History was made in Kansas Thursday when officials of the Kansas Land Trust, Fort Riley Army Post, and state and federal government officials signed a conservation easement, placing almost 7,000 acres of Flint Hills prairie in permanent conservation management.
The land owner, Rod Moyer, is a third generation Flint Hills rancher who wanted to insure that the land amassed by his family would remain a working ranch for generations to come.
Fort Riley wanted to be sure that the land, which borders the sprawling and growing post that houses the Big Red One, would be safe from development that might not be compatible with the future of the post.
State and federal conservation officials wanted to make sure that as much as possible of the last remaining 4 to 5% of the Tallgrass prairie that once covered most of the Midwest will be preserved.
Money for the easement came, in part, from the closure and sale of an Army ammunition plant at Parsons, utilizing a provision of the Base Realignment And Closure (BRAC) legislation that closed the plant.
It was the first time ever that money derived from the sale of a military installation was used to secure a land trust conservation easement.
For more about the Moyer Ranch conservation easement, be sure to read the September Kansas Farmer.