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Rare Mussel Found in Green River

August 12, 2005

Frankfort, Kentucky - The recent discovery of a mussel in the Green River that biologists feared was extinct has spurred new interest in a watershed protection program for the river.

On Wednesday, August 17, U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell and Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Cabinet Secretary LaJuana S. Wilcher will join numerous area officials and conservationists for a riverside press conference.

They will urge more farmers to participate in the Green River Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program. The press conference at Dan Richardson's Hart County farm will begin at 10 a.m. (Central Time).

The $110 million conservation program pays landowners along the Green River $1,065 to $2,625 an acre over a 15-year period to fence out livestock and cease farming in buffer zones along the river corridor and around sinkholes. Trees and grasses would replace plowed fields within the buffer zone to help protect water quality. The program is voluntary.

Counties within the protection zone include Adair, Barren, Edmonson, Green, Hart, Metcalfe, Russell and Taylor.

The Green River is home to several unique or rare species that depend on clean water to survive. Researchers will be available following the press conference to discuss the discovery of the rare mussel and the importance of clean water to the animal's continued existence.
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