Robinson Forest, managed for research, teaching and extension education by the UK Department of Forestry is one of the largest research and educational forests in the eastern United States. “The forest was conveyed in trust to UK in 1923 by E. O. Robinson Mountain Fund for the purposes of agricultural experiment, work, teaching and demonstration of reforestation. The virgin timber was logged from Robinson Forest before 1923. However, continued protection from mining, commercial logging and fire has resulted in a healthy second growth forest.” UK Department of Forestry website
The forest contains the healthiest waterways in the Commonwealth, and many of the state's federally listed threatened or endangered plant and animal species live there. But now, a mining company’s request to strip mine south of the Forest is raising alarms among environmentalists.
According to the Cumberland Chapter of the Sierra Club, “the devastation that will result from the proposed mining will destroy the area, and some damage has already occurred.” The Sierra Club predicts that two miles of streams will be buried if Frasure is allowed to proceed with its plan. Opponents of the strip mine plan are urged to contact the Army Corps of Engineers by May 26, 2009. Sample letters and directions are posted on the internet at Action Letter