Land and Water Conservation & Stewardship
The Kentucky Conservation Committee has a rich history in land and water conservation. We were key in addressing Kentucky’s Scenic Easement legislation, the formation of the Purchase of Agricultural Easements (PACE) Program and strengthened Kentucky’s Wild River act among many of our accomplishments. we have been a watchdog for Kentucky’s land and water protection for over forty years.
We helped to develop the State Task Force for Land Stewardship and Conservation which led to the Conserve Kentucky initiative that continues to this day. If you are interested in learning more about our land and waters work, please email us.
- Support Nature Preserves, Op-Ed,
Lane Boldman, Louisville Courier-Journal, May 1, 2015
- Shrinking Funds Making it Difficult to Preserve Kentucky’s Natural Areas, Op-Ed, Lane Boldman, April 7, 2015
- State Budget Raids Kentucky Nature License Plate Fund, Louisville Courier-Journal, Feb. 15, 2015
- Kentucky Tries to Connect Conservation Islands,
Louisville Courier-Journal, June 9, 2013
Information about Land Conservation relating to the 2018 Farm Bill:
- Land Trust Alliance on the 2018 Farm Bill
- USDA Page on the 2014 Farm Bill
- American Forest Foundation Farm Bill Info
- The Nature Conservancy information on the Farm Bill
- Environmental and Energy Study Institute info on the Farm Bill
- Land and Water Conservation Fund, Kentucky
Special Land Use: Wildlife Corridors
Wildlife Corridor Basics
Wildlife corridors are features that connect two or more otherwise isolated patches of habitat. Corridors can consist of natural features such as vegetation, water, or rock, or can be made by people. Corridors are vital for wildlife to access available habitats. They allow animals to travel safely from one area to another, but may also provide food or other necessities as well. In many cases, corridors already exist and simply need to be enhanced, or they can be created using idle areas on a farm or property.
More than 800 organizations in the U.S. and Canada are now using corridors to create webs of protected habitat between Yellowstone National Park and the Yukon.In 2006, Damschen and Orrock and their colleagues published the first definitive evidence that corridors are effective in extending plant biodiversity in fragmented large-scale habitats in a paper published in Science.
Types of Wildlife Corridors (From Ky. Dept. of Fish & Wildlife)
- Woodland:the most obvious corridors needed across most of Kentucky are those connecting isolated woodlots. Because of the interspersion of pasture or hayland, cropland, residential or industrial development, or other land uses, patches of woodland are often isolated as islands or separated from neighboring woodlands.
- Grassland:Isolated patches of grassland are not often thought of as needing connecting corridors to be most beneficial for wildlife. However, just as with woodlands, isolated grassland patches may not be useful to animals. Wildlife need travel and protective cover between grassland areas to effectively use them. Pasture or hayland is the most common grassland type in Kentucky. While crop fields offer cover during part of the year, after harvest there may be no cover connecting permanent grassland areas.
- Shrubland:The principles that apply to woodland or grassland corridors also apply to corridors used to connect isolated shrubby areas. Cedar thickets, old field areas that have a lot of shrubs or saplings, or areas that have been planted to shrubs or seedlings should likewise be connected by desirable plant cover corridors.
- Wetland:Swamps, sloughs, and similar wetland habitats normally cannot be connected by identical habitat. In most situations, it simply is not feasible to create continuous shallow water wetlands. Corridors designed to connect wetlands should thus be focused on providing suitable vegetative cover between isolated wetland habitats.
- Non-Vegetative:Natural and non-natural barriers to wildlife movements can sometimes be overcome with other habitat modifications. Roads that bisect breeding grounds for frogs and salamanders can devastate the amphibians’ local populations without suitable crossings. Larger animals such as bears and deer may pose threats to human safety as well as being jeopardized themselves if large and busy roads cut through their habitats. These problems can be remedied in part with human-made corridors.
Significant corridor projects in Kentucky include the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor in Eastern Kentucky and the Big Rivers Corridor project in Western Kentucky.