Kentucky, Naturally: The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund at Work
By Thomas G. Barnes
There is no doubt that Kentucky is a beautiful state with a diversity of rural environments including mountains, streams, lakes, forests, fields and swamps. However, reports indicate that more than 105 acres of rural land every day are lost to land conversion, and the state ranks 5th highest in the projected amount of rural land that will be converted to other uses in the future.
To protect the Commonwealth’s natural resources and keep its wild ecosystems intact, in 1994 the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) was established with great success. By 2010, this program helped to protect more than 120 properties in 67 counties totaling 85,000 acres.
Kentucky, Naturally is a compilation and celebration of the properties that have been purchased with the assistance of KHLCF money during the first 20 years of the program. Award-winning Kentucky nature photographer Tom Barnes displays hundreds of beautiful photographs of the state’s protected lands, and provides detailed descriptions of each site including the natural flora and fauna.Through the KHLCF and public support, Kentucky’s abundant natural resources and beauty can be treasured and protected for all to enjoy.
About the Author:
Thomas G. Barnes, Ph.D., is a full professor in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky. Dr. Barnes has written extensively on the natural history of Kentucky and has authored more than 50 scientific research articles, 60 cooperative extension publications and 100 magazine articles.
His book, Kentucky’s Last Great Places, was nominated for the Kentucky Literary Award in non-fiction. Other published books include Gardening for the Birds, The Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky, The Rare Wildflowers of Kentucky, The Gift of Creation––Images from Scripture and Earth, and How to Find and Photograph Kentucky Wildflowers. His photographs have appeared in books, websites, calendars, magazines, and other outlets all over the world, as well as being displayed by the Chicago Botanical Garden, The Audubon Aquarium, The Smithsonian and the Bronx Zoo.
His research emphasis has been on the restoration of native grasslands and his extension programs focus on the conservation of biodiversity and wildlife management.
Kentucky, Naturally in the Media:
University of Kentucky News
The Advocate Messenger
The River City News
Praise for Tom Barnes and Kentucky, Naturally:
Author and photographer Tom Barnes is truly an artist whose paintbrush is a camera. Kentucky, Naturally will beguile you with scenes and descriptions of intriguing places here in the Commonwealth, with revealing close-ups of wildlife and wildowers like Indian paintbrush, monkey faced orchid, Great blue herons, Ribbon snake and Shining ladies’ tresses, to name a few. With locations and directions, this book is also a hiking guide that will guide the reader along these pristine preserves. If you appreciate the beauty of nature, you will love this book! Let it introduce you to Kentucky’s best!
—Don Dott, Director, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
Only Tom Barnes could do such an inspirational and accurate job of showcasing the people and places conserved through the Heritage Conservation Fund Board’s programs, staff, and supporters. Tom’s eye for imagery that captures Kentucky’s best remaining natural areas, rare species and communities is unequaled among our state’s many talented photographers. And, his understanding of the conservation community and its best scientists make him an expert on where the wild things are, and how they are being protected or in need of attention. rough this review of natural areas the reader can get a feel for what is best about Kentucky, its diversity and its beauty.
—Hugh Archer, Director, Kentucky Natural Lands Trust
As a landscape and nature photographer by profession, I have a great appreciation for the beauty and diversity of natural resources found in Kentucky. I applaud programs like the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) that finance the preservation of our state’s natural areas. And I especially want to thank my friend Tom Barnes, a talented scientist, author and photographer, for creating this masterfully written and beautifully illustrated book. It brings to our collective awareness a wealth of information about those wonderful places that are being maintained and protected by the KHLCF for the present and future enjoyment of all Kentuckians.
—John W. Snell, photographer and author of Red River Gorge, the Eloquent Landscape
Nature is a part of our soul and we are very much in danger of losing that part of ourselves. In this book, Tom shows us the special areas in our state that are being saved for present and future Kentuckians through the KHLCF. He makes us aware of the biodiversity and beauty that is Kentucky. He brings these natural areas to life through prose and vivid images.
—Thomas V. Myers, Board Certified Entomologist/Nature Photographer