Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 23, 2012

Boone forest turns 75

WINCHESTER — The Daniel Boone National Forest is celebrating its 75th anniversary. On Feb. 23, 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a proclamation that established the Cumberland National Forest in southern and eastern Kentucky. The national forest was renamed the Daniel Boone National Forest in 1966. The forest was established under the Weeks Act, a law passed in 1911 to provide for the establishment of national forest lands in the eastern United States.

 “For the past 75 years, the Daniel Boone National Forest has helped provide our nation with a sustainable supply of natural resources, clean water, fish and wildlife habitat and tremendous recreation opportunities,” said Frank Beum, forest supervisor.

“The national forest contributes greatly to this region’s environmental and economic well-being,” he said.

 The forest began with less than 350,000 acres in 16 counties. Much of the land had been exhausted of its natural resources before becoming national forest land. Today, the national forest is comprised of nearly 708,000 acres within a 2.1 million-acre proclamation boundary across 21 counties.

 More than 1 million visitors come to the forest each year to enjoy recreation in America’s great outdoors. The forest offers nearly 100 developed recreation areas, such as campgrounds and picnic areas, and 600 miles of multiple-use trails.

 Some of the most popular destinations in the forest are Cave Run Lake, Red River Gorge and Laurel River Lake. The Sheltowee Trace National Recreation Trail extends the entire length of the forest from north to south.

 The forest is among 155 national forests and 20 grasslands in the United States, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands managed by the Forest Service under the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Recreational activities on all national forests contribute $14.5 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

 The Forest Service mission is to sustain the health, diversity and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations.


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