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Land Protection: Natural Areas Registry

Axe Lake ~ KSNPC photo by Heather HousmanThe Kentucky Natural Areas Registry is a voluntary, non-regulatory program designed to provide recognition for sound stewardship and awareness of the ecological significance of a landowner’s property. Under the terms of the registry agreement, the landowner does not relinquish any rights to the property and simply agrees to protect it to the best of their ability. Further, the landowner agrees to notify the commission if they are interested in selling the land or if the area is threatened in any way. Landowners who enroll their property in the registry program receive a registry certificate and, if desired, other appropriate public recognition.

To be eligible for registration, a property must contain habitat for plants or animals that are rare or have declining populations in Kentucky or that contain an outstanding example of a Kentucky ecological community, such as an old growth forest, wetland, glade or prairie.

The registration may be canceled by the landowner at any time, although a 30-day notice before terminating is requested.  If the owner fails to protect the area, the director of the commission may remove the area from the registry. Registration of a natural area provides no rights of public access to private property.  As with any private land, visitors must receive permission from the landowner before entering the property.