Grasslands need disturbance to thrive. For decades, cattle have taken the place of grazing bison and elk.
Ranching in the Red Hills Grasslands need disturbance to thrive. For decades, cattle have taken the place of grazing bison and elk. ©: Harland J. Schuster

Newsroom | The Nature Conservancy

December Application Deadline for Kansas Grazing Lands Protection

More than $1,000,000 available to Flint Hills and Red Hills landowners implementing voluntary conservation practices.

The Nature Conservancy and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announce an opportunity for landowners in the Flint Hills and Red Hills (also called Gypsum Hills) to enroll in conservation programs. In 2016, the two organizations joined in a multi-year agreement to deliver financial assistance to landowners improving the health of some of the last native prairie in Kansas.

“We are proud to participate in the Regional Conservation Partnership Program and help landowners steward the land they love,” said Kris Knight, director of conservation for the Conservancy. “This funding offers support to those who wish to voluntarily complete conservation practices on their grasslands or grazing lands.”

Funding is provided through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) and can be used toward the removal of eastern red cedar trees, invasive species control for sericea lespedeza and other species, grazing management planning, and controlled fire. In addition, EQIP funds can be used to remove dead cedar trees that burned in the 2016 and 2017 wildfires in south-central Kansas to prevent the re-sprouting of more cedars under the dead trees.

The next two sign-up deadlines for EQIP are December 21, 2018 and March 15, 2019. Interested property owners should contact their local NRCS office. For more information, visit the Kansas NRCS Web site www.ks.nrcs.usda.gov/programs or your local U.S. Department of Agriculture Service Center.  

The Nature Conservancy is a global conservation organization dedicated to conserving the lands and waters on which all life depends. Guided by science, we create innovative, on-the-ground solutions to our world's toughest challenges so that nature and people can thrive together. We are tackling climate change, conserving lands, waters and oceans at an unprecedented scale, providing food and water sustainably and helping make cities more sustainable. Working in 72 countries, we use a collaborative approach that engages local communities, governments, the private sector, and other partners. To learn more, visit www.nature.org or follow @nature_press on Twitter.