Kentucky

Forest Action Plan

Photo: Tim Brown, Kentucky Division of Forestry

Addressing threats to forest sustainability

Kentucky’s Forest Action Plan is a comprehensive analysis and plan formulated to address the five major threats identified impacting the sustainability of the Commonwealth’s forest resource.  The major threats identified within the document are Forest Health, Water Quality and Quantity, Forest Loss and Fragmentation, Forest Management and Funding.  

Conserve

Conserve working forests through sustainable forestry practices and encourage policy-makers to offer incentives to landowners

The waters of Kentucky include over 49,000 streams and rivers and over one million acres of lakes and reservoirs.  Controlling soil erosion caused by disturbance, wildfires and improper harvesting is critical to protecting the quality and quantity of our water resources.

Protect

Protect forest health from human intervention, population growth and invasive species through active management that encourages the natural regeneration of native oaks and hickories

Forest loss eliminates or reduces wildlife habitat and removes air and water quality benefits.  Forest fragmentation – the division of forest blocks into smaller units – is a distinct, but interrelated phenomena to forest loss and ultimately results in decreased forest health.  Maintaining current public lands, acquiring additional lands, public education and smart growth policies will help to decrease forest loss and fragmentation in the state.

Enhance

Enhance water quality and quantity through effective management of forest resources and enforcement of best management practices while harvesting timber

Maintaining and increasing Kentucky’s forest health includes proper forest management, reducing wildfires and eliminating invasive, exotic plants such as bush honeysuckle and kudzu and destructive insects such as emerald ash borer and hemlock woolly adelgid.