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Local News

Metro Parks Finishes Controlled Burn in Jefferson Memorial Forest

A controlled burn of some seven acres of vegetation at Jefferson Memorial Forest Tuesday went smoothly.

The fire began at 10:45 am and lasted less than three hours. The burns have been used for several years and are meant to let native plants flourish while destroying invasive species.

Metro Parks spokesperson Margaret Brosko (BRAH-skoe) says another is planned for Iroquois Park.

“It is on the list, but it just depends if the weather cooperates, because we’re in that situation right now where it’s kind of touchy because things are greening up a little bit. So we just want to make sure we don’t get too far into the season.”

Brosko says if the Iroquois Park burn isn’t done this week, it won’t happen this season.

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Local News Next Louisville

Feral Hogs A Growing Concern In Jefferson Memorial Forest

The Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife has begun an effort to trap feral hogs spotted in and around the Jefferson Memorial Forest preserve in Louisville.

Officials say the animals can destroy forestland, carry diseases and multiply rapidly.

Fish and Wildlife Biologist Jeff Nally says no one knows for sure how many of the wild pigs might be roaming the 6,200 acre preserve or surrounding farms, or even how they got there.

“My speculation would be that someone introduced those pigs to that area. It may have been trying to release them to hunt the pigs, maybe to train some dogs on the pigs. I don’t think these pigs in particular are escaped from a farming operation or anything,” he said.

Nally says he’s never heard of any cases of feral hogs attacking people unprovoked, but they can be aggressive if cornered or protecting a litter.

Feral hogs will eat just about anything, and because of their destructive nature, they cannot be taken to another location and released.

Nally says any trapped animals will be tested for disease and humanely destroyed.

(Photo courtesy of Louisville Metro Parks)

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Local News

Metro Parks Seeking Volunteers To Build New Trails

A new land purchase will change the layout of trails in Jefferson Memorial Forest.

Louisville Metro Parks recently purchased 27 acres of land. The area connects three nonadjacent sections of the forest. Spokesperson Jason Cissell says the department is now seeking volunteers to help build contiguous trails through the newly-connected land.

“Knowing that we were planning to acquire the property, we’ve been building some of the trails leading up to this new piece of property. Now we can go on to the property to build. So our expectation is, working primarily with volunteers we’ll be able to have the new trail open by next summer,” says Cissell. “By next summer, we’ll completely change the way people hike in the forest. It’ll connect all the forest’s hiking trails for the first time.”

The land cost 115 thousand dollars. All but 15 thousand dollars came from a donation to the Louisville Metro Parks Foundation.

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Local News

Plans Unveiled for Jefferson Memorial Forest

Jefferson Memorial Forest officials have unveiled a new master plan for the metro parks forest in southwestern Louisville.  Parks planner Lisa Hite says it’s the first long-term vision for the forest, which attracts more than 150,000 people a year.  She says the goal is to attract more visitors from throughout the metro area, as well as around the forest.

“We’re really working on trail connections from some of the neighborhoods around the forest to help people come by foot and by bicycle and even by horseback into the areas that will be designated for those uses,” says Hite.

Hite says a comprehensive study of forest uses and needs uncovered a public desire for more educational and activity centers, such as an equestrian center.  Also, officials recommend building a new welcome center, modernizing the campground, and adding miles of new trails.

On the Web: http://www.louisvilleky.gov/metroparks/parks/jeffersonmemorialforest/