Public meeting to discuss Flint Hills conservation initiative

A meeting in Wichita tonight will focus on a proposed initiative to preserve ranching culture and wildlife habitat in the Flint Hills.

The Flint Hills Legacy Conservation Area Initiative proposes that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service buy up to 1 million acres of voluntary conservation easements within 14 Kansas counties.

Conservation easements would prevent the land from being developed but would allow private ownership.

The counties are Butler, Chase, Chautauqua, Cowley, Geary, Greenwood, Elk, Lyon, Marion, Marshall, Morris, Pottawatomie, Riley and Wabaunsee.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is seeking public comment at a meeting at 5:30 tonight at Great Plains Nature Center, 6232 E. 29th St. North in Wichita.

Another meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Cottonwood Falls Community Building in Cottonwood Falls. A meeting in Alma drew about 50 people Monday night.