Natural Bridge State Resort Park
Its namesake natural bridge is the centerpiece of the park. The natural sandstone arch spans 78 ft and is 65 ft high, the natural process of weathering formed the arch over millions of years. The park is approximately 2,300 acres of which approximately 1,200 acres is dedicated by the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission as a nature preserve, in 1981 this land was dedicated into the nature preserves system to protect the ecological communities and rare species habitat. The first federally endangered Virginia big eared bats, Corynorhinus townsendii virginianus, the park was founded as a private tourist attraction in 1895 by the Lexington and Eastern Railroad. In 1910, Louisville and Nashville Railroad acquired the land when it purchased the Lexingon, there are over 20 miles of trails over uneven terrain from moderate to strenuous difficulty, including trails to Whites Branch Arch, Hensons Cave Arch, and other scenic areas. Some of the most famous sites are the arch itself, Lovers Leap, the parks 0.
5-mile Original Trail to the natural bridge dates from the 1890s. Other trails include the 7. 5-mile Sand Gap Trail and the 0. 75-mile Balanced Rock Trail, five miles of the 307-mile Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail run through the park, including the Whittleton Trail which connects the park to the Red River Gorge Geologic Area. Activities such as hiking off-trails, disturbing wildlife, or collecting plants are not legal in any Kentucky State Park, Fat Mans Squeeze, a narrow passage in the rock formation, leads to the bottom of the arch. Natural Bridge has several unique sandstone formations, including the Balanced Rock. This is a block of sandstone balanced on the edge of a cliff near the Natural Bridge. The Balanced Rock, is located on Trail #2, not far above Hemlock Lodge, in the early days of the Park, it was called the Sphinx because, when viewed from the correct angle, it crudely resembles the Sphinx in Egypt. Although it is now called the Balanced Rock, it is in fact a pedestal rock - a single piece of stone that has weathered in such a fashion that its midsection is narrower than its cap or its base.
This formation is one of the biggest and most perfectly formed examples of a pedestal rock east of the Rocky Mountains, Natural Bridge State Park is a member of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, and offers guided backpacking trips and natural history educational programs. Annual events open to the public include Herpetology Weekend each May, Natural Arches Weekend each February, the Kentucky Natives Societys Wildflower Weekend in April consists of Kentucky plants and how they are essential to the well-being of our natural ecosystems commonwealth. We incorporate research and support efforts to identify and protect endangered, the State Park is famous for hosting traditional Appalachian square dances. The traditional Appalachian style dances are held on Friday and Saturday evenings throughout the warm starlit Ky summers on the dance floor. The dance draws hundreds of participants and spectators, showcasing dance groups and singer/performer talents from all over
United States Forest Service
The United States Forest Service is an agency of the U. S. Department of Agriculture that administers the nations 154 national forests and 20 national grasslands, which encompass 193 million acres. Major divisions of the include the National Forest System and Private Forestry, Business Operations. Managing approximately 25% of federal lands, it is the major national land agency that is outside the U. S. Department of the Interior. The concept of the National Forests was born from Theodore Roosevelt’s conservation group and Crockett Club, in 1876, Congress created the office of Special Agent in the Department of Agriculture to assess the quality and conditions of forests in the United States. Hough was appointed the head of the office, in 1881, the office was expanded into the newly formed Division of Forestry. The Forest Reserve Act of 1891 authorized withdrawing land from the domain as forest reserves. In 1901, the Division of Forestry was renamed the Bureau of Forestry, gifford Pinchot was the first United States Chief Forester in the Presidency of Theodore Roosevelt.
As of 2009, the Forest Service has a budget authority of $5.5 billion. The Forest Service employs 34,250 employees in 750 locations, including 10,050 firefighters,737 law enforcement personnel, and 500 scientists. The mission of the Forest Service is To sustain the health and its motto is Caring for the land and serving people. As the lead agency in natural resource conservation, the US Forest Service provides leadership in the protection and use of the nations forest, rangeland. The agencys ecosystem approach to management integrates ecological and social factors to maintain and enhance the quality of the environment to meet current, the everyday work of the Forest Service balances resource extraction, resource protection, and providing recreation.5 billion trees per year. Further, the Forest Service fought fires on 2,996,000 acres of land in 2007, the Forest Service organization includes ranger districts, national forests, research stations and research work units and the Northeastern Area Office for State and Private Forestry.
