New Partnership Provides Landowner Assistance In Range Health Improvements

PRATT ­– The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, in cooperation with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, Ranchland Trust of Kansas, and Kansas Grazing Coalition, are excited to announce a new partnership designed to assist landowners with range management and improvement projects. Termed the Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP), the newly-formed partnership will aim to improve overall range health in the Smoky Hills region of Kansas by providing cost-share assistance to landowners. The Smoky Hills are important to cattle producers and numerous wildlife species, but both are being threatened by invasive trees, noxious weeds and other sources of degradation. The RCPP seeks to address some of these issues and ultimately improve the health of Smoky Hill rangelands.

The RCPP will focus on 16 counties within the core of the Smoky Hills, with wildlife biologists designated for specific areas. Some land management practices that will be available for cost share under this collaborative effort include brush management, herbaceous weed control, prescribed burning and prescribed grazing. Landowners interested in more information about this partnership are encouraged to contact their local wildlife biologist for the county in which their land is located.

For counties Ellsworth, Russell, Lincoln, Saline, and Ottawa, contact James Svaty at (785) 658-2465 ext. 204. For counties Smith, Osborne, Jewell, Mitchell, Republic, and Cloud, contact Lucas Kramer at (785) 545-3345. For counties Washington, Clay, and Dickinson, contact Clint Thornton at (785) 461-5095. For Marion County, contact Jeff Rue at (316) 772-2706. For McPherson County, contact Kyle McDonald at (620) 662-2799.