This conference is free and open to the public. Please register in advance to confirm your spot and commit to attending both days.
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.
- 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.
Who Should Attend?
- Frontline community groups and stakeholders who live in the Upper Cumberland region, who want to participate in a discussion on the environmental, cultural and economic future of this region and how to build a more resilient community in an era of climate change.
- Citizens and leaders who are involved in the economic sustainability of the Upper Cumberland region with an interest in coordination between economic interests and the resiliency of our natural lands.
- Local entities who work on sustainability, land and water conservation, biology.
- Community Nonprofits who work on climate, sustainability, and community resilience issues.
- Citizens who are interested in climate solutions, and are looking for more information on how wildlands and watersheds in the region may play a role.
We will be meeting on October 10-11. Schedule details are still being finalized. We are also accepting proposals for session presenters. If you are interested in submitting a session proposal, please see information here. Particular consideration given to sessions that promote local community solutions and diverse stakeholders.
Draft Schedule/Subject to Change (Watch for updates):
Thursday, October 10, 2019:
- 9:00: Registration/Check-In
- 9:30: Conference Overview/Introductions
- 10:00-10:45: Overview of Climate Change Challenges In Kentucky and the Nation [Kentucky Conservation Committee]
- 10:45-11:45: Legal challenges and the Endangered Species Act [Center for Biological Diversity/Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter]
- 11:45 Lunch- Provided for advance registered attendees
- 1:00: Forest Issues in the Upper Cumberland Region and Climate Impacts [Presented by Kentucky Heartwood]
- 2:00: Wildlife Corridor Initiative: How Wildlife Corridors Promote Species Resiliency [Presented by Kentucky Natural Lands Trust]
- 3:00: Results of Conservation Research in Appalachia [Cumberland Mountain Research Center, Lincoln Memorial University]
- 4:00: Appalachian Land Study [Presented by LiKen Knowledge Exchange]
- 5:00: Discussion: Lessons and Actions
- 6:00: Dinner, on your own
Friday, October 11, 2019:
- 9:30: Check in, Review of the day’s agenda
- 10:00: Outdoor Recreation and the Outdoor Economy [Presented by the Explore Kentucky Initiative]
- 11:00: The Wetland Forest Initiative [Presented by the Dogwood Alliance]
- 12:00: Lunch- Provided for advance registered attendees
- 1:30: Climate impacts on waterways in the Upper Cumberland [Presented by Kentucky Waterways Alliance/Rockcastle Conservation]
- 2:30: Office of Nature Preserves: State Initiatives [Presented by the Kentucky Office of Nature Preserves]
- 3:30: Citizen Scientists and Engaging the Community in Biodiversity and Conservation [Presented by LiKen Knowledge Exchange]
- 4:30: The Wasioto Region: an Effective Focus for Conservation. [Presented by Julian Campbell, Bluegrass Woodland Restoration Center]
- 5:15: Wrap up and Actions
This conference is free. Please register in advance. In order to encourage a broad participation from the community, travel/meal stipends may be available for those who may need expense assistance. For a stipened application, contact Lane Boldman, Ky. Conservation Committee, email@example.com.
This conference is being organized by a coalition including The Kentucky Conservation Committee, Kentucky Heartwood, The Center for Biological Diversity, Dogwood Alliance and the Livelihood Knowledge Exchange Network (LiKEN).
Where to Stay?
We are providing this conference for free at the conference center at Cumberland Falls State Resort Park. Lodging is not provided as part of the conference registration. However you are invited to call the Cumberland Falls lodge [Link Here] and there is also a campground available on site [Link Here]. We can also suggest several nearby options for attendees below.
Hotels in Corbin (25 minutes away):
Hotels in Williamsburg (25 minutes away):
Hotels in Whitley City (30 minutes away):
Hotels in Somerset (45 minutes away):
- Best Western, Somerset
- Holiday Inn Express, Somerset
- Courtyard by Marriott, Somerset
- Red Roof Inn, Somerset
There are also a wide variety of campgrounds and Air BNB’s in the region.
Endangered Species and Climate Change in the Upper Cumberland Ecosystem
- Ashley Wilmes, Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club
- Tierra Curry, Senior Scientist, Center for Biological Diversity
This presentation will discuss federally endangered species in the Cumberland ecosystem, rates of diversity and imperilment, and the role of the Endangered Species Act in protecting species imperiled by climate change and other factors.