Each level has responsibility for a variety of functions, the Chief of the Forest Service is a career federal employee who oversees the entire agency. The Chief reports to the Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment in the U. S. Department of Agriculture, there are five deputy chiefs for the following areas, National Forest System and Private Forestry and Development, Business Operations, and Finance. The Forest Service Research and Development deputy area includes five stations, the Forest Products Laboratory. Station directors, like regional foresters, report to the Chief, Research stations include Northern, Pacific Northwest, Pacific Southwest, Rocky Mountain, and Southern. There are 92 research work units located at 67 sites throughout the United States, there are 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges that have been established progressively since 1908, many sites are more than 50 years old
Cumberland Gap National Historical Park
Established on June 11,1940, Cumberland Gap National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park located at the border between Kentucky and Virginia. The Cumberland Gap is a natural break in the Appalachian Mountains. The park lies in parts of Bell and Harlan counties in Kentucky, Claiborne County in Tennessee, the park contains the Kentucky-Virginia-Tennessee tri-state area, accessible via a short trail. Cumberland Gap National Historical Park covers 20,508 acres, the Cumberland Gap Visitor Center is located on U. S. Highway 25E just southeast of Middlesboro and just northwest of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel and Cumberland Gap, Tennessee. The visitor center is open day of the year except Christmas Day. The gap was used by Native Americans, as many species of migratory animals passed through it from north to south each year. It was fertile hunting territory and the only cut through the mountains from the southern wintering grounds of wild deer. Starting around 1775, the Gap became the route of transit for American settlers moving west into Kentucky.
Two families by the name of Hensley and Gibbons moved to Brush Mountain to escape the many changes that were taking place in the early 1900s, more family members followed and a community was begun. A church and school was established under the jurisdiction of the Bell County School System of Bell County, settlers continued their pioneer lifestyle until future generations began accepting employment and marriage partners off the mountain. Sherman Hensley, the founder of the settlement, was the last to leave in 1951, the park preserves the natural beauty of the surrounding area while focusing on historic preservation. The former roadbed of U. S. Highway 25E through the park has been restored to an early 19th-century wagon path and this was made possible with the 1996 completion of the Cumberland Gap Tunnel, which rerouted US 25E under the park
The Levisa Fork is a tributary of the Big Sandy River, approximately 164 miles long, in southwestern Virginia and eastern Kentucky in the United States. It rises in the Appalachian Mountains of southwestern Virginia, in eastern Buchanan County and it flows west into Pike County, where it receives the Russell Fork and is impounded to form Fishtrap Lake reservoir, northwest past Pikeville and Prestonsburg. The natural course of the river formed a loop surrounding downtown Pikeville, at Paintsville it turns to the north-northeast, flowing through Johnson and Lawrence counties. It joins the Tug Fork from the southwest at Louisa on the West Virginia state line to form the Big Sandy, the Levisa Fork was historically an important river for log driving. The river is navigable for commercial purposes through a series of locks. In the early 1900s the river was navigable as far as Pikeville, variant names, according to the USGS, include Louisa River, Louisa Fork, Lavisa Fork, and West Fork, in addition to Levisa Fork River and Levisa Fork of the Big Sandy River.
