Since its formation in 1975, KCC has supported legislation for: 

  • Wetlands and Natural Area Protection
  • Water Management
  • Solid and Hazardous Waste Management
  • Scenic Areas Preservation
  • Environmental Trust Fund
  • Agricultural Land Preservation
  • Strip Mining Control
  • Bottle Bill Proposals
  • Sustainable Economic Development
  • Protection and Strengthening Environmental Standards
  • Forestry Practices
  • Energy Efficiency

KCC: Over Forty Years of Environmental Advocacy Success in Kentucky

  • KCC recently helped to restore $5 million in land conservation funds that were proposed to be swept from the 2016-2017 state budget.
  • KCC has been a watchdog for decades in addressing issues with Kentucky’s solid waste. Our role in promoting Bottle Bill legislation (and related container deposit legislation), led to significant improvements in statewide waste regulations.
  • KCC has, for over forty years, initiated significant land conservation efforts, including Kentucky’s Scenic Easement legislation (as part of Kentucky’s Planning and Zoning statutes).
  • Our efforts set the stage for the Purchase of Agricultural Easements Program (PACE) with its focus on land conservation…creating significant progress for rural land preservation.
  • Our work with legislators on the Kentucky Agricultural District Act and the Inter-agency Farmland Advisory Board, resulting in better planning and zoning controls for efficient use of farmland.
  • KCC’s efforts strengthened the Kentucky Wild River act, making it more resilient to legal challenges for including more lands into the system.
  • KCC helped to pass the Pine Mountain Trail State Park legislation in 1992.
  • KCC worked to pass bills on Brownfields remediation.
  • KCC was Instrumental in developing the State Task Force for Land Stewardship and Conservation that led to the Conserve Kentucky initiative.
  • KCC has consistently tracked legislation to challenge billboard companies on the clearing of trees in public right-of-ways.
  • KCC has been a strong supporter of Kentucky’s Environmental Quality Commission and the former Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Cabinet (now the Energy and Environment Cabinet).
  • KCC’s work was groundbreaking for providing Net Metering in Kentucky. We are now working toward expanding limits on net metering to allow more competitive solar markets.
  • KCC was a charter member of the Kentucky Sustainable Energy Alliance, an advocacy coalition between nonprofits and for clean energy options in Kentucky.


A Brief History of KCC, 1970-1999:

1975 – 1979: Testimony to the United States President’s Commission on Coal, during its public hearing:

“The Kentucky Conservation Committee is a coalition of environmental activists formed for the purpose of lobbying for effective environmental legislation here in Kentucky. We participated in the 1976 and 1978 Kentucky General Assemblies …”

Public hearing: Volume 4, United States. President’s Commission on Coal – 1979, Washington DC

“Kentucky Conservation Committee – the political experiences and connections gained from the Red River Gorge controversy lead directly to the formation of the Kentucky Conservation Committee. They continue to battle environmental threats throughout Kentucky.”

— From the Red River Saga, The History of the Red River Valley Dam

1976:  Articles of incorporation filed with the Kentucky Secretary of State for the Kentucky Conservation Committee.

1979: KCC was party to a lawsuit where the chief complainant was Appalachian Research and Defense Fund, appealing a ruling by then Natural Resources Cabinet Eugene Mooney, concerning state’s policy of exempting on-site construction from coal mining laws.

1980:  KCC released the report: “A Survey of the Impact of Container Legislation in Six States” by Sarah Lynn Cunningham, Kentucky Conservation Committee, February, 1980.

Michael J Greene, KCC lobbyist, received an award from the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet for Outstanding Environmental Contributions at the 7th Annual Governor’s Conference on the Environment.

1983: The Kentucky Conservation Committee sponsored  workshops that taught citizens how a bill becomes a law, how citizens can influence lawmaking and examine environmental legislation in the upcoming session of the Kentucky General Assembly.

1984: KCC testified on the broad form deed and land reform.

1986:  The Kentucky Conservation Foundation, KCC’s  partner foundation, is formed.

1987: KCC priority campaigns on ground water protection, soil erosion and solid waste.

1988-1991: KCC priority campaigns on land conservation via the Natural Heritage Trust Fund, billboard restrictions, container deposit, recycling/solid waste legislation, the Kentucky Environmental Policy Act, ground water protection, water supply protection and support for related state government environmental protection efforts.

The primary issue for 1988 was the Kentucky Heritage Lands Conservation Fund, which was sponsored by Rep. Mark Brown. It went down in defeat in the House, after passing out of the Committee. Brown sponsored the bill again in 1990, when it was passed but without a funding mechanism.

In 1991, KCC helped to amend the law to include three funding mechanisms, establishing a continuing funding stream.

During the 1988 session, KCC was also greatly involved in working to stop billboard legislation, developing coalitions with Scenic Kentucky and the Kentucky Garden Clubs organizations. We were also involved in championing environmental literacy and we worked with the Kentucky League of Sportsmen to support the passage of the Kentucky Heritage Lands Conservation Fund.

1997: Area of Focus: Stewardship of Forest Resources, Kentucky River and Watershed Watch.

1998: Area of Focus: Forest Stewardship; Confined Agriculture Feeding legislation; Wildlife Conservation; Solid Waste legislation