Archive for Friday, July 13, 2012

Kansas River designation is one of two conservation events being noted

July 13, 2012


Two conservation events in Kansas are being celebrated this week.

On Saturday, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Gov. Sam Brownback will announce the designation of the Kansas River as the newest addition to the National Water Trails system.

"We are thrilled this is happening," said Laura Calwell, the Kansas Riverkeeper. "This really recognizes the Kansas River as a recreational resource for the state," Calwell said.

She said the national designation will provide funds for highway signage that will direct people to boat and canoe access ramps along the river.

Adding the Kanas River, often called the Kaw, to the National Water Trails system will make the river more widely known, officials said.

The designation "will draw additional visitors to experience the recreation and great outdoors along the Kansas River," said Linda Craghead, assistant secretary for the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism.

Salazar, Brownback and others will hold a news conference on the river designation at the Flint Hills Discovery Center in Manhattan.

Another conservation development is the dedication of a $6 million visitor center and headquarters at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in Strong City.

Salazar and Secretary of Health and Human Services and former Kansas governor Kathleen Sebelius were to be on hand Friday for that event.

The preserve is co-managed by the National Park Service and Nature Conservancy.

Both the National Water Trails designation and new facilities at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve are part of President Barack Obama's "America's Great Outdoors" initiative.

Obama unveiled the initiative in 2010 to work with states, communities, conservation groups and others to establish a conservation ethic and to reconnect Americans, especially young people, with the natural world, according to the White House.


Christina Ruiz 5 years, 10 months ago

The designation event will be held at 9:00 a.m. this Saturday, July 14 at the Flint Hills Discovery Center, 315 South Third Street, Manhattan, Kansas. The public is welcome to attend.

Clark Coan 5 years, 10 months ago

The governor is also going to rededicate the Flint Hills Nature Trail at that time.

hujiko 5 years, 10 months ago

"Adding the Kanas River, often called the Kaw, to the National Water Trails system will make the river more widely known, officials said."

LJW: may wish to revise.

classclown 5 years, 10 months ago

Just don't eat any fish from it.

Or does that only apply to east of Lawrence?

Joe Hyde 5 years, 10 months ago

All rivers worldwide see natural cyclic periods of high water and low water. On the Kaw the channel volume fluctuations during the last 50 years have often been caused by the hand of man, in the form of controlled releases from 18 federal lakes situated in the river's huge drainage.

The weird thing from Junction City downstream is sometimes there's high water in the channel when nature's intent would normally be lower water, and lower water levels when nature's intent would normally be higher water -- the rest of the time, use your imagination. The Kaw is one of the most human-controlled rivers in America.

Nevertheless, the Kansas River is one of America's best canoe/kayak trails. Mostly for daytrips and overnight camping trips. But during periods of favorable water levels and weather it's an outstanding prairie stream for unsupported wilderness-style long distance canoe/kayak tripping.

More people who live along the river or in the valley no longer take the river for granted but acknowledge the Kaw as a resource worth protecting, improving, personally enjoying. Float trips involving ultralight camping gear and high-tech paddlesport gear, that sort of fun was not going to stay a secret forever.

I am happy and grateful that Governor Brownback agreed with and supports this National Water Trails designation. Many good things will come of it, as we'll see over time.

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