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Contents:
Program 102

1. Blanton Forest
2. Japanese presentation doll
3. Ballard Wildlife Management Area
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For more information:

• The preserve is located on KY 840 (Watts Creek Road) near the small town of Keith in southern Harlan County. Directions and more information about the biological significance of the forest can be found on the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission Blanton Forest page.

• For more about the ongoing fund-raising campaign, visit the Blanton Forest page at the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust web site.

Producer/videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Esther Reed


Among the Tall Timber

Blanton Forest

Marc Evans and Zoe Strecker In a patch of forest in extreme southeastern Kentucky, near where the first white settlers entered the state, it is possible to walk among some of the same trees that greeted those pioneers. Blanton Forest, an old-growth stand on the southern slope of Pine Mountain in Harlan County, has trees that tower more than 100 feet tall and date back hundreds of years.

The 2,350-acre forest was spared from the logging that has resculpted most of the Appalachian highlands by landowner Grover Blanton, a local store owner who resisted offers to sell his land to timber companies in the early 20th century. His daughters inherited the forest and honored their father’s wish to keep it intact. Then, in 1992, Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission biologist Marc Evans came across the land while exploring the area. Realizing what an ecological and historical treasure it represented, he started a campaign to buy the forest and turn it into a state nature preserve, thus protecting it permanently. The Blanton Forest State Nature Preserve—Kentucky’s largest—opened to the public on October 21, 2001.

Blanton Forest is the largest section of old-growth forest in Kentucky and the 13th largest in the United States. A fund-raising campaign is under way to buy surrounding acreage as a protective buffer zone.

Our tour was taped in 1995, with Evans himself as guide. He shows Off the Beaten Path author Zoe Strecker around and talks about the ecological importance of old-growth forest. Its beauty and majesty, though, speak for themselves.

This segment is also part of Kentucky Life Program 805. Parts of it can be seen in KET’s Electronic Field Trip to the Forest, too.

Watch This Story (13:11)





For more information:

• Vallorie Henderson, Speed Art Museum, 2035 S. Third St., Louisville, KY 40201, (502) 634-2735

• The Miss Toyama page has a photo of Miss Toyama, links to articles about her, and historical background on the doll exchange program. It is part of an extensive Friendship Dolls site created by Bill Gordon at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.

Producer: Ellen Ballard
Videographers: Frank Simkonis, David Brinkley
Editor: Esther Reed


She Was Lost, But Now She’s Found

Japanese presentation doll

The next segment introduces a real survivor. Miss Toyama, a large Japanese presentation doll, was sent to the U.S. as part of a cultural exchange in the 1920s. Thought to have been lost in the 1937 flood of the Ohio River that devastated much of downtown Louisville, she was found 52 years later in a Speed Art Museum basement storage area by Vallorie Henderson, the Speed’s curator of special collections.

Miss Toyama was much the worse for wear after her decades in limbo. But she has now been restored to her original beauty with the help of Universal Fasteners in Lawrenceburg, which paid for a meticulous three-year restoration project in Japan. Universal is owned by YKK Corp., a Japanese firm which has its headquarters in the Japanese region of Toyama.

Watch This Story (8:36)





For more information:
• Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, (502) 224-2244

Producer, videographer: Gale Worth
Editor: Dan Taulbee


Getting Our Feet Wet

Ballard Wildlife Management Area

To end as we began—although at the opposite end of the state—we head back outdoors for a taste of the Western Kentucky wetlands with a visit to the Ballard Wildlife Management Area. Located 30 miles west of Paducah in Ballard County, the area is a stopping-off point for birds migrating along the Mississippi Flyway as well as a year-round home to deer and other wildlife. The refuge is owned and operated by the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources; birdwatchers should be aware that it is managed for hunting and fishing.

This 1995 tour is led by area manager Charlie Wilkins, who shows KET’s Krista Seymour some of the scenic highlights. Kentucky Life has since revisited the preserve twice: It’s included in the Kentucky’s Last Great Places special, and host Dave Shuffett takes another look around in Program 1301.

Watch This Story (4:24)


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