TV’s Bill Kurtis selling part of Red Buffalo Ranch near Sedan

04/12/2012 5:00 AM

04/12/2012 6:40 PM

Bill Kurtis, the nationally known television documentary host and producer, is selling 3,600 acres of his famed Red Buffalo Ranch near Sedan.

Since the late 1990s, Kurtis has bought land in Chautauqua County as well as several turn-of-the-20th-century buildings on Sedan’s Main Street. Sedan is best known for being the hometown of Emmett Kelly, one of the more well-known clowns in U.S. history, and for billing itself as having the “world’s longest yellow brick road.”

Kurtis said Thursday that the land for sale is on the north end of his ranch.

“Selling it is like cutting off an arm,” he said. “It is beautiful.

“But the story is that we are coming out of this recession, and I wanted to clear some debt. I do have a note with the bank, and I want to settle that.”

Kurtis is not selling the portion of the ranch that includes Butcher Falls, four miles northwest of Sedan, where water from the Middle Caney Creek drops about 10 feet over one of the most scenic waterfalls in Kansas. His ranch also features a rock sculpture by Kansas artist Stan Herd.

“The water falls, the buffalo — I’m keeping all of that,” Kurtis said. “There are parts of it that looks like the Adirondacks in Kansas. It is a beautiful lay of the land in this river valley with the bluffs.”

The 3,600 acres is being offered for sale in six tracts. Three of the tracts are land; the other three include all seller’s minerals associated with tracts 1 through 3. The auction is 10 a.m. on May 17 at the Sedan Country Club.

The land, about 95 miles southeast of Wichita is part of the Flint Hills region of Kansas, the last significant example of the tallgrass prairie in North America. Less than 5 percent of the nation’s prairie remains.

The land Kurtis is selling also has a home and outbuildings, is fenced, and has two good sets of working pens. It is prime hunting ground for whitetail deer, turkey, prairie chicken and quail.

“There are three different kinds of people who are driving the price up,” said Kurtis, who grew up near Independence. “There are the oil people, people in Texas who are looking for cattle to graze, and Wichitans.”

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