Grants and Contracts Details


Robinson Forest is an approximately 15,000-acre teaching, research and extension forest administered by the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky. Located in the rugged eastern portion of the Cumberland Plateau and largely isolated from human activities, Robinson Forest is unique in its diversity. During the 1990s, a section of Robinson Forest, including the proposed restoration site ofthe unnamed tributary to Laurel Fork in Guy Cove, was mined for coal. As part of the mining process, a valley fill was created in Guy Cove, which impacted the headwater stream system in that valley. While there was significant environmental loss, a unique research and demonstration opportunity was created. The mining technique of mountain top removal, and subsequent valley filling, a prevalent practice in the Appalachian Coal Belt Region of eastern Kentucky, is undeniably detrimental to headwater stream systems. Permitting for valley-filling is continuing to rise in eastern Kentucky. Coupled with the increase in permits is a decrease in the number of headwater stream systems. The watershed values provided by headwater stream systems are essentially lost once the valley is filled. While this mining practice will continue until it becomes uneconomical, the loss of headwater stream systems, and their watershed values are diminishing. The development of practical stream reclamation techniques for post-mined lands is needed to regain lost headwater stream system value. Important to note is that these techniques must be 1) all encompassing of the valuable functions of headwater stream systems and 2) economically feasible for the mining companies to implement for both currently constructed fills and for future fills (i.e. the techniques demonstrated will be readily adopted). The techniques outlined in this document will discuss the physical (i.e. land sculpting, channel design and wetland/vernal pool creation), chemical (i.e. water quality), and biological aspects (i.e. vegetation and aquatic and terrestrial fauna) of the project. These methods were developed at the conceptual level (i.e. detailed engineering design drawings were not created). Over one mile of perennial and ephemeral streams in addition to seasonal depression wetlands will be created at an estimated cost of about $1.22 million. Additional opportunities for research, extension and cooperation are also presented.
Effective start/end date7/1/066/30/10


  • KY Department of Fish and Wildlife: $1,586,600.00


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