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This 1997 photograph of a sign just outside Cottonwood Falls on Kansas Highway 177 is an example of the controversy that surrounded the formation of the nearby Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, formerly the Z-Bar Ranch.
Initially, the Flint Hills communities surrounding the proposed park were supportive, but then opposition developed. According to National Park Service document "Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Legislative History, 1920-1996" most local business owners were supportive but many ranchers had overall concerns about federal involvement and federal land ownership with some ranchers specifically concerned about land being lost by eminent domain. The park proposal became a divisive and heated issue between the two community groups.
In the end, an unique compromise was reached with a public/private partnership between the National Park Service and The Nature Conservancy. Today, the 10,894-acre Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is the only unit of the National Park Service dedicated to the preservation of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem.
According to a National Park Service study, 13,548 non-local visitors in 2013 fueled $849,400 in spending at the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve and in communities near the park.
- No to tallgrass prairie preserve sign 1.jpg
- © John L. Dengler
- Image Size
- 8256x5556 / 25.9MB
America Chase County Cottonwood Falls Flint Hills Flint Hills National Scenic Byway Fox Creek Highway 177 Hwy 177 K-177 Kansas Kansas Highway 177 Kansas State Highway 177 NPS National Park Service North America Spring Hill Farm and Stock Ranch TAPR Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve U.S. US USA United States United States of America Z Bar Ranch horizontal nature no people nobody outdoors scenery sign signage skies sky sundown sunrise sunset
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- Flint Hills prairie - Kansas