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Comments Recieved at Lexington

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The table below captures the comments collected during the breakout session at the Lexington public meeting. Comments are grouped by major forces of change. Specific subregions of applicability are listed where provided.

  Assess Administration policies (politics) AC
Evaluate need for education/knowledge about forests AC
Consider transportation AC
Evaluate urban/rural land ratio AC
KY is getting more forest landowners with fewer acres AC
Brain-drain in eastern KY—people moving to more populated areas where the jobs are AC
Assess interests and changing preferences. Lack of interest and awareness in our forests. Get more people engaged in forest management AC
New landowners looking to make $ from the land, heirs selling / dividing tracts AC
Assess increase in hunt clubs/recreation groups from out of State AC
Consider increasing Hispanic community AC
Assess increased interests in OHV use & development on private lands. Adventure Tourism AC
Consider there is less focus on vegetation management and more on recreation use AC
Assess Forest Health. Landowners don't know their objectives. Is my land OK? AC
Timber prices are low AC
Growing ecosystem services—new market. What are drought impacts? AC
Consider aesthetics of timber harvest – more people are noticing AC
Consider global warming—water may be a limiting factor AC
Mountain-top removal of coal—consider the government's interest? AC
We've lost connection to the land. Education is the focus here—we're not educating the new generation. Also absentee landowners are more disconnected AC
People working in the forest should live close to the forest. Evaluate a negative trend of people living away from their workplace. Increased commuting distances (could change with price of gas) AC
Carbon credits may encourage folks to keep trees in the ground longer AC
Gas prices could limit urban sprawl—encourage more population concentration AC
Farm Bill could affect incentive programs AC
People want to relocate close to national forests (esp. Baby Boomers in retirement). Driving up property prices. Second home development up the Appalachian chain AC
TIMO's will become more prevalent as they become investments, dividing interests and markets AC
Recent lack of housing development is impacting timber prices. Also more furniture from China. Long-term demand for timber, however, looks positive AC
Consider cultural makeup of this Subregion. People moving to eastern KY for more gov't assistance. Distrust of outsiders. Resistance to change AC
Over next 50 years, will Daniel Boone National Forest still be a national forest (or will it become a park and wilderness)? AC
Consider major changes in national forest management AC
Deer/elk hunting –evaluate changing behavior and interests AC
Even people living in/near forests don't understand forest values AC
Energy prices should drive incentives. Evaluate biofuels (+/-). We don't have technology. Tree Farm program is developing incentive AC
Assess labor—less people working in forest management as people move to urban areas AC
Less people going into forestry careers AC
Are more immigrants doing these jobs? AC
What are rural affects of income & wealth AC
Evaluate investors in real estate/trusts (TIMO's). Different priorities—non traditional AC
Corporate policies are changing. Bottom line drives changes; and stock market AC
Assess timber age classes vis a vis biofuels markets AC
Assess balance of low & high quality is important AC
Poor timber harvest management in economically depressed areas? AC
Public land is not increasing in acreage to meet public demands (tied to population increase) AC
We need more acreage at some point in the public sector AC
Demand will fall more on private land for forest products, recreation, etc AC
Energy prices can change our whole way of life, including transportation changes (unknown impact at this point) AC
Assess the increase in urban land. Urban/rural ratio. Less forested land. Fragmentation of the remaining forests. Increased invasive species. More impact/scarring of the land. Difficult to manage AC
Aesthetics, recreation, wildlife more desirable than timber. Landowners are ignorant concerning the forests and the values/goods/services of the forest AC
Citizens unwilling to invest in forest. Landowners are not being compensated for the many values they provide to the population AC
For final reports and web products—don't just have data for scientists but have great charts/maps etc that students/teachers/community planners/the common man, etc can down load for reports/presentations etc. AC
Will you have data on age groups, race, gender, nationality? AC
Evaluate population growth fluctuations. Some regions are “flat”—not growing in some areas of Eastern KY East KY
I-75 corridor prompting growth. May cause selling of timber lands. New I-66 may also affect growth KY
  Consider that the coal industry presence influences many aspects of the future of forests AC
