Jellico management planning begins. Speak up for the Jellico mountains!

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A massive and gorgeous dominant white oak in an unprotected secondary old-growth forest in the Jellico area.

Join the virtual public meeting about the Jellico area
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
5-6:30 pm

Read on for details and instructions on how to join the meeting.

The Forest Service has officially announced the beginning of a management planning process for the Jellico mountains in the southernmost part of the Daniel Boone National Forest on the Stearns Ranger District. We know from past experience that these Integrated Resource Management Strategy (IRMS) processes almost always turn in to massive logging projects, like South Redbird, Blackwater, and Pine Creek. And early indications are that this will be no different. 

But early public participation usually leads to better outcomes for the ecosystem! Your participation does matter!

The Jellicos are a part of the Cumberland Mountains on the Kentucky-Tennessee border. Topping out at about 2200 feet, and with over 1200 feet in relief, the Jellicos are more mountainous than the rest of Daniel Boone National Forest. The area provides critical habitat for several threatened and endangered species, including the Cumberland darter (Etheostoma susanae) and Blackside dace (Chrosomus cumberlandensis). The Jellico analysis area includes nearly 1,300 acres of forest that could qualify as secondary old-growth (over 130 years old), but much of this older forest isn’t protected in the area’s “Designated Old Growth” area. 

Resource extraction has already had a heavy toll on the forest. Nearly 2,700 acres were logged in the 1980s and 1990s. In 2011 the Bureau of Land Management and U.S. Forest Service leased over 3,800 acres for oil and gas development. And legacy impacts from coal mining, along with significant problems with invasive plant species, add to the challenges of protecting and restoring this unique area.


Measuring an old-growth tulip poplar in an unprotected part of the Jellico area.

Now is your chance to be a voice for the Jellicos! The Forest Service is hosting a virtual public meeting about the Jellico area on Tuesday, October 13,  2020, from  5:00-6:30 pm EST via Microsoft Teams. Click here to join the meeting.

Click here for a pdf with instructions from the Forest Service on how to connect to the meeting using a mobile device or computer.

The Forest Service has set up a public Facebook group called Jellico IRMS Assessment, where they have posted information about the IRMS process, and more details about Tuesday’s meeting. Click here to join the Forest Service Jellico IRMS Facebook group.

To help spread the word Kentucky Heartwood has created a Facebook event, here, where we will also be posting updates and relevant information as we get closer to the meeting date.

Kentucky Heartwood remains committed to providing a thorough analysis of proposed agency actions using the best available science and the law. Protecting and restoring biological integrity to the Daniel Boone National Forest guides our efforts. As the Jellico IRMS process develops we will be providing analysis, information, and volunteer opportunities to help get to know, and protect, this unique part of the forest. To make sure that you can stay up to date be sure to sign up for our emails here

If you value this work, please consider donating to Kentucky Heartwood. We’re a small group, and every bit helps. You can donate on our website here.

​Thank You. We couldn’t do it without you!