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Kansas Wildlife & Parks Strategic Plan 2005

Kansas Wildlife & Parks Strategic Plan 2005

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Published by shootingcouncil
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is mandated to protect and conserve Kansas’ wildlife and habitats, and to provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate those resources. The Department is further tasked with keeping the public informed as to the well-being of those resources. The challenges confronting the Department to succeed in balancing these responsibilities are numerous and complex. The Department provides access through our parks, wildlife areas, and lakes, and through leasing, creating easements or other agreements, taking into consideration the long term impacts on natural resources that can occur in attempting to meet the public’s demand for quality outdoor experiences.
The Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks is mandated to protect and conserve Kansas’ wildlife and habitats, and to provide the public with opportunities to use and appreciate those resources. The Department is further tasked with keeping the public informed as to the well-being of those resources. The challenges confronting the Department to succeed in balancing these responsibilities are numerous and complex. The Department provides access through our parks, wildlife areas, and lakes, and through leasing, creating easements or other agreements, taking into consideration the long term impacts on natural resources that can occur in attempting to meet the public’s demand for quality outdoor experiences.

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Published by: shootingcouncil on Jun 29, 2012
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09/01/2014

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A diverse assemblage of wildlife inhabits the grasslands, prairies, woodlands,
wetlands, croplands and waters of Kansas. Wildlife distributions extend into Kansas
from the eastern hardwood forests, Ozark Plateau, Rocky Mountains and along the
major flyways that extend from Canada to Central and South America. Migratory
waterfowl, passerine and shorebird species, as well as some mammals and
invertebrates, make stopovers during migration, while some species are permanent
residents of Kansas.

Historically, the Department primarily manages for "game" or harvested wildlife
species. This management approach included purchasing land, developing, maintaining
and operating wildlife areas (habitat based, which benefits all species), and conducting
scientific research for the purposes of hunting and trapping. These activities are
primarily funded through the sale of hunting licenses and reimbursements under the
Pittman-Robertson Federal Aid in Wildlife Restoration Act (PR). Eligible undertakings
under the Act are “1) Projects having as their purpose the restoration, conservation,
management, and enhancement of wild birds and wild mammals, and the provision for
public use of and benefits from these resources; 2) Projects having as their purpose the
education of hunters and archers in the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary to be a
responsible hunter or archer.” (50 CFR Section 80.5) Federal funds collected as excise
taxes on hunting and recreation shooting equipment and ammunition are proportionately
distributed back to the states. The Department reimbursement for PR projects is about
$3,000,000 per year.

Hunting expenditures also bring millions of dollars to the state's economy.
According to the 2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife Associated
Recreation, expenditures in Kansas were $236 million for hunting.

Quality of habitat is essential to the well-being of wildlife. Quality is determined
by an area's ability to provide the vital needs of those wildlife species living on it.
Juxtaposition of different habitat types is also key to providing wildlife needs. A high
level of habitat quality enables wildlife populations to adjust to detrimental changes
caused by such factors as severe weather and disease. The better the habitat quality
present on large tracts of land, the more diverse and healthy all Kansas wildlife
populations will be. If the Department is to maintain Kansas' current wildlife resource
base, the quantity, quality of habitats must be protected, restored and enhanced on
public and private lands.

Twenty-seven percent of the 3.6 million days of hunting by licensed resident
hunters (2001 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting, and Wildlife-Associated Recreation,
US FWS, 2003); occurred on public lands. Ten percent of hunters reported difficulty in
gaining private land access as a primary reason for not hunting more (Hardt, 1990,
Responsive Management, 2001), and 2% of non-hunters cited lack of access as the
reason for not hunting and 9% of respondents who did not hunt expressed interest in

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hunting. In response to this problem, in 1995 KDWP developed the Walk-in Hunter
Access program, using $150,000 to lease private lands for public hunting access. It has
been very successful. This program has grown since its inception from about 10,000
acres to over 1 million acres available annually for hunting during the fall seasons and
the spring turkey season.

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