Daily Archives: September 1, 2014

Sand Hills State Park Open for Reservations

Popular park in RenoCounty now offers camping facilities

Visitors can now reserve a campsite at SandHillsState Park, located just north of Hutchinson, two miles east of the K-61/56th Street intersection. The park is a 1,123-acre natural area of sand dunes, grasslands, wetlands, and woodlands. It features 64 utility camping sites, 44 of which have water, sewer, and electricity, and 20 with only water and sewer. All sites have 50-amp service. Twenty sites have concrete pads and camping areas to assist campers with disabilities, and 14 of the sites have horse pens. Long-term camping is available, and modern cabins are planned for the future. A camp host is on the site, and a new park office is expected to open soon.

Campers can view more information, check on campsite availability and make reservations forSandHillsState Park by visiting www.ksoutdoors.com/State-Parks/Locations/Sand-Hills or by visiting www.reserveamerica.com and searching for Sand Hills State Park, KS.

Popular activities at the park are hiking and horseback riding. Other activities include hunting (through the Special Hunts Program), bird watching, wildflower walks, jogging and simple relaxation in the country. There is a 15-mile system of eight interpretive, hiking and horseback riding trails that weave among the 10- to 40-foot high sand dunes, through grasslands and trees, and around ponds.

For 40 years, SandHillsState Park has been a favorite outdoor destination, but the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) was able only recently to develop camping areas at the park. The formerKansasPark and Resources Authority (KPRA) acquired 640 acres of land from the Kansas State Industrial Reformatory in 1974, establishing the original park area. Shortly afterward, the Dillon family of Hutchinson donated an adjacent 320 acres. With the donation, the KPRA was able to acquire another adjacent 163 acres, creating the present-day park.

For more information, contact the CheneyState Park office at (316) 542-3664.

50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, September 3rd, 1964

Ansel Adams Wilderness, California.

Ansel Adams Wilderness, California.

Richland Creek Wilderness, Arkansas photo: http://hikingtheozarks.com/events/

Richland Creek Wilderness, Arkansas photo: http://hikingtheozarks.com/events/

After more than sixty drafts created over an eight year period, the Wilderness Act of 1964 was signed into law by then President Lyndon B. Johnson. After signing it, he was quoted to have said: “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”

Written principally by Howard Zahniser of the Wilderness Society who steered it through many congressional hearings, it defined wilderness as: “A wilderness, in contrast with those areas where man and his own works dominate the landscape, is hereby recognized as an area where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

This document is as significant as any written that attempted to prevent irreversible and everlasting damage to our nation’s natural heritage. Even Lewis & Clark recognized that the country would change forever after their expedition across the Louisiana Territory.

In spite of overwhelming popular support across the country to add approximately 30 candidate areas for designation as Wilderness, the United States Congress remains stagnant and indifferent.

To learn more about the Wilderness Act visit http://wilderness.org/article/wilderness-act

To learn more about what people are doing to celebrate the Wilderness Act visit http://www.wilderness50th.org/media.php