Welcome to

Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area


Resource Management Projects

As part of carrying out the mission of the USDA Forest Service, agency resource specialists develop proposals that will enhance or maintain resource values on public lands, as well as generate products. In addition, the public may submit proposals for various uses and recreational events. A necessary part of the planning for these is environmental analysis and documentation, pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and agency direction.

The current Schedule of Proposed Actions (SOPA) Report contains a list of proposed actions that will begin or are currently undergoing environmental analysis and documentation:

Featured Project: Post-Tornado Recovery Efforts


The December 10, 2021 tornadic events resulted in numerous storm-damaged trees and debris on the northern and southern ends of Land Between the Lakes. The primary intentions of our post-storm recovery efforts are to provide for user safety and safe operations where infrastructure or facilities exist. Recovery efforts include assessing impacts, removing hazard trees, repairing roads, rerouting trails, hosting shoreline clean ups, and cleaning up damaged and downed trees through salvage operations. You can learn more about our post-storm recovery work by reading through the tabs below.

    What happened?

  • • On December 10, 2021, an EF-4 tornado impacted the northern part of Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area (LBL) in Lyon County, KY. The tornado entered the unit north of Hillman Ferry Campground and traveled northeast to Clay Bay.
  • • On the same evening, an EF-3 tornado hit the southern part of LBL in Stewart County, TN. It came ashore just south of Boswell Landing and exited the unit south of Brandon Spring.
  • • Through extensive remote sensing and ground surveys, we have identified approximately 6,500 acres of National Forest System lands affected by the two tornado events.
  • What was damaged?

  • • From the initial and ongoing damage assessments conducted by trained foresters, we have confirmed sizable and varied landscape impacts. While aerial and ground assessments have confirmed catastrophic landscape damage within the impacted areas, no structures were destroyed.
  • What recovery work has occurred so far?

  • • Our highest priorities in our recovery efforts are public safety and safe operations. Soon after the tornadoes, our staff worked to protect human life and safety through removing hazard trees in developed areas, rerouting and closing unsafe trails, and repairing and reopening roads for safe public access.
  • • We will continue to work closely with our neighbors, partners, and the public on our recovery efforts to make the recreation area safe, healthy, and resilient for years to come.
  • • Check the tab below in this table for ongoing updates on our recovery efforts.

Recovery Updates

    Where can I find more information and stay updated on recovery efforts?

  • • Check the Alerts page for storm and recovery related closures and notices.
  • • Recovery and timber salvage project updates are posted on this page and through the official LBL Facebook (@LBLNatlRecArea) page.
  • Post-tornado recovery efforts include:

    Restoration Projects

  • • A native forb restoration area has been marked off in the Boswell Landing area as staff start the process to prepare the area for native planting. Visitors should avoid driving and parking in the area.
  • North and South Tornado Cleanup projects:

  • • Now that we have an understanding of the size and scope of the tornadoes’ impacts to the landscape, we can prepare for the North and South Tornado Cleanup projects in the next phase of our recovery efforts. The goal of these projects is to remove some of the damaged and downed timber in the tornado-impacted areas to protect life safety and promote resilient forests. Removing, or salvaging, the damaged trees will occur in the tornado-impacted areas that were marked and prepared by our skilled forestry specialists. Timber salvage operations in these areas were launched in May 2022. To learn more, see the next tab labeled “North and South Tornado Cleanup Project” below.
  • Hazard Tree Removal:

  • • Efforts by trained Forest Service specialists to remove hazardous trees within the developed areas impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes have quickly restored access to almost all roads and facilities throughout the unit. The intent of hazard tree removal is to fell storm-damaged and dead trees along roads and developed areas to provide for access and improved safety. Hazard tree reduction along roads allows forest management, fire suppression, and post-storm recovery activities to continue safely within areas impacted by the tornadoes. Cutting hazard trees also allows storm-impacted areas to be safely reopened to public access.
  • • We strongly urge the public to not cut, clear, or remove any storm debris on their own, as these storm-damaged trees are extremely dangerous.
  • Trail Detours:

  • • Detours have been created around impassable portions of the North/South Trail. Portions of the Ft. Henry Trail System and North/South Trail remain impassable. Follow the Alerts page for the latest detour and trail updates.
  • Road Repairs:

  • • While road clearing has been completed from storm damage, visitors should use caution on roads, as there is still repair work being done and there is damage along the roads. There is still the potential that trees could fall. If you come in contact with downed trees, please email lblinfo@usda.gov to report them. You can also message us on Facebook @LBLNatlRecArea. Please do not attempt to move, cut, or clear any storm debris as it is extremely dangerous.
  • Initial Assessments of Impacted Areas:

