The University of the Cumberlands sold 368.02 acres of land to the Commonwealth of Kentucky for $264,974.
The land, which is for the use and benefit of the Office of Kentucky Nature Preserves, was acquired by the university from Terry and Marion Forcht in 2003.
The purchase of the property, which is located along Laurel Creek – Buffalo Creek Road near the community of Frakes, was funded, either in part or in whole, by the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund according to the deed of conveyance.
The tract of land is an addition to the Archer-Benge State Nature Preserve, which is a 1,864-acre preserve located within the Laurel Fork watershed in Whitley County on the southern end of Pine Mountain.
This preserve covers the north and south face of Pine Mountain and contains significant natural areas that include rare plants such as the golden club, rock harlequin and blue mountain mint.
The preserve also harbors populations of the federally endangered mussel, Cumberland elktoe and the federally endangered fish, the Cumberland Darter.
The new owners of the property are required to maintain the property in perpetuity in accordance with the requirements of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund.
The property cannot be sold, exchanged, encumbered or otherwise disposed of without prior written consent of the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund Board and the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet.
The deed was signed on May 7 by University of the Cumberlands’s President Larry Cockrum and on May 13 by Kentucky’s Director of the Finance and Administration Cabinet Scott Aubrey.
The deed was filed with the Whitley County Clerk.