Category Archives: News

News about Kentucky Woodlands and their owners

Join the “White Oaks for the Future” Effort!



Environmental stresses and demand for products made from white oak are outpacing the ability of white oak to successfully regenerate and grow into large trees. Renewing our forests using tree improvement to produce the best white oak trees for reforestation has great ecological and economic benefits. The first step in tree improvement is finding good trees in the forest to collect acorns from. We need volunteers to find white oak trees that are producing acorns, collect those acorns, and send them to the University of Kentucky. This is an especially challenging task this year since it looks like the production of white oak acorns is pretty low! If you are interested in helping collect acorns please email




KWOA welcomes new coordinator partnership with KDOW Basin Coordination and Watershed Watch

The Kentucky Division of Water’s Community Outreach and Involvement Division administers two programs that especially benefit woodland owners: Basin Coordination and Watershed Watch.


Meet Your Basin Coordinator

DOW now has a full team of Basin Coordinators excited about collaborating with KWOA members to protect and improve woodland waterways. The basin team programs – core monitoring, lakes monitoring, citizen action and youth stream team – connect organizations like KWOA with the data and resources needed to identify and address water quality challenges.

Basin Coordinators also communicate needs on the ground to the DOW, supporting the division in directing resources to where they are most needed. Kentucky is divided into 7 major river basins, each of which is staffed by a Basin Coordinator.

To find the Basin Coordinator responsible for your area, go to the Division of Water’s Basin Team web page.


Watershed Watch is a statewide citizens monitoring effort to improve and protect water quality by raising community awareness, and by supporting implementation of the goals of the Clean Water Act and other water quality initiatives. The program is dedicated to helping you protect Kentucky’s streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands. The program accomplishes its goals through community education, leadership, action and water quality monitoring projects. Basic stream monitoring includes biological and chemical monitoring as well as lake monitoring, video and photographic monitoring.

Ongoing Work to Protect Bernheim Forest in Bullitt County

From the Kentucky Resources Council August 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.

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.


Louisville District of the Corps of Engineers
Louisville District Regulatory Division Office, South Branch

Kentucky Field Station of the US Fish and Wildlife Service Office
502-695-0468 |

Annual Meeting Update

The 2020 KWOA/F Annual meeting is just a six months away. Time flies so please mark your calendar now for March 23, 24 and 25 of 2020 at Lake Cumberland State Resort Park. The meeting is officially the 24th and 25th but because many of you will be coming in on the 23rd we have added an event for that Monday. Also, we will again be hosting the Kentucky Master Woodland Stewards (KMWS) Annual Reunion on the evening of Monday March 23rd. For those KWOA members who are also KMWS you will receive more information about that meeting from Billy Thomas, UK Forestry Extension.

We have reserved a block of rooms and reservations can be made by calling the park at 270-343-3111. The room rate is $72.95 plus tax. Be sure you tell them you are with KWOA to get that room rate.

The annual meeting committee has been working for several months now to put together what we think will be a very informational and enjoyable meeting based on the theme of recreation. You will be getting more details as we get closer to the event. Topics will include:

  • Trail Building and maintenance
  • Woodland safety and survival
  • Edible and Medicinal Plants
  • Setting up and maintaining sporting clay ranges

In addition to those topics we are also pleased to be helping Ellen Crocker (University of Kentucky’s Forest Health Extension) roll out her new “Healthy Woods” App. More information will be available on where to download the app as we get closer to the meeting date.

Check back for updates on the agenda, speakers and other planned activities.

We hope to see you there!

Your Annual Meeting Committee

Upper Cumberland Watershed Climate and Biodiversity Conference RESULTS

Cumberland Falls State Park, October 10-11, 2019


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.


Frank Hicks, former KWOA president, recognized

Immediate past KWOA president Frank Hicks was recently recognized by the naming of a new concession building after him at the Clark County fair.

A native of Greenup County, Hicks taught vocational agricultural mechanization in Clark County and then worked for over fifteen years as the University of Kentucky county extension agent.

Read more…

Black walnut hullers needed

Hammons Products Company is looking for people to buy Black Walnuts in Kentucky.  Hammons will provide the hulling machine and bags for the inshell nuts.  The nuts are purchased from individuals.  Hammons pays the buyers $5/100lbs for the Black Walnuts.  Read more….

KWOF Scholarship Application – Fall 2019

Provided by the Kentucky Woodland Owners Foundation

 Make available (electronic or paper) the Student Information, Personal Reflection Statement and Letter(s) of Recommendation to:

                              Doug McLaren, President of KWOA/KWOF

                             330 Cave Run Circle – Versailles, KY 40383



Fall 2019 Annual Reflection Statement for the KWOF Scholarship Award

“Woodland Management Can Be a Challenge”

This scholarship award scenario will take you into the near future. The scenario is you have recently graduated from forestry school. You have taken a position with a forestry management company /agency. You have been to a number of landowners and have worked with them to develop forest/natural resource management plans. Most of the landowners recognize and work with the issue that being in Kentucky the task will take years to be fully accomplished.

