Cave Run Lake


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Cave Run Lake Land Acquisition Policy: The land acquisition policy for Cave Run Lake was to acquire land 300 feet horizontally from the flood control pool elevation (765 feet above mean sea level (m.s.l)). However, many small interior private holdings were acquired in the outer areas to prevent isolation. Between the period July 1966 and August 1976, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers purchased or acquired through condemnation, approximately 27,189 acres of land for the Cave Run Lake project. The lake project lies almost entirely within the proclamation boundary of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service, about 26,818 acres of land acquired by the Corps were transferred to the Forest Service for its management. The Forest Service also transferred about 44 acres to the Corps of Engineers for various purposes associated with the Cave Run Lake project. Following the transfers of land to the Forest Service and other disposal actions, the Corps fee holdings were reduced to 368.49 acres. The majority of this acreage (365.10 acres) is located near the dam and is considered the operations area for Cave Run Dam. In accordance with the approved design for flood control purposes, flowage easement rights were acquired more than 3,585 acres of land (to elevation 770 feet m.s.l.) in lieu of purchasing fee title to these lands. In addition to the perpetual flowage easement acquisitions, special conservation easements or environmental easements were acquired on about 200 of the flowage easement tracts at Cave Run Lake. These special conservation easement estates were acquired to preserve a limited portion of the stream banks in their natural state. The Corps also retained flowage rights on all land areas transferred to the U.S. Forest Service that were below elevation 770 m.s.l.

Corps of Engineers Property and Easements: The Corps of Engineers holds fee title to 368.49 acres of property. About 55 acres of this acreage is below the seasonal pool elevation of the lake near the dam. The Corps of Engineers operations area measures 365.10 acres and is located around the dam site. The remaining 3.39 acres are contained within seven small remnant tracts located some distance from the operations area. The Corps of Engineers has management responsibilities for all Corps-owned structures, facilities and equipment on the Corps-owned areas. The Corps also retained responsibility for the management, administration and protection of the cultural, historical, aesthetic and natural resources on Corps-owned land/water areas. Responsibility for the management of the forest, fish and wildlife resources on Corps land/water areas was not delegated to any state agencies by lease or other agreement. However, about 38 acres of land within the operations area was licensed to the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources for the Minor E. Clark Fish Hatchery. The Corps acquired about 3585 acres of flowage easement and associated conservation easements. Corps personnel monitor landowner activities on these easement estates to assure compliance with easement terms. Corps lake personnel and Real Estate Division personnel share the administration of the various outgrants, easements and consents located on Corps fee property and private property with Government flowage easements at Cave Run Lake.
  1. Corps Fee Owned Land: The construction, placement, or existence of any structure (including, but not limited to, roads, trails, signs, buildings, non-portable hunting stands or blinds, buoys, docks, or landscape features) of any kind under, upon, in or over Corps-owned lands or waters is prohibited unless a permit, lease, license or other appropriate written authorization has been issued by the Corps of Engineers. The design, construction, placement, existence or use of structures in violation of the terms of the permit, lease, license, or other written authorization is prohibited. The Government shall not be liable for the loss of, or damage to, any private structures, whether authorized or not, placed on Corps of Engineers lands or waters. Unauthorized structures are subject to summary removal or impoundment. Portable hunting stands, climbing devices, steps, or blinds, that are not nailed or screwed into trees and are removed at the end of a day’s hunt may be used.
  2. Private Property with Corps Acquired Flowage/Conservation Easements: Flowage easements were acquired from landowners with property that might be inundated by impounded flood water in the lake. The placement of habitable structures upon lands with a flowage easement estates is prohibited and will not be permitted. Landowner requests to place non-habitable structures (such as: roads, fills, storage sheds, utility lines, etc.) will be considered on a case by case basis; however, prior written consent must be acquired from the Corps of Engineers. About 200 of the Corps acquired flowage easements also contained special conservation easements. Most of these conservation easements were acquired along the rivers and streams in Morgan County, Ky. The conservation easements were acquired to preserve a limited portion of the stream banks in their natural state. The removal of trees and other vegetation along stream banks where these conservation easements were acquired is prohibited.
Questions concerning Corps of Engineers fee owned property, flowage easements or conservation easements at Cave Run Lake should be directed to:
Park Manager
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
150 Kentucky Highway 826
Morehead, KY 40351
Telephone No. (606) 784-9709

U.S. Forest Service Property: The Cave Run Lake project is located almost entirely within the proclamation boundary of the 661,000 acres Daniel Boone National Forest. The National Forest was established in 1937 and it is divided into seven ranger districts or management units. The Cave Run Lake project is located within the 117,000 acre Morehead Ranger District of the Daniel Boone National Forest. Prior to the construction of the lake, the U.S. Forest Service already had significant land holdings in the vicinity of Cave Run Lake. The Corps of Engineers acquired the remaining lands needed for the development of the Cave Run Lake project. Under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service, the Corps transferred about 26,818 acres of land acquired for the Cave Run Lake project to the Forest Service. The U.S. Forest Service accepted full custody and control for all lands transferred to them and manages those lands under the concept of multiple use/sustained yields. The products of this management concept include wood, water, recreation, forage, and wildlife habitat. The U.S. Forest Service has overall responsibility for the management and protection of all land/water areas under their control in the Cave Run Lake area. This includes the administration of recreation areas on U.S. Forest Service lands at Cave Run Lake. Under a cooperative agreement with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, management responsibilities for fish and wildlife resources at the Cave Run Lake project are shared to some extent between U.S. Forest Service and the Department of Fish and Wildlife. The U.S. Forest Service is responsible for wildlife habitat management. The Department is responsible for stocking programs, population surveys, and for developing and enforcing game and fish laws and regulations. The U.S. Forest Service also enforces Forest Service rules and regulations on areas under its jurisdiction. Other responsibilities accepted by the U.S. Forest Service under the terms of the 1968 Memorandum of Understanding with the Corps of Engineers include: shoreline management and maintenance, responsibility for debris removal, and aquatic weed and vector control.

Questions concerning U.S. Forest Service property at Cave Run Lake should be directed to:

U.S. Forest Service
Morehead District Ranger Office
2375 Kentucky Hwy 801 South
Morehead, KY 40351
Telephone No.: (606) 784-6428

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