Guidelines focus on species in greatest need of conservation; public input deadline July 1
PRATT — The State Wildlife Grants (SWG) program has provided funding for wildlife conservation programs for more than 10 years. In Kansas, this has meant nearly $10 million for many kinds of projects designed to keep species off threatened and endangered lists. Notable projects funded through this program include the Prairie Window Project by Dyck Arboretum at Hesston, which helped landowners restore and maintain native prairies; the compilation of a substantial amount of new information on the status and distributions of sensitive species; and a project that assessed natural areas of northeast Kansas.

The use of these funds has been guided by the Kansas Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Plan (CWCP), entitled "A Future for Kansas Wildlife.” Found on the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks (KDWP) website, (Other Services/Kansas CWCP/Kansas CWCP), this plan was approved in 2005 as a requirement before Kansas could obtain and apply additional SWG funds. Now KDWP is in the process of revising this dynamic plan, with the revision scheduled for completion in 2013.

The first step in this process is a review of the basic native species list. This is the list of all vertebrate species as well as many invertebrate animals to be considered for potential changes on the Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) list. There are currently 316 species on this list, and this plan update will consider all needed changes — those to be added to the list, deleted from it, or name changes according to the latest information.

“A Future for Kansas Wildlife” on the KDWP website also includes Appendix II, which describes the process by which any native species will be evaluated for possible listing as a SGCN. Top ranked species on this list are given priority in projects funded through the SWG program. This is an opportunity for the public to look over the native species list and recommend any needed changes. Find the list under “Kansas CWCP Updates and Revisions” under “Other Services,” as well as further instructions for this process.

July 1 is the deadline for recommending changes to the Native Species List. Then work will begin on re-evaluating the Species of Greatest Conservation Need. Use the contact portal on the website to submit any recommendations.

For more information, contact Ken Brunson at 620-672-0792 or email him at .