"Millions of bison once roamed the Great Plains" by NPS , public domain

Tallgrass Prairie

National Preserve - Kansas

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Strong City. The preserve protects a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Of the 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American continent, less than 4% remains, primarily in the Flint Hills. Since 2009, the preserve has been home to the growing Tallgrass Prairie bison herd.

maps

Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Santa Fe - National Historic Trail

Official Visitor Map of Santa Fe National Historic Trail (NHT) in Colorado, Kansas, Misouri, New Mexico and Oklahoma. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Official visitor map of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (NPRES) in Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).Tallgrass Prairie - Visitor Map

Official visitor map of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve (NPRES) in Kansas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units

Map of the U.S. National Park System. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Park Units and Regions

Map of the U.S. National Park System with Unified Regions. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).National Park System - National Heritage Areas

Map of the U.S. National Heritage Areas. Published by the National Park Service (NPS).

https://www.nps.gov/tapr/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tallgrass_Prairie_National_Preserve Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas, north of Strong City. The preserve protects a nationally significant example of the once vast tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Of the 400,000 square miles (1,000,000 km2) of tallgrass prairie that once covered the North American continent, less than 4% remains, primarily in the Flint Hills. Since 2009, the preserve has been home to the growing Tallgrass Prairie bison herd. Tallgrass prairie once covered 170 million acres of North America, but within a generation most of it had been transformed into farmland. Today less than 4% remains intact, mostly in the Kansas Flint Hills. Established on November 12, 1996, the preserve protects a nationally significant remnant of the once vast tallgrass prairie ecosystem. Here the tallgrass makes its last stand. By Car: The preserve is located in northern Chase County, Kansas 2 miles north of intersection U.S. Hwy 50 and Flint Hills National Scenic Byway 177 (K-177) west of Strong City. Watch for brown attraction signs. 2 miles north of Strong City, KS on K-177 16 miles west of Emporia, KS on U.S. Hwy 50 and 2 miles north on K-177 17 miles south of Council Grove, KS on K-177 85 miles northeast of Wichita on I-35, U.S. Hwy 50, and K-177 60 miles southwest of Topeka on I-335 (Kansas Turnpike) to Em Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Visitor Center Begin your preserve visit with the visitor center, complete with 10-minute orientation video, exhibits, indoor and outdoor restrooms, and water fountains. The visitor center is located on the left side of the breezeway. Rangers attend the visitor center during regular business hours. Summer hours run from May through October. Shorter winter hours run from November through April. The preserve is located in northern Chase County, Kansas. The visitor center is 2 miles north of the intersection U.S. Hwy 50 and Flint Hills National Scenic Byway 177 (K-177). 2 miles north of Strong City, KS on K-177 16 miles west of Emporia, KS on U.S. Hwy 50, north K-177 17 miles south of Council Grove, KS on K-177 85 miles northeast of Wichita on I-135, east U.S. Hwy 50, north K-177 60 miles southwest of Topeka on I-335 (Kansas Turnpike) to Emporia, west U.S. Hwy 50, north K-177 Chase State Fishing Lake 1130 Lake Road Cottonwood Falls, KS 66846 620-767-5900 (Public land manager) Camping is allowed (first come, first served) in designated areas along the north shore of the lake. No fee 0.0000 free Council Grove Lake This U.S. Army Corps of Engineer site has many beautiful camping spots. Visit the website to learn more and to make a reservation. Fall wildflowers at the preserve fall wildflowers at the preserve Fall is the season for another assortment of color on the prairie Historic 1881 Spring Hill Ranch house limestone mansion of the ranch Historic 1881 Spring Hill Ranch house Historic 1882 Spring Hill Ranch barn three level limestone barn Historic 1882 Spring Hill Ranch barn Hike among the tall grasses in the fall tallgrass hiking trails Hike among the tall tallgrass species in the fall Summer wildflowers on the prairie butterfly milkweed wildflowers View a collage of summer flowers among a carpet of green in the spring and early summer Prescribed Fire and the Tallgrass Prairie How does prescribed fire maintain the health of prairie ecosystems in the Midwest Region of the National Park Service? Mike Johnson, Regional Wildland Fire Communication and Education Specialist has the answers! Two firefighters walk towards a third standing with a firetruck and spraying the burned prairie. Wildland Fire in Tallgrass Prairie: Midwestern United States Prairies depend on fire to maintain the ecosystem stability and diversity. One benefit of fire in this community is the elimination of invasive plants, thereby helping to shape and maintain the prairie. Bison grazing in recently burned area. Bison Bellows: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Meet the herd of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve! Bison on Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, Kansas Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] bison feeding Service First Agreement Provides Operational and Ecological Benefits NPS and USFWS have operated under a “Service First” agreement for fire management in several NPS units in the Midwest since 2008. The Service First statute authorizes agencies within the US Department of Interior and US Department of Agriculture to