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Old 07-26-2017, 04:14 PM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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As a former Nat. Resource & Park Mgmt major @ KSU, I've long held an interest in Kansas public lands. For years, it was common knowledge that KS was 50th in per capita public lands; lands used for recreation, and as such are counted as positive for Quality of Life issues when companies consider locations attractive to top-notch employee prospects.

In the last year. someone commented on a KS thread elsewhere, that KS was now 49th! It has taken me some Googling to find documentation:

US States Land Ownership by Percentage:
Rank / State / % that is Public Land / % that is Private Land

49 / KS / 1.9% / 98.1%
50 / RI / 1.5% / 98.5%

Public and Private Land Percentages by US States : Facts & Information : SummitPost

How did this happen? Did KSDWP&T finally sell Lake Inman* for private resort development?

*Lake Inman is a small lake in McPherson County, KS. With a surface area of approximately 1/4 square miles, it is the largest natural lake in the state.

Honestly, I believe KS beat Rhode Island by losing population! What a novel approach to increasing per capita public lands in KS without taking lands off the tax rolls by adding parks or something like the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (I witnessed the locals fight that back in '79).
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Old 07-26-2017, 05:14 PM
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The population data comes from the 1991 census.

Lake Inman is not privately owned.
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Old 07-26-2017, 09:32 PM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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THANX for checking the date on that. KSDWP&T has added a small parcel (~ 300 acres ?) adjacent to Toronto Lake last year. Perhaps the new HorseThief Reservoir (KDWP&T states a 450 acre lake) increased the total acreage.

Yes, I knew Lake Inman was now owned by KDWP&T. They refused to admit that back in the late 80s. My wife worked for McPherson County as Cartographer. Digital mapping of the County & review of ownership, showed Lake Inman not to be either private or public property. Kansas Fish & Game at the time did NOT want ownership. The county eventually forced them to accept it. It later became part of the McPherson Wetlands.

My wife later worked for a Fed Agency & met with KDWP&T, EPA, CoE & NRCS to propose mitigation for construction projects. Many developers would seek mitigation by land transfer. KDWP&T would never accept additional lands.

KDWP&T has attempted to entice the U.S. National Whitewater Center to build a whitewater rafting facility at Clinton Lake State Park. KDWP&T suggested Douglas County take on $70 million in star bond obligations. The boondoggle would remove 40 acres from public access, thus further reducing per capita public lands in KS.

Whitewater group explains how $70 million Clinton Lake project would be funded; it involves help from the public and a new shopping center | Town Talk / LJWorld.com
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:34 AM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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Default 50th in 1995!

Here's a table produced in 1995 by the National Wilderness Institute ranking KS as DEAD LAST in "state and federal government ownership of lands open to public access."

The table addresses the inclusion of military installation, but notes access may be limited.

Fort Riley is one such example. About 71,000 of the installation's 101,000 acres are managed for multiple-use, including wildlife management. Hunting is allowed on Fort Riley when compatible with the post's primary mission of military training.

Since 9/11, access points have been reduced & exterior fencing increased. IF you're coming from the N, you must travel to the gates now open, all on the opposite end of the reservation. The circuitous routes add 2 hrs roundtrip to an outing. For a time following 9/11, access was eliminated => further cinching KS' 50th place.

I'm not bothered by further restricting recreational access to Ft. Riley for security (I retired from there). I am bothered by Junction City & Manhattan bragging about hunting acreage @ Ft. Riley. All hunters must now complete a KS hunter safety course, regardless of age (new DoD reg). And it results in per capita public land acreage varying on a daily basis.
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:10 PM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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Default Well, KS can dig itself out of 50th, Right?

This method was undertaken with a KDWP&T experiment last year @ John Redmond Reservoir. Siltation had reduced the dam's water storage to the point flow dedicated to refilling Wolf Creek Nuclear Plant's cooling lakes' evaporation loss was in jeopardy.


the silt contained concentrated agricultural pollutants which => potential EPA Superfund Site, one dump truck @ a time. I don't know where the contractor dumped the silt.

the original estimate of cubic yards of silt was way way low. I believe the contract was amended 3 times.

get the feeling, like I do having worked at J. R. 4 summers, that it will take less time to refill the silt load & return to considering a do-over. I never did get down to J. R. to see the driftwood jam on Jacobs Creek from the 1993 flood. The obnoxious odors (rotting wood & carcasses) wafted into the nearby Jacobs Creek cabin private property. I don't know how many years they lived with the stench. Dynamite was suggested at one point.

expense => IMHO I believe the added expense of increasing the original contract woke up the CoE & KDWP&T that this was not the future route for restoring all the other KS CoE reservoirs.

The CoE & USF&WS permitted farmers leasing Govt. lands @ Flint Hills NWR & John Redmond Res to farm right up to the bank (rather common practice in KS). That is where efforts to prevent siltation of reservoirs can be economically feasible, IF not popular. It is my understanding that Neosho River was named by the native americans' Neosho = color of a cow elk in summer.
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Old 07-27-2017, 01:56 PM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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I welcome suggestions!

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Old 07-27-2017, 02:03 PM
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Fort Riley has a huge amount of Federal land for their artillery range. I would be quite surprised if any of it is public.

I don't have much of an opinion on if Kansas should have more public lands. The places that should be protected, for the most part are.

According to the article we are 42nd in Federal Land, not including military land. 46th in state owned public land, and 50th in combined owned public lands.