  • • From our initial assessments, we determined that we have sizable and different levels of landscape damage.
  • • We were fortunate to have a team of skilled forestry specialists from our Enterprise Department and the Shawnee National Forest assist with assessing damaged timber stands after the December 2021 tornadic events. The teams were comprised of Silviculturist Foresters, a Silviculture Technician, and multiple Forestry Technicians. These specialized crews mapped the perimeter of the damaged areas, took measurements from pre-designated locations, measured the diameter at breast height, length, percentage of defects in the trees, calculated the number of trees per acre (basal area), and marked trees in preparation for potential salvage sales.
  • • Wildlife staff have assessed several openlands (fields) across the north and south tornado paths and reported the northern path impacted more of the openland habitat than the southern path.
  • • Initial surveys were completed to assess impacts to watersheds, soil destabilization as a result of timber blowdown, and impacts to roads, culverts, and other infrastructure from increased runoff and sedimentation.
  • • The Christmas Bird Count was completed post-tornado and hosted by the Woodlands Nature Station. Bird counts at Land Between the Lakes surpassed our highest tally records for red-shouldered hawks, American crows, and white-crowned sparrows, and met our highest record of wood ducks. Additionally, we have two rare birds to report this year: a Golden Eagle (immature) and a Fish Crow.
  • Shoreline Debris Cleanups- Volunteers Needed:

  • • The Friends of Land Between the Lakes (LBLA) are hosting volunteer shoreline cleanups throughout the year. We are so grateful to our volunteers who have worked hard to make these cleanups such a success!
  • • If you are interested in helping with future LBLA shoreline cleanup events, please email: volunteer@friendsoflbl.org and/or follow the LBLA Facebook page: facebook.com/FriendsofLand
  • • Living Lands and Waters is also looking for volunteers. Please email Rachel Loomis at rachel@livinglandsandwaters.org for more information.

North & South Tornado Cleanup Project

Project objectives are to clean up the effects of the tornadic storm events of December 2021 by removing some of the damaged and downed timber in the impacted areas to protect life safety and promote resilient forests. Learn more using the links below:

Salvage Sale Information

Safety in Tornado-Impacted Areas

    How can I have a safe visit to Land Between the Lakes?

  • • Numerous downed and damaged trees have resulted in impassible trails, dangerous conditions, and public safety concerns in impacted areas. Before your visit, check the Alerts page on our website for storm and recovery-related closures and notices. Maps and trail information are available at the Golden Pond Visitor Center and/or our website.
  • • Do not enter tornado-impacted areas. Storm-damaged trees can fall unpredictably, causing injury or death. You are responsible for your own safety. Use extreme caution when travelling through storm-impacted areas.
  • • Please do not attempt to move, cut, or clear any storm debris as it is extremely dangerous.
  • • While road clearing from the tornado damage has been completed, visitors should use caution on roads. Repair work is ongoing and there is the potential that trees could fall. Please report any downed trees to LBL as it is safely possible via phone (270.924.2000) , email (LBLInfo@usda.gov), or Facebook Messenger (@LBLNatlRecArea).
  • Storm-damaged hazard trees are incredibly dangerous and can cause serious injury or death.

Volunteer Opportunities

    Shoreline Debris Cleanups: Volunteers Needed!

  • • The Friends of Land Between the Lakes (LBLA) and Living Lands and Waters will be hosting volunteer shoreline cleanups throughout the weeks and months ahead. The first cleanup was held along the shoreline of Twin Lakes Camping Area and Boat Ramp on 1/22/22. We are grateful to our volunteers who worked hard to make this a successful event!
  • • If you are interested in helping with future LBLA cleanup events, please email: volunteer@friendsoflbl.org. Cleanup events are also posted on the Friends of Land Between the Lakes Facebook page.
  • • Living Lands and Waters is also looking for volunteers for shoreline cleanup events. Please email Rachel Loomis at rachel@livinglandsandwaters.org for more information.
  • Smiling volunteers after a very successful post-tornado shoreline cleanup! Photo by Joel Quimby.


    Shoreline Debris Cleanups: Volunteers Needed!

  • • Check our Flickr page often for photos of storm damage, shoreline cleanups, and recovery efforts.

About NEPA

    NEPA at Land Between the Lakes

  • • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) is our basic charter for protection of the environment and for public disclosure of environmental effects. NEPA establishes policy, sets goals, and provides means of carrying out the policy.

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