The official name according to the USGS is Levisa Fork, according to George R. Stewart, frontiersmen forgot who it was named for and it changed over time to Levisa. On February 28,1958, a Floyd County school bus tumbled into the Levisa Fork after a collision with a wrecker truck, List of rivers of Kentucky List of rivers of Virginia Stewart, George R. A History of the Daniel Boone National Forest
Protected areas of the United States
The protected areas of the United States are managed by an array of different federal, state and local level authorities and receive widely varying levels of protection. Some areas are managed as wilderness, while others are operated with acceptable commercial exploitation, as of 2015, the 25,800 protected areas covered 1,294,476 km2, or 14 percent of the land area of the United States. This is one-tenth of the land area of the world. The U. S. had a total of 787 National Marine Protected Areas, covering an additional 1,271,408 km2, some areas are managed in concert between levels of government. The Father Marquette National Memorial is an example of a park operated by a state park system. As of 2007, according to the United Nations Environment Programme, federal level protected areas are managed by a variety of agencies, most of which are a part of the National Park Service, a bureau of the United States Department of the Interior. They are often considered the jewels of the protected areas.
Other areas are managed by the United States Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the United States Army Corps of Engineers is claimed to provide 30 percent of the recreational opportunities on federal lands, mainly through lakes and waterways that they manage. The highest levels of protection, as described by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, are Level I, the United States maintains 12 percent of the Level I and II lands in the world. These lands had an area of 210,000 sq mi. A confusing system for naming protected areas results in some types being used by more than one agency, for instance, both the National Park Service and the U. S. Forest Service operate areas designated National Preserves and National Recreation Areas. The National Park Service, the U. S. Forest Service, National Wilderness Areas are designated within other protected areas, managed by various agencies and sometimes wilderness areas span areas managed by multiple agencies. States and local zoning bodies may or may not choose to protect these, the state of Colorado, for example, is very clear that it does not set any limits on owners of NRHP properties.
State parks vary widely from urban parks to large parks that are on a par with national parks. Some state parks, like Adirondack Park, are similar to the National parks of England and Wales, about half the area of the park, some 3,000,000 acres, is state-owned and preserved as forever wild by the Forest Preserve of New York. Wood-Tikchik State Park in Alaska claims to be the largest state park by the amount of protected land, it is larger than many U. S. National Parks. Many states operate game and recreation areas. S, State and tribal wilderness areas Various counties, metropolitan authorities, regional parks, soil conservation districts and other units manage a variety of local level parks. Some of these are more than picnic areas or playgrounds, however
Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area
The Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located in Kentucky and Tennessee between Lake Barkley and Kentucky Lake. The area was designated a recreation area by President John F. Kennedy in 1963. The recreation area was managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority. It was designated as a UNESCO Biosphere reserve in 1991, the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers flow very close to each other in the northwestern corner of Middle Tennessee and Western Kentucky, separated by a rather narrow and mostly low ridge. The area of land separates the two bodies of water by only a few miles became known as Between the Rivers since at least the 1830s or 1840s. After the Cumberland River was impounded in the 1960s and a canal was constructed between the two lakes, Land Between the Lakes became the largest inland peninsula in the United States. Downstream from this area, the courses of the two rivers diverge again, with the mouth of the Cumberland emptying into the Ohio River approximately 4 mi from that of the Tennessee, the site of the last dam downstream on the Tennessee was to be Gilbertsville, Kentucky.
This was very unpopular with some of those affected, while others seemed happy to get an opportunity to sell their land and this would considerably lessen the shipping distances for goods going to ports on the Gulf of Mexico for products leaving the Cumberland Valley. This was completed in the 1960s and the impoundment was referred to as Lake Barkley, after Alben W. Barkley. The plan called for a new dam and the evacuation of the entire former Between the Rivers area, the area was to become Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area – a TVA experiment designed to show a multiple-use approach to recreational lands. Unlike a national park, there were to be areas where hunting would be allowed, the road through the Tennessee portion was renamed from State Route 49 to The Trace, which is what many roads and paths were called in pioneer times. Many area residents resented the condemnation of their lands, especially when it was explained to them that most of the area was not to be flooded, the former settlements of Tharpe, Model and Golden Pond, were forcibly abandoned.
