Kentucky Natural Lands Trust was established in 1995 when a state
inventory identified Blanton Forest as one of the most important natural
areas in Kentucky and funds were urgently needed to protect it. Some
of Kentucky’s top conservationists joined forces to form KNLT
and launch the campaign to raise funds for preservation of Blanton
Forest. KNLT soon expanded the project to the larger ecosystem surrounding
Blanton in order to include many natural areas across the entire mountain
which form a continuous forest block and important migratory corridor
for wildlife and plants. This project became the Pine Mountain Wildlife
Corridor Project. Today, KNLT has forest corridor projects in other
parts of the state and assists with the start-up of new land trusts
to further promote conservation in Kentucky.
• KNLT’s Blanton Forest campaign achieved the preservation of
more than 3,000 acres of old growth forest and buffer lands.
• KNLT completed major acquisitions in Harlan County to the east and
west of Blanton Forest. This included the 741 acre Arrington Property
and the 786 acre Parsons Tract. The Parsons tract was resold to the
state for the Pine Mountain State Park and Nature Preserve.
• KNLT assisted the state in purchasing the 1,027 acre Howard Property
as an addition to the Pine Mountain Trail State Park.
• KNLT purchased 386 acres in Harlan County to connect two disjunct
tracts within the Blanton Forest Nature Preserve Design.
• KNLT received its first donated conservation easement of the 83
acre Good Spring Farm in McCreary County, Kentucky.
• KNLT joined forces with Fort Knox and the Lincoln Trail ADD to purchase
conservation easements in the forest corridor around Fort Knox.
• KNLT acquired two conservation easements in Bullitt County, Kentucky, totaling nearly 308 acres to help protect the forest block from Bernheim Forest to Ft. Knox.
• KNLT’s “South America” project is featured on KET’s Kentucky Life.
• KNLT paid tribute to major donors to the Blanton Forest campaign with a permanent plaque at Blanton Forest. Those honored were David Burns, Tom Dupree, Sr., Augusta Wallace Lyons, Herb Emrich, and Sara Shallenberger Brown.
• KNLT purchased nearly 2,000 acres in the area known as “South America” on Pine Mountain in Eastern Kentucky.
• KNLT’s Indiana Bat Conservation Fund purchased several hundred acres of Indiana bat habitat in Kentucky and provided funding for research and restoration projects.
• KNLT received a gift of 140 acres protecting an important water source in Bell County.
• KNLT’s Executive Director, Hugh Archer, attended the White House Conference on Conservation and the Outdoors, as a representative for Kentucky.
• KNLT closed on 155 acres on Crooked Creek in Bullitt County. The property is part of the Ft. Knox to Bernheim Wildlife Corridor and large forest block.