The Kentucky Division of Forestry and the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources have jointly acquired 6,732 acres in Union and Crittenden counties at the confluence of the Ohio and Tradewater rivers. Using money from the Forest Legacy Program, the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund, the Nature Conservancy, Indiana Bat Conservation Funds, in-lieu-fee mitigation funds, and Department of Fish and Wildlife agency funds, the state purchased phase I in 2012 and phase II in 2013. This property now known as the Big Rivers Wildlife Management Area and State Forest is within the Big Rivers Forest Priority Area and the Big Rivers Corridor Forest Legacy Area.
The 6,732-acre site near Sturgis is one of the largest private landholdings in Kentucky. Purchase of the property - known locally as the Alcoa Property, or more recently as the Kimball Property - was possible only through the cooperation of private, public and nonprofit agencies.
Big Rivers WMA and State Forest will provide public recreational opportunities for hunting, fishing, hiking, canoeing, wildlife viewing and other activities as a wildlife management area. The property also will be managed to provide watershed and water quality protection; protection and recovery of endangered, threatened and rare species; preservation of existing cultural and geological treasures - and a sustainable forest. It will be permanently protected from development and agricultural conversion.