I just skimmed through and didn't see total amounts, but there is a map of Federally owned land on page 9. From 2003, I couldn't find anything more recent from a short search.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:14 PM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
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"The places that should be protected" I don't really see much being protected in KS.

Having a background in range mgmt., I see all the invasive red cedar encircling Tuttle Creek Reservoir. Failing to manage range burning => buildup of combustible materials; as happened in OK & S. KS this past year (see Eric Stonestreet PSA).

Tuttle Creek Res has 2 large marinas & 2 smaller ones, abandoned since at least '92. The CoE did a dreadful job of estimating lake elevations; and built at least 4 parks which have been abandoned (well portions of Pott County's Carnahan Creek are useable, sometimes).

The S part of Randolph State Park was renovated a few years back to support horseback riding. AFAIK, all work by volunteers. The trail connected Randolph N & S to the abandoned Garrison park way to the South. Unfortunately, the landowner adjacent to Randolph S. reneged on access & the trail was abandoned.

The KS Dist. CoE decided to return "excess" lands in the district to the original landowners, I believe back in the 1980s. Those were "excess" because they hadn't yet been inundated (see Flood of '93) & weren't contiguous with park lands. This resulted in an irregular border of the public lands, where originally the CoE property line usually coincided with roadways. This fostered the practice of landowners posting "NO TRESPASS" & "NO HUNTING" signs on fenceposts that don't really reflect which land is private, & which is CoE; but instead, give one the impression the entire area is PRIVATE.

KDWP&T has a strong agricultural bent => AFAIK, leases still permit a form of income not controlled by Topeka. I worked with a mgr who could not get his leasees to leave wheat stubble as protection for young pheasants. Got to get that next crop in! Income > habitat protection when your agency has been squeezed beyond turnip.

Nearly all of KS public lands, federal & state, are present only due to flood control or water storage projects (State Fishing Lakes). There are a few the result of land donations: Sand Hills State Park (Dillon family resort); Mushroom Rocks S. P. (This is a 5 acre park that was donated to the Kansas Park and Resource Authority by the Ellsworth County Historical Society in 1965.)

Mushroom Rock State Park

The CoE-designed campgrounds were sited above the dam & adjacent to imagined water levels. The Bureau of Reclamation followed that pattern with Cedar Bluff Reservoir. Over the years, anything not tied down at the original imagined lakeside campgrounds has been drug down slope to wherever the water level has receded to. The campers decided on where campsites should be . . . not anyone interested in protecting the resource. IF you go to a state fishing lake, you'll witness the results of decades of drive wherever you want to policy which has not "protected" any resource.

I have a philosophical difference of opinion regarding public lands access. I don't believe in charging admission for day use. Imagine a city park system where you had to pay admission to access a picnic table, swing, toilet. Why is the state park system different? IF they don't have a fishing license, visitors are not supporting state fishing lakes. Many State Fishing Lakes receive heavier usage than nearby State Parks. One reason, the water level doesn't vary wildly.

The CoE used a cost-benefit analysis to establish the rationale for building all its dams. Recreation was one of the benefits. When a reservoir reaches the state of John Redmond, or Tuttle Creek, it is easy to see the recreation benefit was over-estimated, based upon facilities abandoned decades ago. Those reservoirs were supposed to have a 50-year lifespan, as was the recreational benefit.

IMHO, any additional public lands in Kansas should be dedicated to lands not adjacent to flood control projects. Something such as Monument Rocks, which was auctioned off in 2012.

Monument Rocks on the auction block
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Old 07-30-2017, 05:06 PM
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Is there anything you like about KS?
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Old 07-31-2017, 11:36 AM
Location: Riley Co
373 posts, read 452,487 times
Reputation: 518
Default Kansas Was Great

. . . we tolerated being fish out of water here in our native state for a lifetime.

I've been thinking about a new thread for this forum: Bucket List / Been There, Done That

Bucket List

Big Brutus

McPherson College annual auto-restoration car show.



Prairie Chicken Booming Ground => Took my 81YO mother to see one @ Konza Prairie, outside Manhattan, 12 years back. We've seen 3-4 other booming grounds (leks).

Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty Pageant commemorates the great Peace Council of 1867 between the U.S. and the civilization of the Plains Indians. September 22, 23 and 24, 2017 Medicine Lodge Indian Peace Treaty

The Walnut Valley Festival is held the third weekend of September every year. Bluegrass, folk, arts+crafts and more. We got out of our car on the far end of the parking. Another car pulled up next to us, & Doc Watson got out. September 13-17, 2017. https://wvfest.com

Eldridge Hotel, Lawrence Across the street from Liberty Hall. We stayed there the night The David Grisman Quintet performed. Back in our room, my wife realized members of the quintet were in the next room, playing instruments!

Manhattan Arts Center Birdhouse Acoustic Music Series We've attended since Day 1. Many great acts, which played in Lawrence the day before/after, for > $/ticket! The Prairie Window Concert Series@ Dyck Arboretum. in Hesston, has many of the same performers.

Prairie Window Concert Series - Dyck Arboretum

Due to KSU's propaganda campaign to bring the NBAF here; how KSU media relations colluded with The Manhattan Mercury; etc . . . I can't really enjoy anything KSU-related. Prior to 2008, we enjoyed the annual open house (Roamin' in the Rumen is gone); McCain concerts, Beach Museum of Art, Dairy Bar, Gardens & Insect Zoo. I do still utilize Auditory Services Lab.
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