Over 700 Acres Added to Daniel Boone National Forest (KY)

Powell County, KY, 2/1/2000: On Monday, the Trust for Public Land (TPL) conveyed a property totaling more than 700 acres to the United States Forest Service as an addition to the Daniel Boone National Forest. Located in the Red River Gorge Geological Area, the site is part of the largest concentration of natural arches and rock shelters east of the Rocky Mountains.

The land will provide additional recreation opportunities and increased wildlife habitat for the diverse array of plants and animals found in this region. The site links the Forest and the Kentucky Natural Bridge State Resort Park, which offers more than 80 campsites and indoor overnight facilities.

“The Trust for Public Land is pleased to have helped make this expansion of the historic Red River Gorge a reality, working in partnership with the Forest Service and the landowner, the Powell County Land Company, Inc.,” said Rodger Krussman, TPL project manager.

“The property’s towering cliff lines, scenic arches, and rock shelters are magnificent,” Krussman explained. “For this property to be publicly owned is truly a value to the local community and visitors alike.” Public hiking trails wind through the newly acquired land, which is heavily forested with oak-hickory, yellow poplar, and white pine.

At the request of the U.S. Forest Service, the Trust for Public Land, a national land conservation organization, began negotiations for public ownership of the property in October of 1998. TPL worked closely with the Powell County Land Company to prepare the site for public use and coordinated the appraisal, title search, and survey.

Funds for the acquisition were secured through the Land and Water Conservation Fund, a trust derived from offshore oil and gas receipts, and were directed to the Daniel Boone National Forest by Congress.

Carved over millions of years by wind and water, some of the hundreds of rock shelters in the Red River Gorge were used as housing shelters by Shawnee and other Native American tribes. Historical documents and archaeological evidence also suggest that Daniel Boone used the formations.

The U.S. Forest Service is developing management guidelines to protect area natural resources, including the shelters, prehistoric and Native American artifacts, and endangered plant species like the white-haired goldenrod.

“The recent acquisition to the Daniel Boone National Forest will help protect valuable cultural resources,” said Gary Coleman, staff officer for lands, minerals, and watershed for Daniel Boone National Forest. “In the future, the Forest Service plans to acquire additional private lands to preserve the beauty and culture of the area and looks forward to the possibility of working on the transactions in partnership with the Trust for Public Land.”

The Trust for Public Land conserves land for public use to improve the quality of life in communities and protect natural and historic resources for future generations. In 1992, TPL protected a 1,300-acre addition to the Daniel Boone National Forest along the Rockcastle River. Additional properties that TPL has helped protect include the 135-year-old Aydelott House historic farm site in Louisville, 150 acres along Floyds Fork in Jefferson County, and the Garvin Brown Preserve in eastern Jefferson County.

Founded in 1972, and headquartered in San Francisco, TPL specializes in conservation real estate, applying its expertise in negotiation, public finance, and law to complete land transactions. To date, TPL has conserved more than 1.2 million acres of land nationwide valued at $1.8 billion. Working with private landowners, communities, and government agencies, TPL has helped protect nearly 1,700 special places around the country. This year, TPL launched its “Greenprint for Growth” campaign to help sprawl?threatened communities protect land as a way to guide development and sustain a healthy economy and high quality of life.