Annual Report for 2015

A Historic Conservation Effort
 
I was one of the founders of the Kansas Land Trust 25 years ago. At that time, a small group of Lawrence conservationists recognized that we needed a new pathway in the state to protect significant parcels of prairies, forests, and cropland.  We had been recently disappointed that a local prairie gem, the Elkins Prairie, had been lost to the forces of development and was plowed “for higher use”.  This prairie was perhaps the best remaining high-quality prairie left in Douglas County and was a location where botany classes at KU would go to learn about prairie wildflowers and grasses. We needed to conserve lands before that time of escalation of land value and politics, and it was suggested that conservation easements could be the legal means to protect land, as willing landowners could give or sell their development rights to a non-profit, such as KLT.  So our first challenge, which I led, was to successfully get the Uniform Conservation Easement Act passed.


 As a researcher and scientist at KU at the Kansas Biological Survey, I have studied what happens to native prairie after it is plowed and farmed.  In our detailed study of prairie restoration at the KU field station, recovery of lost species is very slow. These species will not all come back, for a very, very long time.
 
The Kansas Land Trust had made amazing progress since we were founded and we have legal agreements for 65 conservation easements that protect 31,895 acres of land (native prairies, forests, and cropland). The total value of the conserved land is over $24 million! In order to address changing conservation needs and long-term organizational security, we downsized staff- hiring an external accountant and an external audit firm to follow industry best-practices. Currently, we have a long-lasting, stable and lean organization to monitor and protect our easements. We have significant financial reserves that are restricted for use in our annual monitoring and to defend them legally if needed. This investment strategy ensures our long term ability to fulfill our mission. This past year, Jerry Jost, a long-term KLT land steward, took on the Executive Director role.  We welcomed three new board members who bring a breadth of knowledge from the state and local perspectives. As a board, we are directly involved in securing and protecting conservation easements. We are all highly invested in making sure that the mission KLT will continue in perpetuity! Please consider increasing your support for that effort.
 
Kelly Kindscher, KLT Board President


Gaining Ground

Thanks to your generous support of the Kansas Land Trust, we gained significant ground in 2015. KLT preserved five special properties protecting 6,153 acres in a record breaking year. The vast majority (92%) of these lands were tall grass prairies in the Flint Hills.

 

Every dollar you contributed in 2015 dollar leveraged another $54 to protect special places in Kansas. The appraised conservation value of these lands totals over $3.2 million.
 
KLT did all of this record breaking conservation work while downsizing to one employee (the Executive Director) thanks to an excellent team including a dozen board members, interns, consultants, and volunteers. KLT is a lean and a highly productive change agent!
 
KLT currently preserves and protects 65 properties covering 31,895 acres (this is 2.7 times the size of Manhattan, KS). Over 1,100 of those acres have public access. Already in 2016, KLT has preserved an additional 2,106 acres of tallgrass prairie with plans to protect another 6,571 acres. If these plans are successful, 2016 will be another record setting year.

Only your continued support makes these ambitious plans possible. Every $100 donation allows us to preserve another five acres of Kansas wildness! Please consider an additional gift today.

Jerry Jost, Executive Director



2015 Financial Report


Revenues

Your donations constitute 39% of KLT’s general operating expenses. These contributions bring stability and longevity to our shared conservation work. KLT has two other significant project partners. Since 2006, Fort Riley’s Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program provides service fees which support land preservation and KLT’s personnel, stewardship, and overhead expenses.

Since 2012, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through the Native Environment Conservation Plan also compensated KLT for personnel and overhead expenses. Together these partners contributed 45% of KLT’s revenue in 2015. Stewardship funds used for monitoring easements provided an additional 8% of total revenues. A Land Trust Alliance grant will provide support for future strategic conservation planning.



Expenses

Land trust work requires intense personal attention. Hence, personnel expenses made up 69% of KLT’s expenses. KLT contracts with Kohart Accounting, P.A. for our accounting needs, taxes, and financial statements.

These statements are shared monthly with our Board. Summers, Spencer & Company, P.A. conducts our annual audit. If you would like to understand our financial accounting process or our audit process, please call (785) 749-3297.


