Manhattan — The beauty of the central Kansas' Flint Hills will be getting some national attention later this month.
National Geographic magazine plans a 22-page story about the Flint Hills in its April issue. The story will have photos from Lindsborg photographer Jim Richardson with the text by Verlyn Klinkenborg.
Richardson proposed the Flint Hills landscape story to National Geographic editors two years ago as part of the magazine's ongoing coverage of the nation's great landscapes.
"It was important that the photographs allow our readers to see the Flint Hills in both their grand geologic scale and also in seasonal detail," Richardson said.
He started work in spring 2006 as ranchers started to burn off the hills to keep seedling trees at bay and allow fresh grasses to grow. His work ended last winter.
Richardson said he has been captivated by the Flint Hills since he was in his first job as a news photographer at The Topeka Capital-Journal. That was about 30 years ago.
"I would photograph the Flint Hills, but they were always frustrating," Richardson said. "I never was able to really capture them, to show what I felt when I was there."
The story will introduce National Geographic magazine's 9 million subscribers to a rare landscape and ecosystem that Richardson believes some people in his home state take for granted.
"It is time that we all learned to stop looking beyond the borders of our state for inspiration, learn to see what has been here all along and cherish what we have. The Flint Hills should never play second fiddle to our nation's more recognized landmark landscapes."