Abstract Detail

Monday Symposium

Evans, Marc [1], Abernathy, Greg [1], Archer, Hugh [1].

Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, an Ecological Treasure and the Largest Conservation Project in Kentucky's History.

An overview of the ecological significance, flora, fauna and natural communities of Pine Mountain is presented. The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) protection efforts of the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor is also discussed
Pine Mountain is a 125-mile long mountain ridge that runs southwest to northeast from Tennessee through extreme southeast Kentucky to Virginia. Pine Mountain is the western flank of the Cumberland mountains thrust fault block, a subregion of the Central Appalachian mountains.  The highest elevation is 3,300 feet asl with a maximum elevation gain of approximately 1,500 feet.
The central Appalachians are known for their rich diversity of flora and fauna and Pine Mountain exemplifies this. Over 10 terrestrial ecological communities are known from the mountain as well as wetland, subterranean and aquatic communities. Rich, mixed Appalachian mesophytic forest, Hemlock-mixed forest, Appalachian pine-oak forest and Xeric Virginia pine forest/woodland dominate the mountain. Mountain bogs, large rock outcrops, caves and high gradient mountain streams also occur.  Nearly 100 species of rare plants and animals are documented as living on the mountain; including 5 federally listed species, 2 candidates for federally listing and 90 state listed species.
KNLT, a non-profit conservation organization, was formed in 1995 to help protect Blanton Forest on Pine Mountain. At 2,300 acres, it is the largest known tract of old growth forest in the state. After successfully protecting Blanton Forest, KNLT made the decision to think big and to protect the entire Pine Mountain ridge which is a critical refuge and migratory route that is part of a major corridor through Eastern North America. Pine Mountain also runs through an area that has had extensive surface coal mining that has impacted and fragmented the surrounding habitat making Pine Mountain even more significant.

1 - Kentucky Natural Lands Trust, 433 Chestnut St, Berea, KY, 40403, USA

Pine Mountain
rare species.

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Abstract ID:27
Candidate for Awards:None