Board votes to pursue permanent public access on 55,000 acres in southeastern Kentucky

NOTE: The following is a summary of actions taken by the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission at its quarterly meeting held June 3, 2022. Official meeting minutes will be reviewed at a future meeting. The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources provides this summary to enhance the public's awareness about potential changes to hunting, fishing, boating or other related regulations.
FRANKFORT, Ky. (June 7, 2022) — The Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission approved the establishment of a permanent easement for public access on about 55,000 acres of land in Bell, Knox and Leslie counties, which is currently known as CF Ataya Wildlife Management Area (WMA).

This easement will ensure public access for current and future generations of hunters and wildlife watchers to enjoy elk, bear, ruffed grouse, bobwhite quail, songbirds and myriad other wildlife. Funding to purchase the easement will come from a special appropriation made by the 2022 Kentucky General Assembly, and from the federal Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration grant program.

Commission members tabled proposed regulations concerning fall turkey bag limits and the use of drones and other aircraft for taking fish or wildlife, in order to allow for  additional public input. Members will revisit these topics again at their next quarterly meeting in August.

The commission also heard updates regarding the previous deer, elk, bear and spring turkey seasons. The deer season update included an overview of the department's plans for the 5-county CWD Surveillance Zone in western Kentucky for the upcoming season. Another update explained a new categorization system for the state's wildlife management areas (WMAs). This system is designed to help users know what to expect based on different management levels, so they can better choose which public lands they wish to visit based on their own preferences.

The June 3 quarterly meeting was livestreamed on the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources' YouTube channel, where a replay of the meeting is available on demand.

The Commission is a 9-member volunteer board that represents anglers, hunters and other fish and wildlife-related recreationists of the Commonwealth. The board recommends hunting, fishing and boating regulations. Any recommendations must receive legislative approval before they become law.

The next quarterly meeting of the Kentucky Fish and Wildlife Commission is scheduled for August 26, 2022. Agendas will be posted at when available.


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