Kentucky Natural Lands Trust recently purchased 2,050 acres of Pine Mountain near Pineville in Bell County establishing The Narrows Preserve. Pine Mountain is home to thousands of species of plants and animals, some found nowhere else in the entire world. It represents an important migratory route for neotropical migrant birds and monarch butterflies, as well as many other species. The mountain represents a wealth of natural capital that is important to both human and economic health. KNLT continues working on the largest conservation effort in the state’s history, the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, which intends to protect the entire 125-mile long forested mountain stretching from Virginia through southeastern Kentucky to Tennessee.
“This is the single largest addition and most expensive investment in the Wildlands project in KNLT’s 20 year history. A clear protection priority ever since the Pine Mountain trail was proposed, it was made possible through supporters like Christina Lee Brown, Tom Dupree Sr., Snowy Owl Foundation, Forecastle Foundation, our committed board of directors, along with our broad base of loyal donors,” said Hugh Archer, executive director.
This new preserve will be a significant addition to the Pine Mountain State Scenic Trail, the Kentucky portion of the 1,800-mile Great Eastern Trail planned from Alabama to New York. In Kentucky 120 miles of the trail are being developed that will eventually connect Breaks Interstate Park with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The trail is important to the expanding recreation industry in the region, an essential part of the unfolding transitional economy.
Kentucky Natural Lands Trust is working to protect, connect and restore wildlands, large forest tracts and migratory corridors. Efforts began with the preservation of Blanton Forest, expanded to the Pine Mountain Wildlands
Corridor, and now include a range of conservation projects. KNLT uses a wide variety of tools to conserve natural areas and to work with forest landowners. Through partnerships with government agencies, nonprofits, corporations and private individuals they have protected thousands of acres of wildlands. For more, visit www.KNLT.org.