Grants aim to open private Kansas land to public for hunting, fishing

Members of the public will have more opportunities to hunt and fish on privately owned farms, ranches and in forests through projects funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the agency announced Monday.

Kansas is among 15 states that will receive $20 million worth of federal grants to encourage land owners to open their property voluntarily to wildlife-related recreation.

“These projects are excellent examples of USDA’s successful efforts to connect public and private partners for long-term conservation gains that benefit sportsmen, wildlife, private land owners, and the public,” USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack said in a statement.

In Kansas, where the state’s Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism owns or manages less than 1 percent of the land, the $2.7 million grant will go toward leasing private land or making incentive payments to encourage landowners to open their properties to the public and improve wildlife habitats.

The expanded public access program should increase opportunities for fishing in the state, where many streams are privately owned, USDA officials said.

Other states awarded grants include Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Oregon, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

Grant information

For a full list of grants by state, go to www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/programs/farmbill/?cidnrcseprd388655.