Trust begins fundraising drive for land preservation

BEREA, Ky. (AP) - The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has begun a fundraising drive to purchase two properties in southeastern Kentucky in an effort to preserve the largest known tract of old-growth forest in the state.

Hugh Archer, executive director of the trust, told the Lexington Herald-Leader that he expects to finalize a deal this spring to add 1,200 acres to Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve in Harlan County. In addition, the group has identified another 7,800 acres it wants to protect on Pine Mountain.

A statement says the effort to raise funds has been seeded with large contributions from the Owsley Brown II Family Foundation in Louisville, Thomas Dupree Sr. of Lexington, and the Forecastle Foundation

The Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission says the preserve currently is made up of 3,124 acres.

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