Kentucky's Forest Action Plan
Statewide Forest Resource Assessment & Strategy
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is fortunate to have a rich, diverse, and productive forest resource, which provides its citizens with numerous benefits including clean water, clean air, wildlife habitat, recreational opportunities, and an abundance of timber and non-timber forest products. Kentucky currently has 12.86 million acres (47.87%) of forestland. Of that total, 88% is privately owned, 10% is federally owned, and 2% is owned by state and local agencies. As such, Kentuckians have a shared responsibility to be reliable stewards of this forest resource, and work together as partners for the greater good.
2010 Forest Action Plan:
The 2008 Federal Farm Bill required each state to complete a Statewide Forest Resource Assessment and Strategy in order to receive funds from the US Forest Service under the Cooperative Forestry Assistance Act. Therefore, in an effort to better inform the public, policymakers, and managers about Kentucky’s vast forestlands, the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) worked with partner agencies and organizations to complete its comprehensive statewide assessment of current conditions and trends of Kentucky’s forest resources. The results of this effort was the 2010 Kentucky Statewide Assessment of Forest Resources and Strategy (Kentucky Forest Action Plan). The statewide assessment was intended to serve as a resource for anyone involved in the management of Kentucky’s forestlands.
Kentucky’s 2010 Forest Action Plan (FAP) analyzed and evaluated past and current conditions, as well as projected future conditions of these resources. The FAP included goals and objectives that described what was needed to address key findings of the assessment. The FAP also outlined strategies on how to achieve these goals and objectives. In addition, the FAP contained priority maps that helped illustrate and identify within Kentucky’s forest resources, the areas where the KDF, external partners, and agencies most needed to focus their collective efforts to combat the forestry-related issues of greatest concern. This compilation of assessment, goals, objectives, strategies and priority maps was designed to guide Kentucky in planning for the long-term sustainability of these resources, and the associated economic, ecological, and public benefits these resources provide.
2020 Forest Action Plan Update:
The required 10-year update of Kentucky’s Forest Action Plan is currently in development. The updated plan is expected to be completed and available for public viewing by June of 2020. Through the use of an online survey, the Division of Forestry solicited public and stakeholder input to verify the established issues, and to identify other concerns, threats, and opportunities for Kentucky’s collective forest resources. Input gathered from this survey will contribute to a statewide forest resource assessment and strategy that leads the division into the next decade, spanning public and private forestlands, and urban and rural areas. The result of that effort will ultimately ensure that resources are being focused on important landscape areas with the greatest opportunity to address shared management priorities and achieve meaningful outcomes.