The seeds of the Kansas Land Trust grew from a vision rooted in a tragedy which occurred on November 16, 1990. Under the cover of darkness, the Elkins Prairie, a 70-acre prairie west of Lawrence, was plowed. The Elkins Prairie was destroyed to hasten development. The senselessness of that loss catalyzed the founders of the Kansas Land Trust to start an organization which creates conservation easements. These easements enable private landowners to leave a conservation legacy for future generations. In perpetuity through this legal tool, the Kansas Land Trust sustains private land ownership and protects the conservation values of these properties. The picture on the lower right is the remnant of the Elkins Prairie. As you envision a vibrant prairie there instead of this development site you start to realize the difference the Kansas Land Trust makes upon our Kansas landscape.
Leah Pistorius is a senior at the University of Kansas from Fairway. An industrial design student,Leah’s passion is bringing design and the environment together in a responsible way. She will beattending the Ecosa Institute for sustainable design this spring in Prescott, AZ.Leah Pistorius, Stewardship Intern, and Shane Morrisey, Legal Intern, Fall 2008Zack Pistora and Andrew Roland, Stewardship Interns, and Shane McCall, Legal Intern, Summer 2008
Kelly Kindscher, Beth Schultz, Kyle Gerstner, Edward Robinson III, Don Worster, Bev Worster
Bev Worster and Hal Kunze
Bill and Bo Stueck
Shady Grove String Band with Jeanne Fizell
Lance Burr, Bev Worster, Jason Fizell
RoxAnne Miller The Army Compatible Use Buffer (ACUB) program is an integral tool in the Army’s quest to achieve sustainability and to integrate the “triple bottom line” of mission, environment and community. Army installations are increasingly experiencing encroachment on their mission capabilities from a variety of sources, including population growth, urban land use and environmental requirements. Encroachment from such factors can cause costly workarounds or compromises training realism. The ACUB program proactively addresses constraints on how an installation can use land inside its borders to support its mission, while also achieving conservation objectives.
Bob Lieneman, Kevin Religa NRCS, Irene Johnson Conservation District ManagerKLT partners with the Riley County Conservation District as they manage the Garzio easement.
KLT partners with the City of Lawrence as the city creates public walking trails in the Lichtwardt easement.
This is an aerial view of two KLT easements which are managed by the City of Lawrence and will potentially serve as future public parks.
As we celebrate the work of the Kansas Land Trust through 2008, 31 conservation easements protect 6,069 acres.
KLT partners with ECO2, a long-term plan in Douglas County to balance industrial development with open space preservation, to build support for a new conservation easement to protect the Baldwin Woods.Baldwin WoodsRay Wilber & Cathy Dwigans John & Gloria Hood256 acresTotal Cost: $576,000The first conservation easement tract, owned by Ray Wilber and Cathy Dwigans, is 141 acres of mature oak-hickory forest and replanted native grass. The second conservation easement tract, owned by Common Land Farm, L.L.C., is 115 acres of mature oak-hickory forest and fescue pasture. Preservation of these tracts fits four of the designated “Open Space” categories: Scenic, Historic, Integration, and Natural Areas. The Baldwin Woods was part of the historic landscape of Douglas County and is at the western edge of the eastern deciduous forest. Surveys from the 1850s show that the Baldwin Woods area comprised approximately 3,700 acres of forest. In 1980, the Secretary of the Interior designated the Baldwin Woods a National Natural Landmark in recognition of its ecological features and exemplary conditions. The Kansas Biological Survey has documented especially high levels of both plant and animal diversity in the area. However, a report by the Biological Survey mentions increasing development and fragmentation of the Baldwin Woods ecosystem as serious concerns. Several tracts of land are already protected in the Baldwin Woods. The University of Kansas owns three reserves: the Wall Woods, the Breidenthal Biological Reserve, and the Rice Woodland. Baker University manages a preserve known as the Ivan L. Boyd Woods. The Douglas State Fishing Lake and Wildlife Area also protects a large area of the Baldwin Woods. In 2001, the landowners of the Proposed Open Space Property approached KLT about their desire to preserve the land through the sale of a conservation easement. Further indication of the landowners’ conservation ethic is the enrollment of former agricultural land on Tract One of the Proposed Open Space Property in the Conservation Reserve Program.At the base of the sandstone cliffs on the Proposed Open Space Property and near Coal Creek, there was a mesic prairie that was a popular picnic site and community