The Kentucky Chapter of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers is happy to support the recently introduced Mammoth Cave National Park Boundary Adjustment Act proposed by Congressman Brett Guthrie (KY-02) and U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky).
The proposed legislation would allow the National Park Service to acquire 980 acres located on the southern border of Mammoth Cave National Park from The Nature Conservancy. This property is contiguous with the park’s current 52,830 acres and includes two cave passages of historical and cultural significance as well as critical wildlife habitat in the Green River watershed. This expansion would increase public access and recreation opportunities, along with ensuring the area will be maintained and protected in perpetuity by the National Park Service.
Mammoth Cave National Park was officially dedicated and added to the Nation Park system in 1946. While most famous for its hundreds of miles of underground caverns, the park provides a multitude of recreational opportunities abound above ground. Hiking, horseback riding, cycling, backcountry camping, canoeing, and fishing are allowed within the park boundaries. The Park contains 36 miles of navigable waterway within its boundaries. The Green River, one of the primary smallmouth rivers in Kentucky, flows for 25 miles within the park, and contains over 150 species of fish and more than 70 species of freshwater mussels, many of which are threatened or endangered.
The addition of these 980 acres would not remove backcountry hunting and fishing opportunities and is supported by the local community. For these reasons and those stated above, the Kentucky Chapter fully supports the Mammoth Cave National Park Boundary Adjustment Act as part of BHA’s mission to protect our outdoor heritage and protect our wild public lands, waters, and wildlife while expanding access to wild public place for all citizens and visitors of the US.