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Kentucky Ag News Headlines
Beshear Proclaims 2012 as Year of Kentucky's Forests
Kentucky Ag Connection - 01/30/2012

This year, the Kentucky Division of Forestry (KDF) is celebrating its 100th anniversary. To help commemorate KDF's Centennial and to acknowledge its employees both past and present, Gov. Steve Beshear signed a proclamation this week declaring 2012 as 'The Year of Kentucky's Forests.'

"I commend the Kentucky Division of Forestry and its employees for serving the Commonwealth with purpose, dedication and commitment for the past century," Gov. Beshear said. "Through fighting wildfires, providing technical assistance to landowners and communities and protecting forest health, Kentucky is committed to ensuring the sustainability of our forests for another hundred years and beyond."

KDF, originally known as the Board of Forestry, was established in 1912 by the Kentucky General Assembly to protect forest resources from being destroyed by wildfire and depleted from over-harvesting. Although KDF has changed considerably over the years, the initial priorities have remained the same -- protecting forests from wildfire, assisting landowners with forest stewardship and producing tree seedlings for reforestation projects.

"This is a significant milestone for our agency and for forest conservation in our state," said Leah MacSwords, director of KDF. "A century of hard work and dedication by the division employees has helped sustain our forest resources for a multitude of benefits including scenic beauty, clean air and water, wildlife habitat and an economically-important forest industry."

The men and women of KDF are not only dedicated to the fire protection and stewardship of nearly 12 million acres of forestland in Kentucky, they also work with the forest products industry; they train, license and regulate master loggers to assure good water quality; they assist communities with reforestation and urban forestry planning; they maintain two seedling nurseries and they manage nine state-owned forestlands using sustainable forestry practices.

KDF's yearlong celebration of its centennial will include salutations during the State Arbor Day Ceremony, informational displays at the capitol, participation in fairs and festivals across the Commonwealth and historical presentations to various groups throughout the year.

For updated information and to learn more about the division's past, present and future, please visit the website at http://forestry.ky.gov/Pages/default.aspx.

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