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Nearly $5 million grant to protect 25,000 acres of forest
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — The federal government has awarded a nearly $5 million grant to protect 25,000 acres of forest in eastern Kentucky, Tennessee and Virginia.

The Lexington Herald-Leader reports the National Resources Conservation Service awarded a $4.9 million grant to the Nature Conservancy of Kentucky. The conservancy will partner with partners in Tennessee and Virginia to implement the Working Woodlands program.

The program lets qualified landowners place conservation easements on their properties that ban using the land for any non-forest uses. An exception is sustainable timber. Landowners can then sell the carbon sequestered from the best forest management practices and earn money.

Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell announced the program on Friday. Conservancy spokesman Will Bowling says he hopes 25,000 acres is "just the start."