The 12-member board was established by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1994. Five members are appointed from state government agencies, one each from the Kentucky Department for Natural Resources, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, Department of Parks, Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission and the Environmental Education Council. Seven members of the board are private citizens, selected by the governor from nominations by conservation groups, the Kentucky Academy of Science, agricultural interests and natural resources industries.
The citizen members serve without pay and give their time for the quarterly board meetings and function as very active committees of the board. These committees review and visit project application sites, review and monitor site stewardship, and provide advice and recommendations on other issues coming before the board.