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Date: 09-20-2017

Conservation works. Just ask the black bears.

The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust has remote trail cameras along wildlife corridors near Blanton Forest on Pine Mountain – and one of those cameras captured video of a mama black bear and three frolicking cubs.

Black bears spotted at Pine MountainBlack bears spotted at Pine Mountain

One of the cubs sizes up a tree, before moving on to follow its mother.

Black bears are believed to have traveled through the forests of Pine Mountain on their return to Kentucky in recent years, after being gone from the state for much of the past century.

State, federal and nonprofit entities have been working to preserve Pine Mountain and Blanton Forest, Kentucky’s largest old-growth forest.

The land trust announced recently it had acquired three tracts of forestland totaling 651 acres along Pine Mountain in Bell County.

The tracts contain a diversity of unique habitats and add to the critically important conservation lands that are already a part of the Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor, trust officials said. Over the last year, nearly 4,000 acres of forests in Bell and Harlan counties have been added to the wildlands corridor through the work of KNLT and the support of many donors and partners.

“Thousands of acres have come together from Pineville to Harlan,” said Greg Abernathy, assistant director of the land trust.

That’s an important ecological buffer to the 3,500-acre Blanton Forest, and the work also ties into Kentucky’s connection to a planned Great Eastern Trail, America’s newest long-distance trail for hikers from Alabama to New York, he said.

These bears were in Harlan County. Abernathy said it has several trail cams on property it manages. They’ve captured images of coyotes, deer, bobcats, wild turkeys, elk and other critters.

By James Bruggers
The Courier-Journal

 

PRESTONSBURG, Ky. (Sept. 11, 2017) – Jenny Wiley State Resort Park will open the elk-viewing season with its Elk Night buffet Sept. 16 from 4-9 p.m.

The menu will include elk roast carved on the line, hunter’s elk chili, elk meatloaf, fried chicken, catfish with hush puppies, lyonnaise potatoes, shoe peg corn and other vegetables and desserts.

The buffet is held on the first day of elk viewing tours at Jenny Wiley that run through the fall and winter. Adults are $18.95 and children ages 6-12 are $8.95. Ages 5 and under are free. Drink not included.

Elk were re-introduced to Kentucky in 1997 as a restoration project by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources. The department estimates there are more than 10,000 elk in Kentucky. Some of the best areas for elk habitat are on reclaimed surface mines in Eastern Kentucky.

Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is sponsoring elk tours at a cost of $30 per person or $15 per child, 12 and under. This fee includes transportation by van to the viewing sites and a continental breakfast. The elk-viewing tours will run through Dec. 2. The tours will resume in January.

The park also offers overnight tour packages that include lodging, dinner, and an elk tour with continental breakfast for $160 per couple. Guests should register for the trips. Special group and business tours are available.

Call 606-889-1790 for information and reservations. For a list of dates, visit: http://parks.ky.gov/calendar/details/appalachian-elk-viewing-tour/21209/

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Jenny Wiley State Resort Park is located on 1,100-acre Dewey Lake. The park has a lodge and conference center as well as fishing, boating, marina, swimming, and other recreational opportunities. The park also has cottages, a campground and dining.

 

Date: 08-24-2017


Harlan Daily Enterprise

FRANKFORT — People can now go online to report suspected cases of epizootic hemorrhagic disease in dead or dying deer.

“We’ve created an easy-to-use online survey that allows people to notify the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife of dead or dying deer no matter what time of day,” said Gabe Jenkins, big game coordinator for Kentucky Fish and Wildlife. “We’ll use this information to create up-to-date maps so the public can see the extent of the disease’s spread.”

The digital form is available at fw.ky.gov under the “Important Info” tab. It only takes a few minutes to complete.

Kentucky Fish and Wildlife first began receiving reports of stricken deer in mid-July. The department now has received more than 240 reports of dead or dying deer suspected of contracting epizootic hemorrhagic disease (EHD) in 34 counties. The department has received most of its reports from eastern Kentucky.

EHD is a viral disease transmitted to deer through the bite of a midge or gnat. The disease, which does not affect humans or pets, has been present in the United States for more than 60 years. Outbreaks cease when the first frost kills the biting bugs.

Other states in the Appalachian region have reported similar cases of deer mortality.

Kentucky’s deer hunting seasons this year will not be affected by the outbreak. “After the last major outbreak in 2007, we actually saw an increase in the quality of bucks statewide just a couple years later,” Jenkins noted. “It brought deer populations to better levels in some of the more densely areas, because there was more food on the landscape for the remaining deer.”

Deer infected with EHD may appear lethargic and may not respond or run away when approached by people. Deer may exhibit excessive salivation, swelling around the face and neck, and their tongues may hang out. Typically, deer that have died from the disease are found around water, such as rivers and creeks. People who see live deer exhibiting disease symptoms or find dead deer should report it online immediately at fw.ky.gov or call the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Information Center at 800-858-1549.

The department staffs the center from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern), Monday through Friday. Personnel will collect information then provide the name and telephone number of a biologist in the area for possible testing of the animal.

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources is also urging hunters to report any observations of deer that appear to have died of natural causes.

For more information on this disease and a current map of the outbreak, visit the main page of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife website at fw.ky.gov. A Facebook interview with Jenkins and “Kentucky Afield” television host Chad Miles concerning the outbreak is also accessible on the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Facebook page.

 

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