Cumberlands Focal Landscape

Development of the Cumberlands Focal Landscape

The development of the Cumberlands Focal Landscape began in 2018 with a series of initial discussions with lead partners, followed by two stakeholder meetings to engage a diversity of partners in the focal landscape planning process. The meetings brought together a broad group of land managers, wildlife biologists, foresters, researchers, and conservation planners to build a coalition focused on advancing cohesive, landscape-scale planning and management in the Cumberlands.

Identifying Shared Goals and Priorities

The overall goal of work within this focal landscape in Kentucky and Tennessee is to promote a healthy forest landscape in the Cumberlands region, including a variety of forest types and associated habitats necessary to sustain populations of priority wildlife species.

Priority Forest Types:

  • Oak-hickory forests
  • Open pine communities

Associated Habitats:

  • Wetland communities
    Reclaimed minelands (grasslands)
    Riparian/Aquatic systems

Priorities for this work include:

  • Implementing on-the-ground projects for active forest management, restoration, and protection.
  • Promoting management activities to control and reduce impacts from invasive species.
  • Conducting monitoring and research activities that will help track our progress and improve our effectiveness.

Current Projects

AMJV is a partner in two projects within the Cumberlands Focal Landscape led by Ruffed Grouse Society (RGS). One is funded by the US Forest Service’s Landscape Scale Restoration (LSR) Program, and the other is funded by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation’s Cumberland Plateau Stewardship Fund. Through the LSR grant, project partners will enhance 1500 acres of private forests and 150 acres of state forests with active forest management to benefit Species of Greatest Conservation Need through silvicultural practices. The project will enhance 900 acres with prescribed burning and improve 2 miles of streams with hemlock woolly adelgid control on state and private forests. The NFWF grant funds a two-year project that will use forest management as a tool to increase structural diversity and tree species composition to benefit at-risk wildlife species on private and public lands in the Cumberland Plateau of TN and KY. The project will designate the first two dynamic forest restoration blocks (DFRBs) in the Cumberlands Focal Landscape. A DFRB in Kentucky will by anchored by Kentucky Ridge State Forest, and a second DFRB in Tennessee include Catoosa WMA and Lone Mountain State Forest. To support the private land management goals, AMJV Outreach Specialist Liz Brewer led the development of an outreach plan for the projects, which included a GIS analysis to prioritize suitable landowners for outreach and the development of a mail campaign targeting those identified in the analysis.

Focal Landscape Partners

Kentucky Dept. of Fish and Wildlife Resources and Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency are lead partners for this focal landscape. Other partners include:

KY Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Nature Conservancy
Eastern KY University
University of Tennessee
US Forest Service
Ruffed Grouse Society
National Wild Turkey Federation
KY Natural Lands Trust
The White Oak Initiative
KY State Nature Preserves
US Fish and Wildlife Service
University of Kentucky Cooperative Extension Service

Additional Resources

AMJV Assists with Outreach to Private Forest Landowners (AMJV Newsletter – Winter 2022)