Conserve Kentucky
Land Conservation and Stewardship
Task Force

Kentucky is blessed with a diversity of lands and wildlife, but development has begun to encroach on ecologically important habitats, croplands, and forests. At the same time, funding for their conservation and stewardship has straight-lined or vanished. KCC decided at its 2005 Annual Meeting to make Land Conservation and Stewardship its primary legislative priority.

Bolstered with funds from individual members and groups, such as the Sierra Club and the Beckham Bird Club, the KCC effectively lobbied during the 2006 General Assembly for legislation to form the “Land Conservation and Stewardship Task Force.”

The Task Force's report , published in January 2008, recommended that more study be given to the development of legislation over the long term to create a comprehensive Land Stewardship program similar to those existing in North Carolina , Florida and other states. In 2008, Rep Robin Webb with the support of the KCC and others was successful in securing that reauthorization.

The task force will now try and take the best aspects of these other states' programs and mold them into one that will be best for Kentucky's needs. A coordinated Stewardship and Conservation Program will provide funds for the protection of not only sensitive ecosystems, but also lands with recreation, education, and scenic value as well as working lands such as woodlands and working farms. Perhaps most importantly, it will provide a clearly defined procedure for receiving funds and dispersing them in a systematic manner in order to make the most of our resources.

The Task Force is a diverse one and includes representation from environmental, sportsman and conservation groups as well as industry and commercial interests. Its goal is to have “Conserve Kentucky” in place by 2010.

Task Force Reports
Task Force Members
Publicly Administered Land Acquisition in Kentucky


In its 2006 regular session, the Kentucky General Assembly established a vision of a comprehensive land stewardship and conservation program called “Conserve Kentucky.” The authorizing legislation, sponsored by Rep. Robin Webb and advanced by KCC lobbying, was 2006 HCR 120 .

To begin work on the vision, it created the “Land Stewardship and Conservation Task Force” to study the issue and make a report. Chaired by Sen. Charlie Borders and Rep. Robin Webb , the Task Force represented state government departments and other organizations with an interest in land-use issues. KCC was represented on the Task Force by its legislative agent, Bruce Williams.

The 2008 General Assembly re-authorized the Task Force through 2008 HCR 93 . Members were added to round out the Task Force, which was directed to:

•  Develop a legislative proposal for the 2009 session for coordinating land acquisition and management activities for conservation, recreation and preservation; and

•  Propose ways to assess, prioritize, and fund the activities to the 2010 General Assembly, a session that will propose the next Biennium Budget.

Task Force Reports

The Report of the Task Force was released in January 2008 by the Legislative Research Commission and made these findings and recommendations:

•  A strategic plan for to coordinate and prioritize public land acquisition is needed.

•  Current funding, currently limited to $ 4.5 million per year to the Heritage Lands Conservation Fund from the sale of “Nature” license plates, environmental fines, and part of the unmined minerals tax, is inadequate. Furthermore, an additional funding stream is needed to match available federal funds for agricultural conservation easements through the PACE program.


Task Force Members

•  A member of the House of Representatives, appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives

•  A member of the Senate, appointed by the President of the Senate

•  Secretary of the Cabinet for Environmental and Public Protection or the secretary's designee

•  A member from each of the following organizations and agencies, to be appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives:

Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund
Kentucky Conservation Committee
League of Kentucky Sportsmen
Kentucky Resources Council
Sierra Club Cumberland Chapter
Kentuckians for the Commonwealth
Kentucky League of Cities

•  A member of each of the following organizations and agencies to be appointed by the President of the Senate:

Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission
Kentucky PACE program
Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Kentucky Woodland Owners Association
Kentucky Farm Bureau
Kentucky Home Builders Association
Kentucky Department of Parks
Kentucky Association of Counties

•  Four at-large members appointed by the Governor.

Publicly Administered Land Acquisition in Kentucky

Publicly financed land acquisition and stewardship activities in Kentucky are primarily administered by these agencies::

Heritage Land Conservation Fund ;
Kentucky PACE Program
State Nature Preserves Commission
Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources
Kentucky Department of Parks

Robin Webb, sponsor of HCR 93 talks about her commitment to conservation of Kentucky's natural resources.

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Copyright 2009
Kentucky Conservation Committee