Park Service), and the entirety of Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area (managed by the National Park Service). There are species occurring nowhere else on Earth, thirty federally protected species, and many other declining species of concern. Freshwater mussels in particular are highly threatened by climate change.


Conference Focus:

  • Highlight challenges for the public relating to climate change on species in and along the Upper Cumberland Watershed (Land and waters along the tributaries of the Rockcastle River, Laurel River, Big South Fork, Lake Cumberland).
  • Provide new opportunities to exchange knowledge among a broad base of constituents and stakeholders including the public at large.
  • Provide opportunities for public engagement in affected communities and encourage community-based solutions and strengthen relationships among stakeholder groups.

 

KWOA Board discusses strategic planning, timber theft and river basins as quarterly meeting

The KWOA/F Board of Directors convened its quarterly meeting on August 8 in Frankfort. Several guest presenters attended the meeting:

Aleta Botts – Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development

Bill McCloskey – Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy

Chris Osborne – Kentucky River Properties, LLC

Perry Thomas, DOW Watershed Management Branch

Aleta Botts, Executive Director of the Kentucky Center for Agriculture and Rural Development (KCARD), described the services provided by this 501(c)(3) organization which works closely with GOAP. KCARD provides planning assistance for Kentucky agricultural organizations. Representatives of KWOA will be meeting with them to help clarify and further develop goals and plans.

Bill McCloskey, Deputy Director, Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy (GOAP), explained the role of the Kentucky Agricultural Fund, which at the state level annually distributes about $16 million in tobacco settlement funds. Increasing farm income is the purpose of these investments. Funding requests that require additional development are often referred to KCARD.

 

Strategic Planning: Jack Stickney reported on the idea of applying for funding through the Kentucky Agricultural Development Fund in order to significantly expand the activities of KWOA. This would entail an increase in efforts to encourage woodland ownership, and the hiring of an executive director. After a lot of discussions, the group concluded that KWOA may not be ready to take on this level of additional activity, and as an alternative, might advocate for funding for woodland management activities through organizations with infrastructure already in place. As noted above, the intent is to review these plans in more detail with KCARD.

 

Chris Osborne, Forester with Kentucky River Properties LLC, said he was speaking on behalf of his employer as well as other large woodland owners in Eastern Kentucky in outlining a need to change timber trespass laws in order to protect the interests of landowners as well as the timber industry. In order to reduce the incidence of unauthorized logging, Chris suggested that the notification requirement to adjoining landowners should become mandatory for all logging operations. Industry groups, including KWOA and KFIA, will be asked to provide representatives to a group that will work toward this change. For a detailed report on the issue…

 

Woodland Assessment: Jim Corum reported that Jeff Harper, Director, Public Affairs Division, Kentucky Farm Bureau, has said he will meet with the Governor’s Office after the 2019 legislative session to discuss KWOA’s proposed changes in the woodland assessment.

Read the Background on the Corum’s case regarding timber property valuation.

On May 15, 2019 the Kentucky Claims Commission declined the Corum tax appeal.

On-going discussion on fair and equitable assessment and taxation of managed woodlands will utilize a White Paper by Jeffrey Stringer, Professor and Chair, UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources Extension.

2020 Annual Meeting: The meeting will be held March 24-25 at Lake Cumberland State Park. Recreation is the theme.

Health Task Force:  Joe Ball and Don Girton discussed efforts to obtain woodland owner federal financial relief from the effects of the Emerald Ash Borer disease. Both believe that in light of the $16 billion in federal aid being provided to farmers in connection with tariffs, EAB help in the near future is unlikely. (Bob Bauer, KFIA, noted earlier that red oak markets in Asia are down by half.) Joe Ball noted that the reluctance to fund EAB disaster relief is just one example of the lack of recognition of timber as an agricultural commodity. However, Girton and Ball will continue to work on their report.

 

Perry Thomas and three associates from the Nonpoint Source & Basin Team Section, Watershed Management Branch, Kentucky Division of Water informed board members about their work and its connection with silviculture and watershed plans. KWOA will be working with this agency in the future on water quality issues related to woodlands management.

 

Funding requests approved:

Kentucky Conservation Committee – $200

Sand County Foundation (Aldo Leopold Award): $500

UK Forestry Scholarship: $1000

UK Forestry Leadership Program: $400 for scholarships for two students

 

Future board meetings will be held 11/14/19, 2/13/20, 3/25/20, 5/14/20, 8/13/20 and 11/12/20.