Stewardship and Grant Funds

With each conservation easement, KLTcommits to perpetual stewardship of the protected land. As a down payment for this stewardship commitment, KLTcollects stewardship funds for monitoring and enforcement. Over the past 25 years KLT has set aside over $850,000 for stewardship and enforcement. In addition, KLT has funds set aside for habitat restoration.

A Land Trust Alliance grant is temporarily restricted for strategic conservation planning. Book sale revenue within another grant is targeted towards conservation work in Douglas County. 


Current KLT Board Members
Beverly Worster, Burke Griggs, Chad Voigt, Chelsi Hayden, Chris Holman, Debra Baker, Julie Coleman, Kate Hauber, Kelly Kindscher, Mike Wildgen, Myrl Duncan, Scott Thellman, Susan Iversen

Interns and Volunteers during 2015
Interns: Ashton Martin, Austin Masters, Jiefang Ding
Volunteers: Bill Busby, Gary Tegtmeier, Natalie Aaron Wolfe

 


2015 Contributors
We extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation to these supporters who contributed to the Kansas Land Trust between January 1, 2015, and December 31, 2015. Please let us know if your name has been omitted or misspelled at jjost@klt.org. We regret any mistakes that might have been made.

Guardians
Anonymous, Youngmeyer Foundation

Stewards 
Bev and Don Worster, Burke Griggs and Emily Hill, Cathy Reinhardt, Clark Coan, Community Mercantile, Doug and Shirley Hitt, Elaine St. James, Gary Tegtmeier,  Jim Brothers Memorial Fund, Kelly Kindscher, Myrl Duncan, Kenneth Baum, Robert Barnhardt, Jr., Susan and Earl Iversen, Stueck Family Foundation, Tom Harper

Sustainers 
Beth Schultz, Bruce and Lucinda Hogle, donna luckey, Jan and Cornelia Flora, Elizabeth Miller and William Eakin, Evelyn Davis, Giles Thompson, Jennifer Kennedy, Kate and David Hauber, Katie and Ken Armitage, Rose and Kent Bacon, Michael Butler, Molly Mead Wood, Piersol Foundation, Pines International, Simpson Foundation, Sondra McCoy, Valerie Wright and Simon Malo

Caretakers
Barbara and David Clark, Cathryn Tortorici, Chris Kohart, Coco Johnston, Darcy Kunze, David and Carol Kyner, Debra Baker, Diane Simpson, Julie Elfving, Laurie Ward, Lynn Byczynski and Dan Nagengast, Lynn and Carolyn Nelson,  Lowell Paul and Sheila Reynolds, Marsha and Richard Marshall, Pfizer Foundation, Robert Ward, Ronald and Lisa Aul, Sheila Shockey

