The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund help add almost 600 acres to Berheim Forest, which was already the largest private conservation forest in Kentucky at over 15,000 acres. The KHLCF tracts contain large sections of mature forests and present some of the best remaining examples of oak-hickory and upland oak-pine forests in our region. The forests are largely native including upland species of white oak (Quercus alba), chestnut oak (Quercus montana), and Virginia pine (Pinus virginiana). Lower slopes include tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera), beech (Fagus grandifolia) and maple (Acer rubra and A. saccharum). These forests have very few invasive species. For this reason we believe stewardship of these forests will emphasize limiting disturbance and managing the forest towards old growth that provides for a variety of wildlife and is nearly absent from our region. Maturing forests are important to protect because they provide critical habitat for the federally endangered Indiana Bat and the Northern long-eared bat. Both listed bat species require maturing woodlands with standing snags for maternity roosts. Glade complexes and prairies openings provide foraging habitat as well. In addition to the Indiana and northern long-eared bats, there have been 12 species identified as using the surrounding forests that require contiguous large forest blocks for their summer range.
For information about the wide range of hiking trails, educational programs, and nature center, please see the Bernheim Forest website.