This is the seventeenth diary in my "Expanding the National Parks" diary series.
Below are the links to my Previous Diaries
Last week, I was in Kansas, this week I'm in Kentucky. Kentucky has 5.4% of its land owned by the feds, good for 26th in the country. Currently Kentucky has 1 national park, 2 national forests, 3 wildlife refuges, and 4 historic sites. I will be proposing the first monuments in the state.
This is the seventeenth diary in my "Expanding the National Parks" diary series. Last week, I was in Kansas, this week I'm in Kentucky. Kentucky has 5.4% of its land owned by the feds, good for 26th in the country. Currently Kentucky has 1 national park, 2 national forests, 3 wildlife refuges, and 4 historic sites. I will be proposing the first monuments in the state.
Total Area 40 409 sq miles
Land Area 39 488 sq miles
Water Area 921 sq miles
Coastline 0 miles
* Linden Grove- a cemetery In Covington Kentucky, it is one of the oldest cemeteries in the area and is the final resting place of many Civil War soldiers, including many from colored regiments. it was considered as a possible national park in 1963 and was added to the register of historic places in 2001. designating it a monument and memorial would be a fitting tribute to the men buried there who fought to preserve our Union. Estimated area 30 acres
* Big South Fork This upgrades the existing recreational area to monument status, and expands the borders of the recreational area. the Big South fork runs from Tennessee into Kentucky,and the area is very remote, having been depopulated before it was designated a RA in the 1970s. the region contains one of the highest concentration of natural bridges in the Eastern US. Estimated area 150000 acres-roughly 230 sq miles
* Land Between the Lakes Upgrades the existing recreational area to monument status. Land between the Lakes is a strip of land between the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. orginially proposed as the 'Between-the-Rivers' RA in 1961, it was finally established by President Kennedy in 1963. upgrading it to a monument will provide more funds and staffing for the area, and will result in increased visitation. Estimated area 200000 acres roughly 310 sq miles
* Mammoth Cave Established 1941 Covers 52 830 acres
protecting the longest cave system in the world, Mammoth Cave was set aside as a park in 1926. The CCC operated 4 camps on the area from 1933 to 1942, putting in infrastructure for the park. every year, new discoveries are made , adding on to the cave systems length, currently the cave system stretches for nearly 400 miles, and extends under land not owned by the Park Service. the park will likely have to expand to protect all of the caves.Mammoth Cave was named a World Heritage Site in 1981 and an International Biosphere Reserve in 1990. over 500000 people visited the caves in 2012.
* Daniel Boone Established 1937 Covers 706000 acres
One of Kentucky's 2 national forests, and the only one entirely in the state, Daniel Boone is named after frontiersman Daniel Boone who helped explore much of Kentucky before it became a state. The official boundary for the forest is over 2 million acres, but the Forest Service only owns about a third of the land in the boundary. The forest contains two wilderness areas- Clifty Wilderness (12600 acres) and Beaver Creek Wilderness(4800 acres). Originally named Cumberland after the Duke of Cumberland , who put down a Scottish rebellion in the 1740s,and which resulted in many Scottish families moving to America, in particular Kentucky.Those families descendants still lived in the area at the time of the forests establishment and naming, and still hated the Duke for his actions, thus "Cumberland" was eventually renamed in 1966 to Daniel Boone. 2,5 million people visited the forest in 2004.
* George Washington and Jefferson Established 1918 Covers 1, 788,900 acres (in KY,VA and WV)
Originally two separate national forests, George Washington and Jefferson, the forests were combined in 1995. the vast majority of the forest -1.6 million acres-lies in Virginia, 100000 acres lies in West Virginia, and less than 1000 acres lies in Kentucky. There are 23 wildernesses making up nearly 140000 acres, and over 1 million acres is remote and primitive. the first camp in the CCC, Camp Roosevelt was established in George Washington NF in 1933. Nearly 3 million people visit the forest annually.
* Clarks River Established 1997 Covers 8040 acres
Set aside to protect bottomland hardwood forests along the eastern fork of the Clarks River, the refuge is the only one of Kentucky's refuges to lie completely in the state, and is home to over 200 species of migratory birds.
* Ohio River Islands Established 1990 Covers 3354 acres (in KY PA and WV)
Consisting of 22 islands in the Ohio River, the refuge runs from Kentucky to Pennsylvania. most of the refuge lies in West Virginia, which has 18 of the islands, Kentucky has two, and Pennsylvania does as well. species the refuge range from freshwater mussels to bald eagles to red foxes.
* Reelfoot Established 1941 Covers 10428 acres (in KY and TN)
Created from lands surrounding Reelfoot Lake, which was created in the New Madrid Earthquakes of 1811-12, the refuge extends into Tennessee, and is an important stop on the Mississippi Flyway.. the refuge has a staff of nearly 20 people, and 600000 people visit every year.
HISTORIC SITES AND OTHER NPS UNITS-4
* Abraham Lincoln Birthplace NHP Established 1916 Covers 345 acres
Protects the site where Abraham Lincoln was born in 1809, and lived before he moved to another site in Kentucky, Knob Creek (which is now part of the park). Originally designated a national park in 1916, it was re-designated as a historic park in 1950, changed to historic site in 1959 and returned to an historic park in 2009. The park contains a log cabin modeled on the one Lincoln was born in. the original was dismantled before 1865. nearly 170000 people visited the site in 2012.
* Big South Fork NRA Established 1974 Covers 125 310 acres(in KY and TN)
Protects the south fork of the Cumberland River, as well as the many natural formations, such as natural bridges and hoodoos, that lie in the area. most of the refuge lies in Tennessee, and extends into Kentucky. 600000 people visited the area in 2012,
* Cumberland Gap NHP Established 1940 Covers 20 508 acres (In KY TN and VA)
Protects and preserves the Gap, a 12 mile long natural pass through the Cumberland Mountains that served as a passage point for native Americans and English settlers for decades before the founding of the US. Daniel Boone created a trail called Wilderness Trail through the gap, today some of the trail is preserved in the park, and plans are being made to restore portions of the road to what it looked like in the 1790s. between 200-300 thousand settlers used the Trial before 1810, and the gap served as a important military objective during the Civil War in the "battle of Cumberland Gap' which resulted in a Union victory. Grant was so taken with the Gap, that he claimed that with just two regiments he could hold it against the army Napoleon had when he attacked Moscow in 1812 Ss Route 25E ran through the park from 1926-96 when the road was rerouted around the Gap and Cumberland tunnel was created. the portion that ran through the park is now a walkway. over 850000 people visited the park in 2012.
* Land Between the Lakes NRA Established 1963 Covers 170000 acres
Established by President Kennedy in 1963, the NRA is the second largest public land in the state, behind Daniel Boone NF. The area became the US largest inland peninsula when a canal between Kentucly Lake and Lake Barkley in the 1960s. the area was originally managed by the Tennessee Valley Authority upon establishment but was transferred to the forest service in 1998.
And thus concludes my diary on Kentucky. Next week I'll be in Louisiana trying the gumbo, and checking out New Orleans. As Always Comments, feedback and imput are welcome.