Consider low income in many counties plus large amounts of federally-owned land in Kentucky influence what folks do on the land. Low tax base for county AC
Coal industry and other large landowners (e.g., family-owned sawmills) control a lot of property with bottom line of making money (and affects policy in their counties) AC
A few key officials carry large weight in setting county policies AC
No incentive for landowner to keep forests in forest (government programs, taxes, policies, individual values are market-dependent) AC
Counties are looking to “adventure tourism” as a means of economic development. They are looking to public land as a place for this tourism and there is no support for private landowners to enter into this market (liabilities, no trails, etc) AC
Conservation easements are being used in Knoxville/Maryville (TN) area, but there is limited funding. AC
Former industry land—counties don't want these lands to go to NF, want to keep it in production (taxes, jobs) AC
There are limited number of urban parks that focus on outdoor recreation AC
There are strong landowner feelings for private property rights AC
Kentuckians are very independent people. Don't want someone or some policy dictating what they should do. Don't trust someone from outside the area AC
The citizenry doesn't value forest resources enough to pay to keep it, or to sacrifice to keep it AC
Nothing proactive in tax structure to encourage forest landowner to be a good steward, e.g., Illinois lowers taxes if you have a forest management plan AC
Timberland tax in KY was established in 1950's at 3 cents/acre and has never been raised AC
Check out inheritance tax implications for keeping forests in forests. Often have to sell timber to pay these taxes AC
There is a push in KY for casinos, especially in small communities. Likely to lead to land use change in those areas AC
Forest conservation act doesn't apply when cutting trees before coal mining, oil/gas, roads AC
Some forest and farm owners will only take an action for stewardship or management if there is a subsidy, and these programs are declining AC
County infrastructure (roads, schools, etc) used to be supported by portion of timber receipts. Now there are some federal payments, but less. This increases taxes on rest of landowners AC
Landowners may distrust land management advice from institutions AC
Educational institutions (K-16) do not place any emphasis on natural resource education. The core content must change. Kids may learn about tropical rain forests but learn little about their own backyard. How about including history of local forest management as a way to reach out to school children. Absentee landowners and kids are unattached to the land. They know little about their forests. In Kentucky, 4th and 10th grade curriculum must include information about trees, but not much about ecology, more about parts of a tree, etc. AC
How is value put on ecosystem services? AC
People need to see how a forest resource management issue affects them. Key is to show how these issues relate to people AC
Major forests industries are moving out of the Southern Appalachians. More conducive to smaller hardwood lumber mills etc AC
Needs to be stronger crossover between agriculture and forests. Non-timber forest products is one possibility. More to come in the next farm bill? AC
Forest land management policies are being influenced by people who don't own forest land or live near it AC
More local chapters of forest landowner associations would help promote forest management and raise awareness of functions and values. University sees this as a way to involve local youth (4-H, FFA) AC
Groups are forming in KY to promote conservation easements (tax incentive) AC
Evaluate the possible development of insurance program for forest landowners to ensure standing timber against sudden loss—to encourage longer rotations AC
Need to develop a program for forest landowners to get a low (or no) interest loan to meet family needs without need to harvest timber AC
No jobs in eastern KY. People move to cities for jobs. Those that stay behind see their forests as a source of money to meet needs. AC
Land Uses
  Assess development driven by population wealth AC
Assess agricultural uses driven by crop returns and farm policies AC
Consider forest uses driven by timber demand; recreation and tourism demand AC
Consider mineral ownership (privately owned) under federal lands AC
Evaluate impacts of increased tourism AC
Evaluate ownership—what are their priorities? TIMO's vs. other ownerships and priorities such as economic, carbon credits, water, wildlife, etc AC
Consider more agro forestry management as part of a system, e.g., orchards, timber, Christmas trees AC
Consider absentee ownership AC
Consider split inheritance AC
Evaluate impacts of vacation homes—Atlanta sprawl, north – associated infrastructure/road development AC
Evaluate ownership changes AC
Evaluate demand for tourism and other population pressures AC