Keepers
Adam Rome and Robin Schulze, Alan and Phylis Hancock, Amy Lee and Richard Frydman, Ann Kuether, Audrey Wegst, B. Ted Meadows, Barbara and Richard Schowen, Bill and Anna Busby, Beverly Smith Billings, Candice Davis, Chad Voigt, Chelsi Hayden, Chick and John Hood, Daniel Donelin, Dawn Buehler, Dennis and Kristine Lane, Douglas County Community Foundation, Douglas and Elizabeth Martin, Eric and Mary Louise Stahl, Eugene and Pam Carvalho, Fred and Lilian Six, Harold and Melissa Rosson, Jacalyn and Dale Goetz, Joan and Peter Whitenight, Judith Dutton, Katherine Hoggard, Kelly Barth, Lynn and George Devins, Lynne Holt, Stephen Lerner, Steven and Cheri Graham, Steven Hamburg and Sarah Barker, Eric Stahl, Fred Six, Galen Pittman, George Coggins, Ginevera Moore and Mark McGrory, Greater Kansas City Community Foundation, Gregory and Joan Pease, Harold Rosson, Henry Marder, Jacalyn Goetz, Jack Skeels, Jerry Jost and Deborah Altus, Jerry  Stauffer, John and Rachel Miller, John Middleton and Susan McRory, John and Joan Strickler, Joseph Scranton, Joseph Bartels, Joyce and Ron Wolf, Julie Trowbridge-Alford, Kenneth  Muller, Kent Foerster and Beth Regier, L. Patricia Casey, Lori Heasty, Lowell Paul, Lynn Devins, Lynne and Robert Holt, Lynn Nelson, Marjorie VanBuren and Lynn VanBuren, Mark Miller, Martha Hagedorn-Krass,  Martha Jane Marples, Matthew and Tandy Leinwetter, Michael and Julie Campbell, Michael and Sara Niemann, Mike and Linda Wildgen, Nancy Thellman, Newton McCluggage,  Norman and Anne Yetman, Oread Friends Meeting, Patricia Casey, Peter Mancall and Lisa Bitel, Pete Ferrell, Richard Himes, Richard O'Kell, Richard and Martha Seaton, Roy and Marilyn Gridley, Bob Haines, Bob and Betty Lichtwardt, Regis Vialle, Rick Mitchell, Roger Boyd, Ron West, Roy Gridley, Ruth Gennrich, Wes Jackson,  Sabatini Family Foundation, Sanders Products, Sandra Strand, Scott Schulte, Sheila Shockey, Stan and Janet Roth, Stephen and Chris Edmonds, Stephen and Glenda Schmidt, Steve Lopes, Steven Graham, Steven Davis, Steven Hamburg, Steven and Marcia Hill, Thomas Shields, William McBride

Members 
Alison Watkins, Amy Bertrand, Ann Simpson, Ann Feyerharm, Austin Turney, Bianca Storlazzi, Bill and Erma Riley Family Foundation, Bruce Plenk, Burdett and Michel Loomis, Carleen Howieson, Carolyn Young, Charles  Wittig, Craig and Jane Freeman, Cristi Hansen, Dale Nimz, David Ambler, David and Sharyn Katzman, David Seamon, Dennis Brown, Donald Johnston, Donald Biggs, Douglas and Linda McKay, M.K. Chance-Reay, Nathan Bolls, Eileen Larson and John Naramore, Elizabeth Patton, Eugene Carvalho, Eugenia Bryan, Gary Bjorge, Georgann Eglinski and Ron Schorr, Ginger Chance, Gregory Pease, Helen Martin, Hillary Loring, Howell Johnson, James Hoy, James Hillesheim, Jason Fizell, Jeanne Pees, Jeannette Hierstein, Jill Erickson, Joan Whitenight, Joe Harrington, John and Betsy Edmonds, John Howard, John Simpson, Joy and Bob Lominska, Judith Dutton, Judith Major, Judith Roitman and Stanley Lombardo, Julie Trowbridge-Alford, Kate Meyer, Katherine Hoggard, Kerry Altenbernd, Kim Bellemere, Larry and Linda Maxey, L. Stephen Schmidt, Larry and Susan Seitz, Larry Shepard, Laura Aldrich-Wolfe, Laurance Price, Lauren Ritterbush, Linda Akin Renner, Linda Lungstrum, Linda Johnston, Lisa Eitner, Lisa Harris, Lisa Pool, Lynn Akerberg, Lynne Bodle, M. Ruth Fine, Madonna Stallmann and Paul Weidhaas, Marci Francisco and Joe Bickford, Margo Kren, Margy Stewart and Ron Young, Martha Hagedorn-Krass, Michael and Nancy Windes, Michael Campbell, Micheal Clodfelter, Mike Beam, Michael and Barbara Braa, Orley  and Toni Taylor, Patrick Suzeau, Paul Caviness, Paul Post, Pete and Sue Cohen, Phillip and Camille Korenek, Rex Buchanan, Rex Powell, Robert and Patricia Marvin, Ronald West, Ruth Gennrich, Ruth Fine, Sacie Lambertson, Sally McGee, Sandy Hull, Scott Schulte, Steven Stemmerman, Stuart and Susan Levine, Theda Davis, Thomas Atwood, Thomas Averill, Timothy Miller, Virginia Wulfkuhle, Water's Edge, William Arnold, William Dodd

 
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