Conserving Kentucky's Natural Areas
Established in 1990, the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) is the primary source of state funding for the purchase and management of natural areas. It is used to purchase land from willing sellers for nature preserves, state parks, state forests, wildlife management areas, environmental education areas, wild rivers and wetlands. The KHLCF Board protects each site in perpetuity with a conservation easement or deed
restriction. Legislation established four priorities for land conservation:
- Areas that are a habitat for rare and endangered species.
- Areas important to migratory birds.
- Areas that perform important natural functions that are subject to alteration or loss.
- Areas to be preserved in their natural state for public use, outdoor recreation and education.
Revenue for the fund primarily comes from the sale of Kentucky nature license plates, unmined minerals tax on coal, and environmental fines. The Kentucky Environmental Education Council receives the first $150,000 of environmental fines each year for environmental education programs.
The KHLCF Board is made up of nine members appointed by the governor. The Program is administered by the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves (OKNP). To date, the fund has helped protect and conserve over 94,000 acres of Kentucky's natural areas on 172 tracts and in 67 counties.
A non-competitive portion of the fund is dedicated to Kentucky state government agencies to purchase and manage land for existing conservation programs. The competitive funding is available for Kentucky local government, state college or universities, and private, nonprofit land trust organizations. A permanent deed restriction (state agency) or conservation easement with the Commonwealth of Kentucky will be placed on all properties acquired with Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Funds. Request an application/receive more information here and review the dates below for application deadlines. Once an approved property is acquired, the managing agency must submit a one-time Final Resource Management Plan (FRMP) for board approval in addition to annual management reports submitted to OKNP.
KHLCF Board Meetings
The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board meets quarterly to review: new project applications, compliance items, FRMPs, and other board business. Please see the KHLCF 2023 Dates for application deadlines and board meeting dates (also listed below). All materials must be submitted by the application deadline in order to be considered at the upcoming board meeting. Late items will be pushed to the next board meeting date.
KHLCF Board 2023 Dates
|Applications Due||Meeting Dates|
|December 15, 2022||Wednesday, January 18, 2023 |
|February 15, 2023||Wednesday, April 19, 2023 |
|May 17, 2023||Wednesday, July 19, 2023|
|August 16, 2023||Wednesday, October 18, 2023 |