The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky Acquires Key Parcel in Central Appalachians Landscape

The 480-acre tract will help to potentially protect a block of nearly 2,000 contiguous forested acres in eastern Kentucky.

Jacob and Annie Cohen c. 1904

David William Cohen donated the Jacob and Annie Cohen Forest Tract in honor of his grandparents, who purchased the property during the 1920's.

Lexington, Kentucky | January 07, 2013

The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky closed out last year with a land donation that advances multi-state conservation efforts in the Central Appalachian Mountains. The 480-acre Jacob and Annie Cohen Forest Tract’s proximity to the Jefferson National Forest, the Conservancy’s Bad Branch Nature Preserve and other protected areas provides an opportunity to potentially protect a block of nearly 2,000 contiguous forested acres in eastern Kentucky. 

David William Cohen, who resides in Ann Arbor, Michigan, donated his 5/6 interest in the tract, which is named after his grandparents who purchased the Letcher County property during the 1920’s. The Conservancy acquired the additional 1/6 interest from the co-owner at a fair market value. 

“Of several organizations I’ve spoken with about eventually donating the property, the Conservancy always rose to the top with regard to follow-up and a good reputation,” said David William Cohen. “In fact, just last year a scientist studying bird habitat on the property pointed me in the Conservancy's direction. I finally acted on it and I’m glad. We’ve been supporters for many years and know it is in good hands.”
The Jacob and Anny Cohen Forest Tract is bounded on the east by the Kentucky-Virginia border and by the Jefferson National Forest to the west. It boasts headwaters of the Poor Fork of the Cumberland River and contains a large, steep sloped, undisturbed forest situated in the Pine Mountain area boasting some of the highest elevations in Kentucky. Together, these features attract an array of globally rare plants and animals.  

“The Pine Mountain area is a special place where many of our partners in Kentucky actively manage portions of the landscape,” says Dian Osbourne, the Conservancy’s Director of Land Protection in Kentucky. “The Conservancy is no exception with our nearby nature preserve.”

The Kentucky Natural Land Trust also works in the area to connect and maintain protected areas throughout a 120-mile forested corridor to provide a migratory passageway for plants and animals.

The Jacob and Annie Cohen Forest Tract advances the Conservancy’s work in the Central Appalachian Whole System project, a collaboration between staff from six states and partners from government agencies, local communities, and industries that include timber and energy development. These partners are working together to take a big picture approach to conserving a network of large, representative and connected conservation areas stretching across state boundaries that together will maintain large-scale ecological functionality even in the face of threats like climate change.

“We’re able to point to places on a map as we engage in conversation about the long-term health of this landscape and how we can make decisions, together, that balance human demands with wildlife requirements,” says Jeff Sole, the Conservancy’s Director of Conservation Programs in Kentucky.

About The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky

The Mission of The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky is to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Since opening its doors in Kentucky in 1975, The Nature Conservancy of Kentucky has protected almost 45,000 acres of diverse habitat throughout the state, including more than 8,000 acres by direct ownership and 6,500 acres by conservation easements. During this time, we have also helped to conserve more than 100,000 acres of additional lands and waters throughout the Commonwealth in partnership with corporations, government agencies, conservation organizations and private landowners, partnerships made possible by support of a loyal and dedicated membership. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at

The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the web at To learn about the Conservancy’s global initiatives, visit To keep up with current Conservancy news, follow @nature_press on Twitter.

Contact information

Suzanne Crockett
The Nature Conservancy
(859) 259-9655

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