Prairie Spirit Rail Trail may become newest state park

A bill that would declare the Prairie Spirit Rail Trail a state park has passed the Kansas House and is headed to the Senate committee on natural resources.

Chris Tymeson, Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks lawyer, said including the hiking/biking trail in eastern Kansas within the state park system would allow it to use park fees. The change would also increase the trail's chances of gaining federal grants.

An amendment on the same bill would require Wildlife and Parks to re-open a western entrance to Tuttle Creek State Park. Currently, automotive access is through an entrance at the eastern side of the park.

If approved, re-opening the closed entrance would cost the agency about $50,000. Tymeson said park managers prefer one entrance to better control traffic and increase public safety.

A bill that would designate little bluestem as the official grass of Kansas passed through the house and is expected to go to the senate.

Parkinson to hunt — Officials with the Governor's Turkey Hunt said Gov. Mark Parkinson will participate in the April 15-17 event in El Dorado. He'll be the fifth Kansas governor to hunt in the event since its beginning in 1987.

Though it's been many years, Parkinson did some upland bird hunting when he was younger. Mike Hayden will be his guide. Hayden initiated the event when he was governor and is now KDWP secretary.