U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE
 
 Mountain-Prairie Region  Partners for Fish & Wildlife
COLORADO  KANSAS  MONTANA  NEBRASKA
NORTH DAKOTA  SOUTH DAKOTA  UTAH  WYOMING
 
Conservation Strategies

Threats

Presently, a variety of issues threaten the stability of the region. Some of these are as follows:

  • Invasive species
  • Fragmentation
  • Lack of state and federal incentives to manage prairies in a sustainable manner
  • Decline in agricultural profitability
  • Loss of native plant and animal diversity
  • Lack of public understanding of the value of native prairies

Conservation Strategies

Native Prairies

The cornerstone of the Kansas Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program is the recognition that in order to save the prairies, we must first keep the ranching community healthy and on the landscape. This premise is facilitated by working through producer organizations such as the Kansas Livestock Association, the Kansas Farm Bureau, and numerous other state, federal, and private partnerships.

The Kansas Partners Program works hand in hand with private landowners to tailor conservation projects to truly fit the needs of the individual producer and the needs of the environment.

As an example, invasive species control benefits both ranch profitability and biological diversity. The two together generate stability. Assistance with improved grazing strategies can lead to improved profit margin and greatly improved habitat for a large number of prairie species, such as the lesser and greater prairie chicken.

In general, native prairie restoration and enhancement projects average $50 per acre to complete.

Kansas prairie restoration in the Comanche Pool area photo

Prairie Streams

Protecting and enhancing streamside corridors improves fish and wildlife habitats and water quality by limiting livestock access. Riparian restoation activities cost about $6,000 per mile of stream.

Kansas stream restoration in Sedgwick County photo

Wetlands

Wetland restorations provide economic opportunities in the form of recreational use and, at the same time, offer tremendous water quality and trust species benefits for society as a whole. A "win-win" project is the definition of success for the Kansas Partners ProgramThe cost of wetland restorations in Kansas is currently estimated at $400 per acre.

wetland restoration in Douglas County photo

Priorities

Native prairie is our number one priority. Tallgrass prairie is considered to be the most altered biome in North America, making it a habitat type of concern. Grassland nesting birds are the fastest declining guild of birds in North America today. Preservation efforts of the prairie ecosystem will be through educational and financial alliances/partnerships, on-the-ground grassland management assistance and grassland easement programs.

Playa lakes, other wetlands and riparian areas are the second priority of the Kansas Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program conservation efforts. Wetlands and riparian areas have been significantly altered in Kansas, especially playas, oxbows and saline wetlands which are considered habitats of special concern.

Our long term goal is to restore and enhance wildlife habitat for migratory birds, waterfowl, and threatened and endangered species. It is our goal to prevent further listing of plant and animal species within the state and to show positive gains in terms of acres preserved or restored relative to all habitats of concern.


Future Needs

  • New conservation partnerships with 100 landowners per year.
  • Restore/Enhance 150,000 acres of native tallgrass prairie per year.
  • Restore/Enhance 150,000 acres of mid and short grass prairie per year.
  • Enhance 30 miles of prairie streams per year
  • Restore 500 acres of wetlands per year.

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