HENDERSON, Ky. (WFIE) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing to establish Kentucky’s second national wildlife refuge. More than 560 wildlife refuges across the country protect plants and animals of every variety.
In Henderson, the proposed Green River National Wildlife Refuge has numerous goals.
Team leaders describe this project as long-term and long overdue.
We’re learning it started about two decades ago, but then priorities on the national level-shifted.
“When 9/11 happened, we were essentially where we are today,” Michael Johnson recalled. “This is about the same place. Everything was good. Everything just stopped. Not just that project, but everything going on in the nation.”
Where the Green and Ohio Rivers meet in Henderson, the Service is proposing to establish Green River National Wildlife Refuge with support and direction from Congress.
“Have to have a larger area from which to draw from,” Johnson explained. “We really weren’t looking at it back in 2001 like that.”
The Land Protection Plan (LPP) informs landowners and interested stakeholders of the proposal to establish the approximate 24,000-acre refuge. This would be within a larger Conservation Partnership Area (CPA) which totals nearly 53,000-acres.
The service will buy land from willing sellers only.
“It’s kind of got to meet our criteria as well,” Johnson said.
For decades the area has been recognized as important for migrating waterfowl.
As a refuge, it would have many recreational opportunities, including hunting and fishing, but also help to establish wildlife corridors and restore ecological function to this area.
“There’s a lot of ecological history, significance in the Henderson area,” Johnson stated. “It’s noted as an important area for wildlife and other resources since the late 1950′s.”
The service is also working closely with the Federal Highway Administration plus Kentucky and Indiana transportation agencies to minimize any potential issues or conflicts with the proposed I-69 Ohio river crossing project.
Learn more about the project including how to submit a public comment online here.