Flint Hills Legacy recognized
U.S. Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar was joined by U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran and senators from three other states last week during a ceremony recognizing new U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service conservation areas.
The Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area in Kansas was one of the new projects highlighted.
A series of voluntary, perpetual conservation easements make up the 1.1 million acres included in the Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area. Agreements with landowners in the area will help maintain the integrity of the tallgrass prairie wildlife habitat, water quality and the agricultural heritage of the Flint Hills.
The refuge officially was established in September when Bill and Peggy Sproul of Sedan donated a conservation easement on a portion of their Flint Hills ranch in Chautauqua County.
Key partners in the project include the state of Kansas, The Nature Conservancy, USDA, Ranchland Trust of Kansas (an affiliate of the Kansas Livestock Association) and Kansas Land Trust.
Other conservation areas dedicated during the ceremony were the Tulare Basin Wildlife Management Area in California, Dakota Grassland Conservation Area in South Dakota and North Dakota, and the Cherry Valley National Wildlife Refuge in Pennsylvania. — WLJ