Today this scenario is different. The landowner you are visiting indicated by phone that they were extremely interested in initiating a management plan. “My timber needs cutting”, is repeated many times over by the caller. Your interest is peeked as you make plans for a site visit. They are interested in developing a woodland management plan, possibly a timber sales contract will result from this plan. Another important result of the visit is potentially having the property become part of the Kentucky Tree Farm system.

All of this comes tumbling down after you and the landowner have made an exhaustive reconnaissance of the total property. You have found no areas that could be harvested. The remaining stand has been extremely high graded. No high valued stems or high valued species exist.

How do you approach and explain these issues with the landowner for them to envision some “light at the end of the tunnel”. Woodland management in Kentucky is long term. There are monies available to help in the woodlands management endeavors but time is the best antidote for this situation.

For this 2019 KWOF Reflection Statement, “Woodland Management Can be a Challenge”, explain how you would approach the issue of past management and the hope that this woodland owner will have the desire to turn this mismanaged stand into a future stand of valuable timber.

Deadline – this application deadline is October 4th, 2019

PURPOSE: The purpose of the Kentucky Woodlands Owners Foundation Scholarship is to provide annually an award to an outstanding student enrolled in the University of Kentucky’s professional forestry degree program. Award will be granted on the basis of leadership potential, connection with the forestry community, and insight for the forestry profession.

ELIGIBILITY: Applicants for the Kentucky Woodland Owners Foundation Scholarship must be a full-time University of Kentucky undergraduate student in the professional program of forestry and have a minimum ranking of senior at the time of the October4th deadline date but has not graduated. The award can only be awarded to any one person once.

SCHOLARSHIP: The Kentucky Woodland Owners Foundation Scholarship is in the amount of $1000. These monies will be paid directly to the University of Kentucky for tuition fees. The award announcement will be no later than December6th, 2019.

AWARD SELECTION: Scholarship recipients will be selected on a competitive basis by using a combination of criteria which include but not limited to: leadership potential, extracurricular activities, community service, and written submission as required for the award. This is not an academic scholarship.

APPLICATIONS:  Application should be returned to the Kentucky Woodland Owners Foundation’s President, Doug McLaren, 330 Cave Run Circle, Versailles, KY 40383 either by land mail or an electronic version.

If you have any questions, call, 859.881.8583 or email

KEY DATES: Completed and submitted application date will be no later than October 4th, 2019. Scholarship awards will be announced by December 6th, 2019 for tuition payment. It is requested but not mandated that the recipient of the award attend the Kentucky Woodland Owners Association annual meeting (normally during the spring season) to be recognized for the award. Costs for attending will be defrayed.


APPLICATION SUMMARY: The following information and documents must be submitted to be accepted as a complete application packet by the student. If any of the information is missing on the deadline date of October 4th, 2019 the applicant will not be eligible for the award.

First Section (limited to one page)Student information: Complete name, address, telephone number, and email address. Please make notation of your high school. On this page will also be where you may make any statements concerning your academic performance and contributions either in school leading to your entrance into the forestry program at the University of Kentucky or contributions you have made while at the forestry program. Please feel free to list any influences that were made to your making the decision to major in forestry.  This page provides you the opportunity to discuss your interest and desire to be involved in forestry.

Second SectionRecommendation(s): Requested that you have a least one formal letter of recommendation from a member of the Forestry and Natural Resources Department at the University of Kentucky (teaching, research, or Cooperative Extension).

Concluding SectionPersonal Reflection Statement:  You will be asked to provide your personal reflections on an “Annual Reflection Statement” (2019 – “Woodland Management Can Be a Challenge”). It will change annually. Your remarks to this statement will be confined to 500 words. Go to and click NEWS to see this information again stated.


KWOA to provide input for and get advice from new UK forestry course

Human Dimension of Forestry and Natural Resources is a new forestry course in the University of Kentucky curriculum this fall for forestry major seniors.

Billy Thomas, UK Extension instructor for the course, says he and co-instructor Laura Lhotka have changed their approach to the class this fall to provide a service component, expose the students to real world forestry and natural resource issues with strong human elements, and also make them aware of ongoing projects in Kentucky. In addition, they believe the exercise of working with different partners will be extremely beneficial to their future careers and help them develop into more well-rounded professionals.

In preparation students, divided into four separate groups, will conduct preliminary research on their group’s Project Paper to “identify the problem/challenges” faced by an assigned real partner representative for whom that group works. KWOA is one of the organizations participating in a student group project. Students will be tasked with assisting KWOA in promoting sustainable forest management in Kentucky and growing its membership. Doug McLaren, KWOA president, will be the representative working with that group.

Students will use the TELE approach (Tools for Engaging Landowners Effectively) Engagement Guide prepared by the Sustaining Family Forests Initiative* that aims to gain and disseminate comprehensive knowledge about family forest owners.

Read more….

  • The Sustaining Family Forests Initiative is a collaboration between the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the U.S. Forest Service, and the Center for Nonprofit Strategies.