Our partners at Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) have worked for over 20 years doing just that in the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor in eastern Kentucky. Pine Mountain is a 125-mile ridgeline of #naturalawesome, and is home to black bears, hellbenders, black-throated green warblers, painted trilliums, monarch butterflies, Indiana bats and many other species. The mountain is also a critical wildlife refugee and migratory route through a region all too familiar with extensive resource extraction. The Forecastle Foundation has been partnered with KNLT since 2012 and has helped fund several land acquisitions including the most recent 2,050 aces near Pineville that created The Narrows Preserve. 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. It’s important to note that in Kentucky, 120 miles of the trail are being developed to eventually connect Breaks Interstate Park with Cumberland Gap National Historical Park. The trail is vital to expanding the recreation industry in the region, and will help connect people with the wildlands they love for generations to come.
For more information about this project, check out the new film, Wildlands of Pine Mountain which debuted at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in Louisville, KY this spring. Foundation founder JK McKnight speaks for KNLT in another new video called “Voices for Wildlands,” a new series of testimonials which helps explain what is so special and important about these bio diverse areas.
Other awesome things to be a part of this spring? Join Forecastle Foundation board members on Friday, April 8 in Lexington, Kentucky for KNLT’s Wildlands Art & Music, showcasing the art of the Pine Mountain Collective – a group of artists from all over the region who’ve become inspired by the splendor of the mountain through KNLT artist retreats in the area. The event will include over 30 artists and include readings, music, paintings, pottery, screen prints, letterpress, illustrations and more. Don’t miss this opportunity to interact with this stellar group of artists, like Kentucky’s own Daniel Martin Moore, Warren Byrom & Fabled Canelands.