The Kentucky Nature Preserves Commission (KNPC), established by the Kentucky General Assembly in 1976, is mandated to protect Kentucky's natural heritage by establishing a system of nature preserves. The Kentucky Natural Heritage Program, a computerized data base, is employed by the KNPC as a method of identifying, monitoring, managing, and analyzing those features of our natural history considered threatened with extirpation from the state. These features include biological species, biological communities, ecosystems, geological structures, caves, or any type of natural feature. In 1981, under contract with the Office of Special Projects, Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet, KNPC conducted a preliminary survey of the Kentucky "Knobs" Oil Shale Region. The primary objective of this study was to obtain environmental data to facilitate the recognition of environmentally sensitive areas in the Kentucky Oil Shale Region. Information sources included the Kentucky Natural Heritage Program, field surveys, scientific literature, aerial photography, museum data, and contact with other scientists. During the study, 103 sites were visited, of which 16 were identified as being ecologically significant. Results of the study outlined in this paper are summarized in "Preliminary Assessment of the Ecology and Ecological Features of the Kentucky "Knobs" Oil Shale Region".