Lawsuit challenges nearly 4 thousand acres of logging at Daniel Boone National Forest

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Published: Sep. 27, 2022 at 6:38 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:35 AM EDT
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RED BIRD, Ky. (WYMT) - A lawsuit from Kentucky Heartwood is challenging the logging of nearly 4,000 acres of trees at the Daniel Boone National Forest.

Kentucky Heartwood officials claim the logging could increase landslides, harm important ecological habitats and remove old growth trees.

“A lot of the streams in the Red River Project area are designated critical habitat under the Endangered Species Act, in order to protect the Kentucky Arrow Darter, which is an imperiled species protected by the Endangered Species Act that is only found in high-quality streams, that are only in the Upper Kentucky River water shed,” said Kentucky Heartwood Ecologist Jim Scheff.

Scheff says documents point to the Forestry Service knowing the risks from previous logging projects in the area.

“through the Freedom Of Information act, we acquired documents from former Daniel Boone employees to current staff describing how logging in the Red Bird District has historically led to many landslide,” he said.

The U.S. Forestry Service would not comment on the litigation, but according to their website, the logging is part of the larger ‘South Red Bird Wildlife Habitat Enhancement Project’ which aims to improve the habitat by making room for newer forests through removal of older ones.

“That type of habitat is on the ground and it does happen naturally, we’ve seen just in the last couple of years lots of storms that have brought down a lot of trees, in fact much of the red bird crest trail was closed for a good portion of last year from tree fall from these storms,” said Scheff.

This is the largest timber project in the Daniel Boone National Forest in nearly 20 years.

If you would like to know more about Kentucky Heartwood and their lawsuit, you can visit their website.