Wild places sustain and define us; we, in turn, must protect them.
As we wrap up Kentucky Heartwood’s 25th year of working to protect our public lands and native forests, I want to thank each of you for your support of what we do. With your help, Kentucky Heartwood has continued to make a tangible difference in how public lands in Kentucky are managed.
Together we have helped to keep logging levels on national forests lands in the Commonwealth as some of the lowest in the nation. While there are alarming political trends portending an uncertain future, logging on the Daniel Boone National Forest in recent years has hovered around 4 million board feet cut from about 900 acres per year. Though some beautiful forests continue to be logged and roaded, what we see today is a far cry from the peak levels of the 1980’s and 1990’s, which reached 47 million board feet annually. Of 108 national forests with active timber programs in 2017, the Daniel Boone ranked #87 for the volume of timber sold. And Land Between the Lakes ranked #107. Compare these numbers to our neighbors in Missouri. In 2017 the Mark Twain National Forest sold 63 million board feet of timber. The Mark Twain had the 8th largest harvest volume of any national forest in the nation, and ranked an astonishing 4th in timber revenue with more than $8 million in timber receipts. There are no environmental organizations routinely monitoring or working to protect the Mark Twain National Forest. Advocacy matters.
Keeping logging limited on our national forests is important. But logging is not the only – or even most severe – threat to biodiversity and the integrity of our forests. That is why Kentucky Heartwood has worked to expand our programs and reach to make positive impacts across an increasingly broad range of forest-related issues.
The following are some of the things that we were able to do in 2017 because of your support:
We’ll provide more in depth write-ups on these and other topics in our upcoming Winter newsletter. And you can always follow our activities year-round on a variety of platforms, including our website at www.kyheartwood.org, our email alert list (sign up through the website!), on Facebook at www.facebook.com/KentuckyHeartwood, and on Instagram @kentuckyheartwood.
While Kentucky Heartwood continues to grow, we are still a small organization with just four staff employed for a total of 2.5 full-time equivalents. We are fortunate to receive some foundation support, but donations from individuals like yourself are the backbone of our efforts. If you’ve already donated this year, thank you. If you haven’t yet donated, or can send a little extra at this year’s end, we would certainly appreciate it and put it to good use!
Thanks. We’ll see you in the forest.
Jim Scheff, Director