Archive for Thursday, June 4, 1998


June 4, 1998


Kansas residents will get to give their opinions on what should be done with Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve.

Proposed plans for the future of the 11,000-acre preserve is the topic of a meeting from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. today in the Regency A room in the Lawrence Holidome, 200 McDonald Dr.

The meeting is one of four open houses being held to help determine the fate of the preserve. Other meetings were held in Chase County, Council Grove and Wichita.

``We've had a lot of interest,'' John Donaldson with the National Park Service said.

Officials said the open houses are being held to hear concerns about possible uses for the park. Five alternatives are being presented.

Donaldson said the open house will have five stations, each staffed with someone to describe the alternative presented and answer questions.

The five options for the preserves include making no changes; concentrating on preserving and interpreting cultural resources like the ranch house; managing use of the preserve in high, moderate and dispersed areas, which limits access to certain areas; focusing on the ranching in the Flint Hills and the tallgrass prairie ecosystem; and showing a landscape of virgin tallgrass prairie.

Preserve officials will use the comments from the four meetings to determine a final plan by late summer. Another series of workshops will be held later for further comment.

Congress created the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in 1996. The National Park Service named a 13-member advisory panel to map the future of the park, located two miles north of Strong City in east-central Kansas.

Legislation creating the preserve mandated that programs be offered to cover the natural history of the prairie, the cultural history of American Indians and the legacy of ranching in the Flint Hills region.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.