Assess increased pure recreational use AC
Consider that the market for recreational demands is changing, e.g., selling land for hunting AC
Consider Cumberland region development pressures and associated threats regarding T&E/biological impacts AC
Consider conservation easements and tax policy affecting the number and size of easements AC
Evaluate percent of public land relative to private land. Ratio is a land use issue because so little ownership is public. AC
Evaluate increasing demands on public lands to meet needs (tourism) commodities etc AC
Assess increasing concerns about future management of private lands because they aren't as regulated AC
Not enough public lands to meet needs and will bleed over into private AC
Evaluate mineral pressure for oil/gas/coal AC
We are seeing more TIMO's buying land to grow timber (short turn-around) AC
Price of fuel is going up and folks are abandoning farm land AC
Peoples value for the land is changing AC
Consider coal Co. drives land prices AC
Over next 50 years what will happen to National forest (will there be timber harvesting and other management activities?) AC
  Assess forest change agents' effects on water quality & quantity AC
Evaluate deer browse effects on forests--historical as prelude to the future AC
Evaluate fragmentation due to urbanization and corridors AC
Evaluate the landscaping industry. The activity of landscaping in urban/suburban areas is having an influence on forests (spread of diseases from one part of the country to another as species are planted out of their native zone) AC
Forests have a positive effect on controlling flooding AC
Evaluate ecological effects of loss of hemlock function AC
Consider that T& E and other species are affected by climate change AC
Chestnut reintroduction will have an effect on forests AC
Consider climate change effects + or – on value of forests AC
Climate change will have an effect on herb and shrub species diversity and distribution AC
Evaluate planting practices (chestnut), i.e. the introduction of tree species whether as part of restoration or for other (economic) purposes AC
Evaluate mining effects on forests—alteration of forest environment both terrestrial and aquatic AC
Evaluate future of fire---more fire or less fire? Exacerbating effects of climate change on fire, changes in fuels, social dimensions of population growth as a limiting factor on use of fire. AC
Soil organisms function will change in response to forces of change AC
Age distribution and structure of forests will change from now and into the future—what is needed for sustaining benefits? AC
Even if we get more forests (associated with urbanization) will they necessarily be healthy functioning forests? AC
How will urban corridors influence the distribution of exotics AC
Exotics will influence regeneration of trees & other plants AC
Assess loss of knowledge of natural (biological) heritage AC
Assess loss of fire-adapted/dependent communities AC
Define healthy forests AC
Exotic insects affect “native” forests (like oak and ash) AC
SPB—how do we restore mixed species system? AC
Describe distribution of pine plantation and Southern Pine Beetle on the landscape AC
Evaluate fragmentation, generally AC
Re-establishment of native wildlife species-- what are the effects (beaver)? AC
Evaluate institutional changes for planning for development AC
Chemical inputs—what are the effects? AC
Evaluate regulatory/institutional mechanisms for mitigating /protecting against impacts AC
Evaluate fire impact on hardwood grade AC
Exotics—we need education for landowners and agencies AC
Forest Management
  Evaluate demands driven by wood product markets AC
Consider changes in technology AC
Evaluate new markets for bioenergy AC
The goal is to participate in management from a landscape scale. Is there an effort in the south? This is a need. Several initiatives in Kentucky including Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. Green River is a good model to expand. Reforest the bluegrass—a start AC
Voluntary programs are important because of private property rights concerns AC
Are individuals pursuing careers in forestry? Seems to be declining. How will they be able to assist landowners? Tree Farm program is important AC
We need to be able to address new demands (e.g., for energy, etc) AC
We need to be able to provide ecosystem services AC
Evaluate market for high quality veneer and sawtimber AC
Less and less demand for pulpwood/chips in the Eastern portion of the State because of lack of infrastructure/transportation costs. AC
Traditional wood markets disappearing, therefore, we are losing incentives to address invasives through traditional forest management. AC
Monetize non-timber – energy AC
New energy bill doesn't address all forest management. Focuses on new plantations vs. traditional agriculture AC
Water quality is driven by forest conditions across landscape. Use of land matters for more than timber and recreation. Need to address impacts within a landscape on water quality AC