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KLT & Fort Riley

Preserving Prairie Through Partnership

Over 11,000 acres of native prairie, forest, and working farmland surrounding Fort Riley are now protected forever from development, thanks to our partnership with the Army. This land is protected via the Army Compatible Use Buffer Program—a federal program specifically designed to identify priority land around military installations, and which allows military facilities to partner with other governmental entities and environmental organizations to share the substantial cost of acquiring conservation easements from willing landowners. KLT offers the legal and technical assistance and guidance to make these complicated conservation transactions happen.

A Win-Win Situation

How the win-win-win situation breaks down:

  • Through the ACUB program, Fort Riley provides funds to KLT so that we can buy the development rights on lands abutting Fort Riley
  • KLT uses these funds to pay willing landowners for the purchase of their development rights
  • Benefit #1: local ranchers and farmers participating in the program are able to preserve a treasured way of life and conserve their lands from urban development. Forever.
  • Benefit #2: the military can sustain its mission of training and readiness without having to worry about development encroaching on the base’s borders.
  • Benefit #3 : valuable open space and habitat is protected forever.

What is Being Preserved

  • the largest free-ranging elk herd in Kansas
  • a complete suite of tallgrass prairie birds: Greater Prairie-Chicken, Upland Sandpiper, Grasshopper Sparrow, Dickcissel , and more
  • 233 plant species
  • 43 species of mammals
  • 223 species of birds
  • 40 species of reptiles and amphibians
  • 50 species of fish

More Information

Need more information on our partnership with the ACUB program? Contact Jerry Jost, Executive Director.

Want to help steward the lands where the elk and the prairie chickens dance? Go here.

The Native Environment Conservation Plan

Preserving Flint Hills Prairie

Thanks to generous funding through native prairie mitigation efforts, KLT and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation along with support from Enel Green Power of North America and Tradewind Energy are working together to conserve another 16,478 acres of pristine native prairie in the heart of the Flint Hills. The goal of this program is for KLT to purchase development rights from landowners on high quality native tall grass prairie, to assure that these precious resources stay in their native form—forever.

Program Priorities

  • Contiguous parcels of land of 1,000 acres or greater
  • Parcels containing at least 80% native tall grass prairie
  • Opportunities to leverage NFWF funding through other programs, such as the Agricultural Conservation Easement Program
  • Lands located generally within the "Heart of the Flint Hills"
  • Opportunity to partner with landowners on experimental and traditional restoration and conservation strategies

Natural Resource Focus

  • Conservation of high quality native tallgrass prairie
  • Protection of habitat for the benefit of Greater Prairie Chicken and other grassland birds, migrating birds and nesting birds
  • Protection of grassland dependent wildlife

More Information

For more information about the Native Environment Conservation Plan and to see how you can be a part of this effort, contact Jerry Jost, KLT’s Executive Director