The remains of an iron furnace, manned in the 1850s by slave labor, are about all that remains of Model. Golden Pond was replaced by the headquarters of the area and retained as the address for it. There is a museum, a planetarium, and an education area there. The area has miles of hiking trails, many boat ramps, an off-road vehicle area, many campgrounds, and group lodges. The area was burned and reseeded with grasses, and elk. In 1996 the Elk & Bison Prairie was officially inaugurated and is now open to driving tours where visitors see a typical 18th century landscape, in the 1990s, the directors of the TVA decided to get out of most activities requiring direct taxpayer funding
National Wildlife Refuge
National Wildlife Refuge System is a designation for certain protected areas of the United States managed by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. The National Wildlife Refuge System is the system of lands and waters set aside to conserve Americas fish, wildlife. National Wildlife Refuges manage a range of habitat types, including wetlands, prairies and marine areas. Among these hundreds of national refuges are home to some 700 species of birds,220 species of mammals,250 reptile and amphibian species and more than 1000 species of fish. Endangered species are a priority of National Wildlife Refuges in that nearly 60 refuges have been established with the purpose of conserving 280 threatened or endangered species. National Wildlife Refuges are places where visitors can participate in a variety of outdoor recreational activities. The National Wildlife Refuge System welcomes nearly 50 million visitors each year, hunters visit more than 350 hunting programs on refuges and on about 36,000 Waterfowl Production Areas.
Opportunities for fresh or saltwater fishing are available at more than 340 refuges, there is at least one wildlife refuge in each of the fifty states. The agency has created Comprehensive Conservation Plans for each refuge, developed through consultation with private and these began a review process by stakeholders beginning in 2013. The CCCPs must be consistent with the Fish and Wildlife Service goals for conservation, the CCPs outline conservation goals for each refuge for fifteen years into the future, with the intent that they will be revised every fifteen years thereafter. Additionally, NEPA requires FWS planners and refuge staff to engage the public in planning process to assist them with identifying the most appropriate alternative. Completed CCPs are available to the public and can be found on the FWS website, equally important is an intimate understanding of the social and economic drivers that impact and are impacted by management decisions and can facilitate or impede implementation success.
Consideration of these contributes to the success of the Service’s mission to protect wildlife. The Refuge System works collaboratively internally and externally to leverage resources, according to the Services 2013 Banking on Nature Report, visitors to refuges positively impact the local economies. Prevention and control of fires is a very active part of refuge management. Completion of controlled burns to reduce fuel loading, and participation in the wildland fire suppression efforts, are vital for management of refuge lands. A considerable infrastructure of physical structures is essential to management of refuge lands. As of September 30,2015 there were 13,030 roads and trails,5,284 buildings,8,007 water management structures, the overall facility infrastructure is valued at nearly $30 billion
Daniel Boone National Forest
Daniel Boone National Forest is the only national forest completely within the boundary of Kentucky. Established in 1937, it was named the Cumberland National Forest. The forest was named after Daniel Boone, a frontiersman and explorer in the late 18th century who contributed greatly to the exploration, in 1937, a national forest was established containing 1,338,214 acres within its proclamation boundary. As of June 1937, the Forest Service had purchased only 336,692 acres, most early purchases were large, isolated tracts owned by lumber and coal companies with but few inhabitants. The Forest Service has since had difficulty acquiring more land within the boundary, the bulk of which was. Due in part to World War II, funds for land acquisition were curtailed in the early 1940s, substantial acquisition efforts could not resume until the mid-1960s. The lengthy cessation of land acquisitions, except for period during the forests renaming, naming the forest entailed considerable debate. Protests began immediately after the national forest was named, the naming issue was reopened in the late 1950s.
The Forest Service investigated the name Cumberland, and found it came to Kentucky in 1750 when Thomas Walker named the Cumberland River in honor of Prince William Augustus, the Duke had defeated the Scottish Highlanders in 1746 at the Battle of Culloden, an especially brutal conflict. Many Scottish families fled to America and ultimately Kentucky as a result of the event, the Forest Service found that for their descendants still living in Eastern Kentucky, the name Cumberland was particularly distasteful. In addition, the Forest Service noted the influence of history on the names of places in Kentucky, during this period of time, place names with British connotations fell out of favor and changes were made. For example, prior to the Revolution, the Kentucky River was called the Louisa River, after the wife of the Duke of Cumberland, during the 1960s, a new movement to rename the national forest took place. Also during the 1960s, part of the national forest was designated a Primitive Weapons Area and set apart for hunting with longbow, crossbow, in 1970, this was the only US area where deer could legally be hunted with crossbows.
