Select Page

Photo: Tara Littlefield, Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves

Warbler Ridge Preserve — Cam & Otta Cornett Farm Addition

The Pine Mountain Wildlands Corridor is an ecologically significant and climate-resilient landscape within Central Appalachia. Featuring some of the most biodiverse temperate forests on the planet, Pine Mountain is home to thousands of plant and animal species, including nearly 200 that are rare or endangered. The Kentucky Natural Lands Trust (KNLT) established the Warbler Ridge Preserve on Pine Mountain in 2020 and has been adding acreage since through donations and other funding assistance. Warbler Ridge Preserve connects with other conservation lands on Pine Mountain to create more than 9,000 acres of contiguous, protected forest.

In December 2023, with support from Atira Conservation and the Imperiled Bat Conservation Fund (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kentucky Field Office), KNLT purchased a 203-acre property known as the Cam & Otta Cornett Farm Addition to join the Warbler Ridge Preserve. This newly protected increased the size of the Warbler Ridge Preserve to 3,527 acres. The land was purchased from a grandchild of the Cornetts and dedicated in their honor. The family views this conservation partnership and contribution to the Warbler Ridge Preserve as a tribute to their family’s multigenerational legacy in eastern Kentucky.

This Cornett Addition protects a globally significant forest known habitat for rare plants and animals, as well as headwater streams of the Cumberland River, which is part of the most notable temperate freshwater ecosystem on Earth. Today, the preserve includes vital forest lands that are known habitat for federally endangered northern long-eared bats and Indiana bats. This area of Central Appalachia is considered highly resilient to climate change, meaning the species and natural communities found here are better positioned to adapt and persist in the face of change.

  • Total Project Cost: $370,000 (including acquisition, due diligence and stewardship costs)
  • Atira Conservation Funding: $30,000

Black-throated green warbler | Photo: Dan Pancamo, Creative Commons

Photo: Bill Lancaster