On Friday, October 14, 2016, the Kansas Land Trust sponsored a gathering in Reading, Kansas to show how conservation easements can be used to preserve farms and ranches in perpetuity.
The event was held in the Reading Community Building and hosted by Linda Evans, a landowner who has preserved 860 acres of land near Reading. Over the last several years, KLT has worked with the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation with funding support from NRCS, Enel Green Power North America, and Tradewind Energy towards conserving over 16,000 acres in the Flint Hills.
In addition to KLT members and landowners, the gathering also included almost 20 representatives from organizations in Kansas and beyond who are dedicated to establishing and maintaining land preserves throughout the state of Kansas. Each representative had the opportunity to outline their goals and processes for preserving land and natural habitats for present and future generations. It was also an opportunity for these representatives to meet each other to explore ways they might work together on future conservation projects.
Following the presentations, the attendees visited Linda Evans' easement. In the field Kelly Kindscher, Professor of Environmental Studies at KU, spoke briefly about the various grasses and plants found on the land and the numerous research projects that explore medicinal and healing uses of many native Kansas plants. Alex Miller, District Conservationist with NRCS, and Alex Lyon, wildlife biologist with KDWPT, described cost share options to benefit grazing, hay meadows, and wildlife habitat.
Afterwards, attendees were free to roam through the acreage to get a feet-on-the ground feel for this beautiful property.
Chris Holman, a law professor at UMKC, teaches classes on land and natural resource preservation. He is a master gardener and enjoys fly fishing. Chris recently joined the KLT Board of Directors.
Thanks to Elaine St. James for
her contributions to this article.
--Jerry Jost, KLT Director