March 20, 2019 | By: Jay Blanton

The University of Kentucky’s Robinson Forest, part of the College of Agriculture, Food and Environment, spans 15,000 acres across three counties in Southeastern Kentucky.

For decades, as one published report recently put it, the forest that covers parts of Breathitt, Perry and Knott counties has served as a “living laboratory for how healthy forests can impact the water and animals that run through them.”

Now, though, thanks to the innovative thinking of the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, the forest has the ability to provide additional resources to enhance its research, teaching and demonstration missions. As part of the Our Path Forward initiative, Robinson Forest is helping preserve the environment and protect UK’s fiscal future, too.

The concept is a novel and innovative one: UK is working with The Nature Conservancy’s Working Woodlands program, which allows Eastern Kentucky landowners to certify conservation efforts of forests. The conservancy calculates how much carbon is in the forest and then helps convert it into carbon credits that can be purchased by others who want to offset pollution that may be attributed to them, according to a recent article in the Lexington Herald-Leader. You can read more about the innovative program here:

The effort could ultimately yield several million dollars over several years — dollars that would help meet the mission of Robinson Forest to serve Eastern Kentucky, while generating revenues for UK’s efforts in the region.

Read more at UKNow