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KET Electronic Field Trips
The Forest
Marc Evans Who’s Who
Marc Evans
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Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission Marc Evans has spent his career locating, exploring, and then working to preserve unique natural areas. As senior ecologist for the Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission, he carries out the state’s Natural Areas Inventory, looking for places to recommend for protection as nature preserves. The area may provide habitat for rare or endangered plants or animals, or it may represent an entire ecosystem that is rare elsewhere.

Blanton Forest, the area Marc shows off in the Electronic Field Trip to the Forest, was one of his prize “finds.” This 2,350-acre forest on the southern slope of Pine Mountain in Harlan County is the largest stand of old-growth forest left in Kentucky—some of its trees date back to the days when Daniel Boone and other white pioneers were first exploring the state. While much of the surrounding forest was being sold to lumber companies in the early 20th century, local landowner Grover Blanton resisted all offers and kept this patch of woods intact. Marc came across it in 1992 and recognized it as a true ecological treasure. Thanks to his efforts and a private fund-raising campaign, Blanton Forest was purchased from Grover Blanton’s heirs and donated to the state. It opened to the public as a state nature preserve in the fall of 2001.

A graduate of Southern Illinois University, where he earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s in botany and ecology, Marc has worked for the KNPC for more than 20 years. Before that, he worked for the Illinois Department of Conservation and as an independent biological consultant.

Since moving to Kentucky, he has started the state’s first native-plant nursery, Shooting Star Nursery in Frankfort, and created the Kentucky Large Forest Block Project. He also serves on the boards of the Kentucky Natural Lands Trust and Bernheim Forest, a privately run forest and arboretum in Nelson and Bullitt counties.

Watch the Video

VIDEO CLIP: See more of Marc Evans’ visit to Blanton Forest, with an introduction by Dave Shuffett, in a segment from Program 805 of KET’s Kentucky Life. The length of the entire segment is 14:37.

[Requires RealPlayer®. Need help? | Kentucky Life web site]

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