The forest's natural landscape has, thus far, been protected from most of the harmful effects of logging, and I hope it stays that way.
If UK begins logging 800 acres of this land - the size of 606 football fields - the health of these streams will be compromised, and the watersheds will never again reach the level of purity that they have maintained so far.
And if the forest is logged, hundreds of animal species - some of which are endangered - will lose their habitats.
One of the reasons behind the proposal to log this land is to fund the Robinson Scholars Program.
This is a worthy program that funds college education for select eighth graders from eastern Kentucky.
However, UK has ample means to find this funding from another source while continuing to preserve the natural forest land that is such an important ecological and environmental haven in Kentucky.
The claim that this scholarship program needs to be funded using revenue from the forest is overshadowed by the fact that President Lee Todd has managed to increase the number of endowed professorships from 45 to 235 in one decade and has increased the number of federal research grants from $100 million to $300 million during this same period.
Todd was also able to persuade the state legislature to appropriate an additional $21 million to UK last year. This is a significant accomplishment for UK, and I commend him for his remarkable effort and dedication to the long-term solvency of the university.
With this in mind, it is even more unfortunate that UK would use the destruction of our forests to fund the Robinson Scholars Program.
Surely there are other revenue sources that can be tapped.
This forest is a precious ecological resource, and I implore the Board of Trustees to protect it. Isn't it high time we render some of our special places immune from degradation?
Editor's note: U.S. Rep. Ben Chandler, D-Ky., represents the 6th U.S. House District, which includes Clark County and most of the Bluegrass region.