Author: Adam Sizemore
Editor’s note: As Friends of Limestone gets going, we will be outlining each of the four pillars of our work as well as our focus issues. This is the first part of our four part series on our work.
Conservation and Preservation, often used interchangeably, are contrasting methods used to protect the natural environment. However, they share the similar goal of ensuring a sustainable future. Conservation efforts support environmentally appropriate uses of nature required for human life. Regulating daily bag and possession limits for anglers is one example of a conservation method created to not only conserve, but to hopefully improve the overall fish population in each body of water. This creates a stable balance between consumption and the reproduction of fish. Preservation efforts focus on protecting nature from use all together. Wildlife preserves prohibiting actions like logging, mining, fishing, and/or hunting are examples. Both methods are vital for the protection of our natural environment.
It is through conservation and preservation efforts that we recognize our critical connection to the natural environment. Resources provided by the natural environment enhance our society, as well as, our economy. However, the use of these resources must remain balanced and address environmental sustainability, economic security, and a healthy environment for all. Strengthening our conservation and preservation efforts is one path in establishing this harmony in Kentucky. See below for a short list of some Kentucky’s conservation and preservation efforts.
Kentucky Conservation and Preservation Facts:
- Kentucky is a southeastern state consisting of 120 counties brimming with natural resources contributing to its economy, history, culture, and overall society (Kentucky Department of Environmental Protection)
- There are 1,100 miles of commercially assessable waterways (Kentucky Department of Travel)
- There are 12.7 million acres of commercial forest land (Kentucky Department of Travel)
- Kentucky has an abundance of minerals and byproducts such as coal, stone, natural gas, and petroleum (Kentucky Department of Travel)
- Kentucky’s available land supports a strong agricultural system (Kentucky Department of Travel)
- Kentucky provides assistance to conservation districts (121 in total) in implementing sustainable methods seeking to conserve Kentucky’s natural resources (Division of Conservation)
- Roughly 95% of land in Kentucky is privately owned meaning conservation efforts rely heavily in the hands of Kentuckians (Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources)
- Kentucky hires Conservation Educators (CE’s) that promote conservation through schools, summer camps, and programs (Kentucky Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources)
- Kentucky establishes state nature preserve systems that give present and future generations the benefits of natural areas (Kentucky State Nature Preserved Commission).
- As of 2016, the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission (KSNPC) has established 63 preserves totaling 28,022 acres providing habitats for a diverse range of plants and animal species, as well as, providing areas for scientific research and appreciation of our natural environment (Kentucky State Nature Preserved Commission)