Hutchinson agreed, and said the commission doesn't have the resources to make the preserve into the ecological star it could be.
"It's not that the parks commission doesn't care about the property," Hutchinson said. "We have very few employees, and we don't have a lot of money."
Resources are also an issue for the Charleston Land Trust, Lane said.
"Part of the key is having a group that's really interested," Lane said of the financial feasibility of taking on the preserve.
The state of the preserve has proven to be a challenge to address, Ellis said. With diseased hemlocks, overgrown grapevines and storm-damaged trees, the health of the forest is in jeopardy, Ellis said.
"With [KCPR] approval, we went ahead and got funding for that," Ellis said.
Trail management and wetland preservation are also a top priority for the WVLT, Ellis said.
But the KCPRC doesn't have the capacity or funds to address those issues, Hutchinson said.
"We are a recreation department. We maintain and operate recreational facilities," Hutchinson said. "It's totally different than anything else we do."
Reach Rachel Molenda at rachel.mole...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5102.