Daily Archives: December 31, 2016

Scenic ranch preserved in the Flint Hills

 

The Kansas Land Trust celebrates the preservation of the Youngmeyer Ranch in Elk County. This 4,700-acre prairie nested in the Flint Hills will forever be preserved as a working ranch. Owned by the Earl W. Jr. and Terri Youngmeyer Family Foundation, this prairie will also be an ecological research site for Wichita State University. Over 500 prairie plant species have been documented on this site including rich biodiversity indicator species such as green dragon, bottle-brush sedge, ground-plum milk vetch, bread-root scurf-pea, inland ceanothus, and two-flower celestial-lily. This prairie also provides rich wildlife habitat for the greater prairie chicken.

 

KLT gives special thanks to Daniel Offidani, trustee for the Youngmeyer Family Foundation, and their funding partners. Over the past several years the Kansas Land Trust collaborated with National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to conserve over 16,000 acres, including the Youngmeyer Ranch, through a Native Environment Conservation Plan with financial support from Tradewind Energy and Enel Green Power North America, owner and operator of the Caney River Wind Project.

 

Working with their partners, KLT will invite you to a dedication of this conserved prairie next spring.

January brings Bald Eagles to Kansas

 

Seeing a wild bald eagle is always a thrill and thanks to conservation efforts, our nation’s symbol is more common than ever. However, if you want to optimize your viewing opportunities and learn more about eagles and other birds of prey, plan to attend Eagle Day at Milford Reservoir on Jan. 14, 2017. This is the best time of year to see bald eagles in Kansas, when large numbers of these amazing birds congregate around lakes and wetlands.

 

Eagle Day will feature a series of educational programs at the Milford Nature Center: “Raptors” at 9:15 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.; “Owls” at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m.; “Nesting Eagles In Kansas” at 10:45 a.m. and 1 p.m.; and “Birds Of Prey” at 3:15 p.m. Live eagle programs will be conducted at 10 a.m., 12:15 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. at the Starbird Classroom. The Kids’ Tent will have activities and crafts for youngsters, and all visitors will be treated to hot chocolate and popcorn courtesy of the Milford Friends.

 

Bus tours to view wild eagles will leave the nature center every half-hour, beginning at 9 a.m. and continue through 2 p.m. There is no charge to attend any of the programs and the bus tours are free, as well, thanks to B&B Busing. Entrance to Milford State Park is also free on January 14, so Daily Vehicle permits are not required. For more information, contact the Milford Nature Center, 785-238-5323 or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Milford Office, 785-238-5714.

 

Other eagle day events will occur at various locations during the month of January, including the Kaw Valley Eagle Days at Lawrence Free State High School, Jan. 21, 2017. Go to www.kawvalleyeaglesday.com for more information. And be on the lookout for notices of other eagle day events at lakes near you.

Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams hosts playa workshop

 

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) is conducting a free Playa Lake Workshop and Tour on Jan. 10-11, 2017. The event will feature an optional landowner tour on Jan 10, followed by the workshop at Finnup Center For Conservation Education, 312 E Finnup Drive in Garden City on Jan. 11. Landowners with an interest in playa lakes and wetland conservation should make plans to attend.

 

The Jan. 10 playa lake tour in Lane County will feature onsite demonstrations from playa lake landowners. Information provided also includes advice on program cost delivery and how playa lakes can be managed for better conservation, recharge and recreational enjoyment. Sharp Brothers Seed Co. will be provide lunch at their headquarters in Healy.

 

The workshop will feature speakers who have decades of experience in playa lake management, ecology, hydrology research and program cost delivery. Three local landowners will share their personal experiences with playa lakes on their farms and ranches. Lunch will be provided.

 

To register for the free conference, go to the KAWS website, www.kaws.org. For more information contact Joe Kramer, [email protected], Mary Howell, [email protected] or Jessica Mounts, [email protected].