 

Kentucky Woodland Owners Association hosted their 25th Annual Meeting at Pennyrile Forest State Park

 

FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE

Contact: Doug McLaren

dmclaren@uky.edu

(859) 881.8583

 

Kentucky Woodland Owners Gather for Annual Meeting

Kentucky Woodland Owners Association hosted their 25th Annual Meeting at Pennyrile Forest State Park

The Kentucky Woodland Owners Association (KWOA) members, University of Kentucky Department of Forestry and Natural Resources staff and students, industry representatives and other state and local officials gathered for the 2019 KWOA Annual Meeting at Pennyrile Forest State Park on March 26-27.

Clean water and forest management was the theme for this year’s congregation of more than 50 attendees. With a presentation from Jim Bryon, Kentucky Division of Forestry, as well as, hands-on learning with the University of Kentucky Extension Service’s Dr. Amanda Gumbert and Sarah Yount, attendees learned about habitat and riparian issues, streams, and timber harvesting. The conference also heard updates from Dr. Gregory Kuhns, MD about the Water Watch in Kentucky, Rick Caldwell with the American Chestnut Foundation, and Warren Beeler with the Governor’s Office of Agricultural Policy.

“Members of the KWOA enjoy sharing their passion of their woodlands. Kentucky’s land base is half forested, some of the world’s most valuable hardwoods. Woodland owners have a strong desire to see the land continue in their family as a legacy – where all the generations of family – present and future -benefit from the various values of the resource, water, timber, wildlife, recreation, and so many more. Woodland owners are one of the few communities within natural resources that actually grow a legacy that benefits individuals today as well tomorrow”, said Doug McLaren, president of KWOA.

In addition to educational opportunities, the KWO(F)oundation presented UK Department of Forestry and Natural Resources senior, Sarah Hays with their $1000 scholarship at the awards dinner on Tuesday night. This award is given to a UK Forestry and Natural Resource senior annually. The award is granted on the basis of leadership potential, connection with the forest community and insight for the forest profession.

The 2019 Service Forester’s Award was presented to Rick Harrel from the Kentucky Division of Forestry’s Western Region for his dedicated and enthusiastic service to promoting proper forest management to all his woodland land owners. The keynote speaker for the dinner was State Senator Robbie Mills, who addressed the economic opportunity and impact of forested land in Kentucky.

A “nugget” of information that many attendees mentioned at the end of the field day of the water quality and forest management demonstrations was, “…..forest management and water quality are directly related. By following proper management guidelines the water quality downstream is better maintained.”, said Doug McLaren.

For more information on KWOA, please contact Doug McLaren at (859) 881.8583 or dmclaren@uky.edu or visit their webpage at https://kwoa.net

May 17, 2018 Quarterly Board Meeting Highlights

The KWOA/F board met May 17th at the KFIA office in Frankfort to discuss a range of issues and to get updates from our cooperators.

Communications. The quarterly newsletter going to electronic format for member recipients. Due to higher postage rates and efforts to cut costs, the board discussed distributing the quarterly newsletter in electronic (pdf file) format only to members via email. It also discussed charging a higher membership fee for those who do not have internet access and would still like to receive a hard copy via USPS. Membership renewal notifications and the fall newsletter will have further information about this change.

The new Mail Chimp is up and running with a couple of emails sent to members thus far. This format and the website will become the primary social media platforms for the association. The Facebook page will refer viewers to those platforms.

2019 annual meeting. The board discussed holding the next annual meeting in western Kentucky. A committee was formed to consider site locations and program content for that meeting.

Emerald ash borer disaster. Several board members and other forestry stakeholders met with Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles on April 24th regarding economic disaster assistance for tree farms related to ash tree damage from the emerald ash borer. Commissioner Quarles also visited Joe Ball’s tree farm to see firsthand the damage he has experienced from EAB invasion. Work is continuing on this issue at the state and federal levels.

Strategic plan. A committee was formed to develop a concise (5-7 words) description of KWOA’s mission and to look at updating its logo and brochure.

The next board meeting is scheduled for August 16, 2018 at the KFIA office in Frankfort.