Kentucky Conservation Programs

Return to Programs

Federal data is complete from 1998-2017. State and local data is complete from 1998-2011. In the tables and charts below, acres are allocated to each program proportionate to the size of the contributions to each acquisition. For example, if an acquisition had two contributions, and each program contributed equal dollar amounts, each program receives 50% of the acres. If you have questions or want to provide updated information, please contact Jessica Welch at

Profile of State Program(s)

Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund: The Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund (KHLCF) was created in 1994 in order to fulfill the funding requirements of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Act of 1990. Revenue is generated through a portion of the unmined mineral tax, environmental penalties and from the sale of environmental license plates. Revenue is divided among the Nature Preserve Commission, Department of Fish & Wildlife Resources, the Division of Forestry, the Department of Parks, and the Wild Rivers Program.

In March 2013, HB 281 was signed into law. It enables non-profit land trust organizations to apply for land acquisition funds from KHLCF. Land trusts are required to provide a 1:1 cash match.

Kentucky Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easements: The Kentucky General Assembly established Kentucky’s Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Program (PACE) in 1994. Initial funding was provided through a $10 million state bond issuance paid by tobacco settlement funds. Once bond proceeds were spent, the program received a $400,000 annual appropriation from the state. However, since 2007, the program has received little to no state funding.

PACE gives the state the authority to purchase agricultural conservation easements in order to ensure that lands currently in agricultural use will continue to remain available for agriculture. Donors of conservation easements are eligible to receive federal and state income tax and estate tax benefits.

Local Financing Enabled

In Kentucky, financing options for parks and open space include general obligation bonds, property taxes, and the occupational license tax (income tax); there are no local sales taxes. Counties and municipalities in the state generally do not seek voter approval for bond issuances. The legislature may levy property taxes for park expansion/improvements or purchase of development rights (PDR) after submitting a public referendum to voters. A petition or resolution may be initiated by voters or by the County/Urban County Council.

Local Programs Included

No county-level conservation finance measures have been approved by voters in Kentucky. For more information on municipal measures in the state, visit

Federal Partnerships

Federal agencies and programs that have conserved land in Kentucky include:

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – Section 6 Grant
  • U.S. Forest Service
  • U.S. National Park Service
  • U.S. National Park Service – LWCF Stateside
  • U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service – Farm and Ranch Lands Protection Program (FRPP)
  • U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service – Wetlands Reserve Program (WRP)
Report Table
Dollar Chart by Year
Acre Chart by Year