The park remains unique still for allowing only muzzle-loaded firearms, in 1967, a large and disconnected addition to the national forest was created, called the Redbird Purchase Unit, after a key purchase from the Red Bird Timber Company. About a third of the land within the national forest proclamation boundary is owned or managed by the Forest Service, the pattern of land ownership is highly fragmented and changes relatively frequently. One of the goals of the Forest Service is to consolidate holdings into larger blocks, the boundaries of Forest Service lands are marked in various ways, including red paint on trees. The shifting boundaries and growing size of Forest Service lands sometimes results in local complaints, in addition, it can be difficult for recreational users to know whether they are on Forest Service lands or not. No Trespassing signs are used by landowners, and conflicts between landowners and recreational users are not uncommon
Mammoth Cave National Park
Mammoth Cave National Park is a U. S. national park in central Kentucky, encompassing portions of Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system known in the world. Since the 1972 unification of Mammoth Cave with the system under Flint Ridge to the north. The park was established as a park on July 1,1941. It became a World Heritage Site on October 27,1981, the parks 52,830 acres are located primarily in Edmonson County, with small areas extending eastward into Hart County and Barren County. It is centered on the Green River, with a tributary, with 405 miles of surveyed passageways Mammoth Cave is by far the worlds longest known cave system, being over twice as long as the second-longest cave system, Mexicos Sac Actun underwater cave. Mammoth Cave developed in thick Mississippian-aged limestone strata capped by a layer of sandstone and it is known to include more than 390 miles of passageway, new discoveries and connections add several miles to this figure each year. Mammoth Cave National Park was established to preserve the cave system, the epikarstic zone concentrates local flows of runoff into high-elevation springs which emerge at the edges of ridges.
It is in underlying massive limestone layers that the human-explorable caves of the region have naturally developed. The limestone layers of the column beneath the Big Clifty, in increasing order of depth below the ridgetops, are the Girkin Formation. Genevieve Limestone, and the St. Louis Limestone, for example, the large Main Cave passage seen on the Historic Tour is located at the bottom of the Girkin and the top of the Ste. Each of the layers of limestone is divided further into named geological units and subunits. One area of research involves correlating the stratigraphy with the cave survey produced by explorers. This makes it possible to produce approximate three-dimensional maps of the contours of the layer boundaries without the necessity for test wells. The upper sandstone caprock is relatively hard for water to penetrate, the sandstone caprock layer has been dissolved and eroded at many locations within the park, such as the Frozen Niagara room. At one valley bottom in the region of the park.
Known as Cedar Sink, the features a small river entering one side. Mammoth Cave is home to the endangered Kentucky cave shrimp, a sightless albino shrimp, the National Park Service offers several cave tours to visitors. Some notable features of the cave, such as Grand Avenue, Frozen Niagara, two tours, lit only by visitor-carried paraffin lamps, are popular alternatives to the electric-lit routes
Fort Donelson National Battlefield
The commanders received national recognition for their victories in February 1862, as they were the first major Union successes of the war. This struck a blow to the Confederacy early in the war. The main portion of the park, in Dover, Fort Heiman, in nearby Calloway County, was a Confederate battery in the Battle of Fort Henry. The most vulnerable area in the Confederate defensive line in the Western Theater was the state of Kentucky, the Tennessee and Cumberland rivers were potential avenues for a Union invasion of the South through Kentucky and into Tennessee and beyond. Since Kentucky had declared neutrality, the Confederacy could not build defensive works within the state without risking alienating the local population, the local population in western Kentucky was pro-Confederate. Kentuckys westernmost congressional district elected a secessionist and Lincoln proclaimed it to be in rebellion and they surveyed possible sites along the Cumberland River, noting the high ridges and deep hollows near the Kentucky border.