conduct shared management activities to achieve mutually beneficial land and resource management goals. The Mid-Plains Interagency Fire Management Zone recently received the NPS Midwest Regional Office Fire Management Award. Bison Conservation Initiative The 2008 BCI has been a touchstone for DOI bureaus for 12 years. The commitments made there have now resulted in meaningful technical products and organizational improvements that continue to advance the conservation of American bison. The Bison Working Group, established as a mechanism for implementing the 2008 BCI, quickly became a productive model of interagency collaboration. Federal professionals working in support of bison conservation note that today we enjoy an ... Bison Conservation Initiative Exploring the Fire and Archeology Interface The Midwest Archeological Center (MWAC) worked with Midwest Region Fire Program to design and carry out experiments to collect information about the effects of fire on various classes of archeological materials. The goals of this project were to assess the fire/archeology interface to provide managers of Midwestern parks with information that will aid in decision-making concerning the stewardship of archeological and natural resources. Population Viability Study This study confirms that management of DOI bison herds in isolation promotes the loss of genetic diversity within all herds. More importantly, this study demonstrates that increased herd size and targeted removal strategies can reduce rates of diversity loss, and that adopting a Departmental metapopulation strategy through facilitated periodic movement of modest numbers of bison among DOI herds (i.e., restoring effective gene flow) can substantially reduce the... Bison Population Viability Study Women in Fire Science: Sherry Leis Sherry Leis, a plant and fire ecologist, shares her story about being a scientist and her love of prairie ecosystems. A woman takes notes while standing near the edge of a fire at night. Aquatic Invertebrate Monitoring at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve An important part of tallgrass prairies is stream health. Scientists track aquatic invertebrates to assess water quality. Fox Creek at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Vegetation Community Monitoring at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Tallgrass prairie once covered 150 million acres of the central United States. That area is almost the size of the state of Texas! Experts estimate that only 4% of tallgrass prairies remains. Bison and calf at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Bird Community Monitoring at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Birds are an important part of the world we live in. We measure changes in birds and their habitat to determine the health of bird communities and park ecosystems. Knowing how birds are doing can help the park take effective steps to restore and maintain the beautiful landscapes at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. Three brown and white owls standing near each other in the grass. Fish Communities at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Since 2001, scientists have been tracking fish populations in 12 streams on the Preserve. They collect fish using seine nets at different areas along the streams. Tracking fish allows scientists to determine which species are in the park and how well they doing in the streams. Stream at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve National Park Service Commemoration of the 19th Amendment In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment the National Park Service has developed a number of special programs. This includes online content, exhibits, and special events. The National Park Service’s Cultural Resources Geographic Information Systems (CRGIS) announces the release of a story map that highlights some of these programs and provides information for the public to locate and participate. Opening slide of the 19th Amendment NPS Commemoration Story Map Flint Hills First Peoples Artifacts found in the Kansas Flint Hills region date the human presence in the area to over 10,000 years ago. By the time of contact with European explorers in the mid-1500s, the Pawnee, Wichita, Osage, and Kansa had already established flourishing grassland cultures, becoming quite familiar with the tallgrass prairie and the ways necessary to succeed on it. Kansa Chief Wa-shun-gah, c. 1902 Flint Hills Geology The geology of the Kansas Flint Hills, unseen yet immensely influential, forms the foundation for the life and lifestyle of all the plants, animals, and people who lived, currently live, and will live here in the future, closely binding them all together. Outcropping of layered limestone and shale topped by grass Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Quick Facts In June 1994, at the request of US Senator from Kansas, Nancy Landon Kassebaum-Baker, the National Park Trust purchased the Spring Hill/Z Bar Ranch to assist in the creation of a national park. On November 12, 1996 the 10,894-acre Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was created as the 370th national park unit. Spring Hill Ranch looking across bottomland prairie with trees. Series: Geologic Time Periods in the Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Series: Wildlife in the Badlands Ever wonder what kind of wildlife could survive the harsh climate of the Badlands? Two small, grey young lambs walk down brown badlands slope. Series: Research in Badlands National Park Scientists often look to the Badlands as a research subject. Many studies have been conducted in the park on a variety of topics, including paleontology, geology, biology, and archaeology. Learn more about these research topics in this article series. two researchers converse over a sheet of paper while a woman to their right uses a microscope. Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Spring Hill Ranch House The grand four-level ranch house forms the centerpiece of the Spring Hill Farm and Stock Ranch. Completed in 1881, it stands as a beautiful example of French Second Empire architecture, a style popular in the late 19th century. This large, stately home is also an example of great change in the American West, the transition from small ranches on the vast open range to large enclosed ranching businesses, laying the foundations for the present-day American cattle industry. Looking up at Spring Hill Ranch House at sunrise Spring Hill Ranch Barn The massive barn of the Spring Hill Farm and Stock Ranch stands as an impressive example of form following function. Completed in early 1882, the barn stands as the working center of the ranch. Its multiple functions of hay, grain, farm equipment storage, and animal keeping have given it a beautiful working form that has stood up beautifully to many decades of use and varied activity. Massive three story limestone barn with green grass in the foreground. Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse The Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse, completed in 1882, was just one of many signs that a more settled, stable, and established existence was taking shape in the American West. Children entering Lower Fox Creek Schoolhouse for a program Tallgrass Prairie NPres Hiking Map Let the hiking trails of Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve be pathways of discovery into the wonders of the tallgrass prairie, the Kansas Flint Hills, and maybe even yourself Hiking and Trails map for Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Patch-Burn Grazing Fire and grazing are key elements of natural resource management throughout much of the Kansas Flint Hills region and at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. A key management goal at the preserve is to create more natural patterns of burning and grazing, reflected in a shifting mosaic of burned and unburned, grazed and ungrazed areas. The result is an ecosystem that is healthier and more diverse in terms of plant composition and structure. Wildland firefighter and UTV on prescribed burn Places of Katharine Lee Bates and “America the Beautiful” The opening lines of “America the Beautiful” first struck Katharine Lee Bates atop Pikes Peak in the Rocky Mountains. During the summer of 1893, she embarked on a journey across the United States. Originally written as a poem, many of the lines in Bates’ ode to the American landscape refer to geographical features she encountered during her travels. black and white portrait of Katharine Lee Bates Permian Period—298.9 to 251.9 MYA The massive cliffs of El Capitan in Guadalupe Mountains National Park represent a Permian-age reef along the supercontinent Pangaea. The uppermost rocks of Grand Canyon National Park are also Permian. flat-top mountain Paleozoic Era During the Paleozoic Era (541 to 252 million years ago), fish diversified and marine organisms were very abundant. In North America, the Paleozoic is characterized by multiple advances and retreats of shallow seas and repeated continental collisions that formed the Appalachian Mountains. Common Paleozoic fossils include trilobites and cephalopods such as squid, as well as insects and ferns. The greatest mass extinction in Earth's history ended this era. fossil corals in a rock matrix Flint Hills Trees, Vines, Sedges, and Rushes Trees and wetlands form and important part of the tallgrass prairie ecosystem, providing both food and shelter for a wide range of animal life who would have few living options if these areas were unavailable. Eighteen tree and vine species and twelve sedge and rush species are illustrated, along with their scientific names, average heights, and flowering times, arranged from earliest to latest. View of tallgrass prairie from under a tree Flint Hills Tallgrasses Tallgrass prairie once covered over 170 million acres in North America. Today less than 4% remains. With fertile soil and the beneficial interaction of three fundamental forces, climate, fire, and grazing, the tallgrass prairie ecosystem is ideal for the growth of grasses. Basic parts of a grass plant Flint Hills Wildflowers The tallgrass prairie is home to hundreds of wildflower species and other herbaceous forbs, blooming throughout the spring, summer, and autumn. 66 common species are highlighted here, along with their scientific names and blooming times, arranged from earliest to latest. Image of pink flower in bloom Birds at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve Let your birding adventure take flight at Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve. This list covers all of Chase County, Kansas, where the park is located, so enjoy and prepare to be amazed at all of the birds to be found here and all of what the tallgrass prairie has to offer. black and white graphic of killdeer Plan Like a Park Ranger 2 Top 10 Tips for Tallgrass Visitors Children smile widely walking a gravel path through tall yellow grass. Series: Curiosity Kit: Curiosity Kits inspire exploration and learning of history through place. These multi-piece resources include articles that explore historic places and provide educational activities for life-long learners. This kit focuses on Katharine Lee Bates, author of what became the song “America the Beautiful.” Learn about some of the places associated with her life and work. You’ll also find activities and discussion questions for learners of all ages. Katharine Lee Bates Series: Curiosity Kit: Katharine Lee Bates Curiosity Kits inspire exploration and learning of history through place. These multi-piece resources include articles that explore historic places and provide educational activities for life-long learners. This kit focuses on Katharine Lee Bates, author of what became the song “America the Beautiful.” Learn about some of the places associated with her life and work. You’ll also find activities and discussion questions for learners of all ages. Katharine Lee Bates

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