Robinson Forest is the largest block of intact, native forest in the eastern Kentucky coal fields. It is surrounded almost entirely by strip mines, making it truly an island of functioning native forest with some of the cleanest running streams in this part of Kentucky. It is managed by the University of Kentucky which has chosen to whittle away this special place, first with strip mining and then with 800 acres of clearcut logging designed to see what happens to clean Appalachian streams when you log right up to the water's edge.
The University of Kentucky, as of 2002, had mined or leased for mining 3,885 acres of the 14,786 acres of forest left in the University's trust. UK did try to mine the main, 10,259 acre block of forest but met with stiff opposition, resulting in the lands being labeled "unsuitable for mining."
With scheduled timber rotations, coal underground, and a history wanton disregard for this unique public asset by the University of Kentucky Board of Trustees, Robinson Forest remains threatened.
Below you will find a number of documents we have developed and archived over the years, documenting the constant pressure and public outcry to protect Robinson Forest.
The Green Paper
Open Letter from Wendell Berry to Dr. Scott Smith, Dean, College of Agriculture
Letter opposing the research logging, signed by 42 scientists and natural resource managers
Letter from Tracy Farmer to Dr. Lee Todd
Article from the Kentucky Forest Industries Association newsletter
June 2008 Kentucky Heartwood Editorial
2009 Coles Fork Watershed report from Andrew Berry
2008 Report from Andrew Berry
Frasure Creek Mining expansion
To learn about the mining expansion just south of Robinson Forest, read our alert here.
To see the permit request, download the files below.