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    Posted May 22, 2014 by
    Topeka, Kansas

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    The Nature Conservancy in Kansas Celebrates 25th Anniversary


    Topeka, KS. May 22, 2014 — This year marks the 25th anniversary of The Nature Conservancy in Kansas. The Conservancy invites the public and media to attend a special celebration at Smoky Valley Ranch in Logan County, KS on June 7 from 9-5p.m. Come experience one of the natural gems of Kansas and help the Conservancy celebrate its past and future in Kansas.

    The Kansas office opened in 1989, but the Conservancy has engaged in projects in Kansas dating back to 1965. When the office opened, it ushered in a new era for the Conservancy’s work in Kansas. The Conservancy has protected over 95,000 acres of land across the state including tallgrass prairies, wetlands, mixed-grass prairies and short-grass prairies.

    Smoky Valley Ranch encompasses 17,000 acres of diverse wildlife and a rich cache of natural and human history. The event will showcase Smoky Valley Ranch as the vehicle for delivering the Conservancy’s mission throughout Western Kansas. The ranch demonstrates a place where short and mixed grass prairies have converged and where the balance of a healthy prairie ecosystem and a profitable ranching operation has taken place.

    During the event, visitors can take a driving tour of the ranch and hope to catch a glimpse of a pronghorn, golden eagle or jackrabbit. Visitors will get to hear about long-term goals for the ranch, including collaborative educational efforts and research projects on ranch management. Other activities include a hike that will take visitors to scenic and diverse sites on the ranch; and presentations about the history of the ranch, including the role of Native Americans and bison. Lunch will be provided for this event.

    To get an accurate food count, we ask that attendees RSVP to the Kansas office at sstacy@tnc.org or 785-233-4400 by Wednesday, June 4, 2014.

    Ken Weidner is a living history enthusiast who creates reproductions of Plains Indians’ materials. Local and national historical societies and museums have displayed his art, including two saddles displayed in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. Weidner will set up a historically accurate tipi and show some of his handmade materials at the event.

    Mike Baughn, is a researcher and documentarian from Brewster, Kansas who is active in several historical associations. He is the 3rd District Thomas County Commissioner and has held a wide variety of local political positions like Mayor of Brewster and Thomas County Sherriff. Baughn will present on the settlement era history of the ranch and surrounding areas.

    The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.

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