recreation area for special events, such as graduation, during the years 1870-1940. Combined, the four university reserves, state park, and the proposed conservation easements would protect 1,031 acres of the Baldwin Woods. In 1980, the Secretary of the Interior designated the Baldwin Woods a National Natural Landmark in recognition of its ecological features and exemplary conditions. Natural features on the Proposed Open Space Property include mature forest, habitat for rare and threatened species, and rock outcrops. Tract Two of the Proposed Open Space Property also includes a riparian area along a tributary of Coal Creek. Plant surveys on the University of Kansas’ preserves have documented sixteen plant species considered rare by the Kansas Biological Survey. Two state designated Species in Need of Conservation (SINC) are known to occur in the Baldwin Woods: Whip-poor-will and Cerulean Warbler. A Kansas threatened species, the redbelly snake, has also been recorded in the Baldwin Woods. These species are likely to occur on the Proposed Open Space Property.What is ECO2? A long-term plan for the advancement of industrial/business parks and open-space preservation. Guiding PrincipalsLandowner participation in the industrial/business park and open space development program would be voluntary. No funds generated through ECO2 would be used for condemnation of property. Partnerships with developers, land trusts, and other parties positioned to advance the dual goals of open space preservation and economic development would be emphasized to maximally leverage available funds. The dual goals of open-space preservation and economic development are inextricably linked and would be pursued concurrently without favoring one over the other.ECO2 CommissionersTrudy Rice, Chairman Larry McElwain, Vice Chairman Bruce LieseJohn Pendleton Bob RhotonRoger Boyd Roxanne Miller Rex Buchanan
49 acresDaughter Barbara and Jeff Weber
KLT works with the landowner to create a baseline report which documents the land uses and conservation values of the protected property.
As KLT works with Bob Haines to create a baseline report, the following exhibits are documented.
This is one of the many maps within the baseline report. It shows boundaries, pasture roads, water sources, springs, and riparian areas.
A plant identification list similar to this will be developed for this property.
A parcel ownership map becomes an exhibit in the baseline report.
Since neighboring easements enhance the conservation values of a protected property, adjacent easements are documented.
As you advance through the next 6 slides, you catch a glimpse of the beauty of these easements.
A topographic map is created.
A soil map complemented by soil type descriptions are included in the baseline report.
Photographs are taken on the property and they are indexed on a map.
This is an example of the picture tour of a protected property.
An environmental assessment is completed.
Also there are many steps to closing an easement. This is just a short list.
KLT plans to close a new easement in the Flint Hills with Ken Muller in Morris County in 2009.
This a view of the Muller property.
Kent and Rose Bacon created a conservation easement with KLT in 2006. The Bacon easement is in the upper right indicated by the blue boundaries. The successful example of the Bacon easement encouraged Ken Muller, a neighbor of the Bacons, to partner with KLT in creating three new protected parcels. The Muller protected properties are illustrated on the left side of this aerial map. Leapfrogeffect of word of mouth referrals to KLT : Bacons to the Muellers
Tenzie Oldfather, pictured here, contributed generously to KTL’s “Recharge the Flint Hills” campaign fund helping to make the Muller easement possible.
May 2008 Akin Wildflower Walk
KLT is developing conservation easements on the following six properties.185 acres on three RW Farms easements
Caleb Strauss 280 acres
Howell Johnson 236 acres Geary County
Mark Mohler 260 acres Clay County
KLT is committed to being a steward in perpetuity of our conservation easements. Annually we monitor each easement. On average this requires about a day per easement. KLT is also committed to being able to defend the conservation values of a property should a future landowner violate the terms of an easement. To do this, KLT requests a stewardship contribution with each easement. These contributions are invested in a stewardship fund to enable KLT to carry out its monitoring and enforcement responsibilities.2007 Kingsbury Foundation research 26 conservation easement accountedAverage 7 hours per easement monitoring with no violationsCost over time is $13,226/easement
Jason Fizell listens to Rose Bacon on a monitoring visit.
Jesse Nelson, a volunteer with KLT, monitors an easement in Linn County.
KLT will be placing new conservation easement signs on protected properties in Douglas County.
KLT also benefits from the synergy of art and stewardship.