In mid-May, on the west bank of the not far below Dover, Anderson laid out the water battery of Fort Donelson. The new fort was named in honor of the Confederate General Daniel S. Donelson who, along with Colonel Bushrod Johnson of the Corps of Engineers, construction was begun by a large force of men brought from the nearby Cumberland Iron Works. The site was established as Fort Donelson National Military Park on March 26,1928, the national military park and national cemetery were transferred from the War Department to the National Park Service on August 10,1933. The park was listed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 15,1966 and it was redesignated a national battlefield on August 16,1985. Public Law 108-367 increased the authorized boundary of the battlefield from 551.69 acres to 2,000 acres. On October 30,2006, Calloway County transferred the Fort Heiman site to the Park Service, Fort Heiman had been listed on the National Register of Historic Places on December 12,1976.
The Cumberland River was dammed in the 1960s, this area is referred to as Lake Barkley. It covers a roughly similar to the original river while at flood stage. The Fort Donelson National Cemetery, at 15.34 acres in Stewart County, contains 670 Union dead, there are numerous veterans from wars. The cemetery is presently unavailable for additional burials, washington, U. S. Department of the Interior. Where the South Lost the War, An Analysis of the Fort Henry—Fort Donelson Campaign, February 1862, Stackpole books,2003, ISBN 0-8117-0049-6. NPS Fort Donelson National Battlefield site Public Law 108-367 U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System, Fort Donelson Fort Donelson National Cemetery at Find a Grave
Kentucky, officially the Commonwealth of Kentucky, is a state located in the east south-central region of the United States. Kentucky is one of four U. S. states constituted as a commonwealth, originally a part of Virginia, in 1792 Kentucky became the 15th state to join the Union. Kentucky is the 37th most extensive and the 26th most populous of the 50 United States, Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State, a nickname based on the bluegrass found in many of its pastures due to the fertile soil. One of the regions in Kentucky is the Bluegrass Region in central Kentucky. In 1776, the counties of Virginia beyond the Appalachian Mountains became known as Kentucky County, the precise etymology of the name is uncertain, but likely based on an Iroquoian name meaning the meadow or the prairie. Kentucky is situated in the Upland South, a significant portion of eastern Kentucky is part of Appalachia. Kentucky borders seven states, from the Midwest and the Southeast, West Virginia lies to the east, Virginia to the southeast, Tennessee to the south, Missouri to the west and Indiana to the northwest, and Ohio to the north and northeast.
Only Missouri and Tennessee, both of which border eight states, touch more, Kentuckys northern border is formed by the Ohio River and its western border by the Mississippi River. The official state borders are based on the courses of the rivers as they existed when Kentucky became a state in 1792, for instance, northbound travelers on U. S.41 from Henderson, after crossing the Ohio River, will be in Kentucky for about two miles. Ellis Park, a racetrack, is located in this small piece of Kentucky. Waterworks Road is part of the land border between Indiana and Kentucky. Kentucky has a part known as Kentucky Bend, at the far west corner of the state. It exists as an exclave surrounded completely by Missouri and Tennessee, Road access to this small part of Kentucky on the Mississippi River requires a trip through Tennessee. The epicenter of the powerful 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes was near this area, much of the outer Bluegrass is in the Eden Shale Hills area, made up of short and very narrow hills.
The Jackson Purchase and western Pennyrile are home to several bald cypress/tupelo swamps, located within the southeastern interior portion of North America, Kentucky has a climate that can best be described as a humid subtropical climate. Temperatures in Kentucky usually range from daytime summer highs of 87 °F to the low of 23 °F. The average precipitation is 46 inches a year, Kentucky experiences four distinct seasons, with substantial variations in the severity of summer and winter. The highest recorded temperature was 114 °F at Greensburg on July 28,1930 while the lowest recorded temperature was −37 °F at Shelbyville on January 19,1994, due to its location, Kentucky has a moderate humid subtropical climate, with abundant rainfall