The Kansas branch of the Nature Conservancy is aiming their conservation efforts at Kansas’ Red Hills, an expanse of prairie located in the southern and western regions of the state. The group is a nonprofit organization who works towards instilling eco-friendly land practices across the globe.
The group is focusing on the Red Hills with a $1 million initiative, intended to “acquire conservation easements,” according to The Kansas City Star. The Red Hills, named for the characteristic red hue of the soil, mostly remain unharmed due to its primary use as rangeland. However, mineral extraction, wind energy, and development pose threats to the conservation of the prairie lands.
The conservation easements the Nature Conservancy hopes to receive would mean landowners would give up any rights to developing the area.
Another concern is the growth of the cedar tree population, which endanger the prairie wildlife and cause difficulties for ranchers. The Nature Conservancy plans to work cooperatively with landowners over the next three years to meet a goal of conservation easements on a minimum of 5,000 acres.
“Five thousand acres I would characterize only as a good start,” Rob Manes, the Kansas state director of the Nature Conservancy, said in an interview with The Kansas City Star.
The group plans to receive the conservation easements through donations or purchases.