The year 2008 was a year of transitions for the Kansas Land Trust.
Doug Guess 1939-2008We lost a dear friend of KLT last fall. DougGuess, the author/artist who created the note cardsmany of you have purchased and sent all over thecountry, passed away October 30. He also created Walkingthe Prairie, a beautiful collection of his paintings andpoetry. His wife, Ruth Ann, was instrumental in editing,compiling and preparingthe materials for the book.They have supplied both thecards and the book to KLT at their expense,so that we might sell them for someextra income, but more importantly, for the pleasure they bring.And Doug and Ruth Ann have surely known the pleasure of a prairie! The20-acre native prairie that stretches out from their farmhouse in western DouglasCounty is among the most pristine in the region and has been the site for many KLTwildflower walks. Protected December 12, 2002, by a KLT conservation easement, itwill forever bloom as a legacy to Doug and Ruth Ann, a source of pride and inspirationfor their many grandchildren and ours as well.A KU Professor Emeritus in Special Education, Doug authored or co-authoredmore than 100 professional publications, making significant contributions to hisfield, primarily for children. His nurturing disposition seamlessly permeated hismore recent roles as Grandpa and artist of the prairie.
KLT also has the opportunity to create a sustainable organization to provide ongoing stewardship of our conservation easements.
KLT’s mission is both unique and compelling as it creates tangible and enduring outcomes – easements in perpetuity. All the pieces of an organization are aligned working together in an artistic designConsistent set reinforcing signalsResiliency to weather stormsCreating an organization that lives long after usSelf sustaining, with deep roots to survive challenging times.All of this is dependent upon you as members, supporters, volunteers and ambassadors for our shared mission
KLT grows sustainability in our organization by building on our shared vision, tapping into individual passions and strengths while being a good steward of our resources.
KLT creates a sustainable organizationas we integrate a new generation of members and leaders in our organization.
We see the sun rising on one our future easements. Theseeasements are our legacy to the future offspring of the earth. The Kansas Land Trust is our legacy to future generations.
The seeds of KLT’s sustainability grow from teaching individuals the value of protecting our natural resources. KLT welcomes your continued membership, participation in our educational events, and support with our conservation easement work. Together we are leaving a conservation legacy for future generations.
Lisa Grossman, Diane Simpson, RoxAnne Miller Smith, Sandra ShawRoxanne Miller, the executive director for KLT since 2001, pursued an new career opportunity with the Catawba Land Conservancy in North Carolina in early 2008.
Steve for starting his Master’s degree in ecology at KU.
Jason Fizell who earlier served as District Director for Congresswoman Nancy Boyda became the new Executive Director in April, 2008.Growing up in Olathe on the edge of suburban development's push into the countryside—and having deep family farm roots in Michigan—developed my great concern anddrive for protecting and preserving our ecological and agricultural heritage. Of course,these are only my own particular reasons for pursuing conservation work—we each haveour own motivations and inspirations.A little about me: I am a graduate of the University of Kansas with abachelor's degree in history. My undergraduate honors thesis focused on the OgallalaAquifer in western Kansas. I most recently served as Congresswoman Nancy Boyda'sDistrict Director. From 2001 to 2003, I was executive director of the Kaw Valley HeritageAlliance, an early off-shoot of KLT, dedicated to protection and promotion of the KansasRiver watershed. In the intervening years, I worked for nonprofits and in business developmentin Washington, D.C. My wife, Sarah, a seventh-generation Kansan, and I havesince settled in Topeka.
Carol Huettner joined the KLT team as Office Manager in October 2008. To this position she brings her backgroundin research, legal administration, and records management. She holds a BA in economics from Dartmouth Collegeand an MBA in marketing from Hofstra University. Formerly a resident of New York and Pennsylvania, Carolhas come to appreciate the subtle yet profound beauty of the Kansas landscape. She has regularly participated inthe Downtown Lawrence Farmers’ Market as a vendor of heirloom flowers and herbs.
Kansas Land Trust "Year-in-Review"
the seed is
Photo by Bruce Hogle, Muller property, Morris County
Rough Blazing Star
Nurturing an Organization for
The Kansas Land Trust
preserves lands of
ecological, scenic, hist
oric, agricultural, or
significance in Kansas.
Photo by Elizabeth Stevens, Muller property, Morris County