Water Rights Discussion

posted Aug 17, 2017, 7:37 AM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams   [ updated Aug 17, 2017, 7:46 AM ]

Call today to register for our FREE workshop:
August 31  |  9am - Noon  |  868 Road 290 Americus, KS

Discussing Water Rights:

A Mid-Western Pastime
Hear from experts on: water appropriations, 404 and 401 permits,
water quality in a watershed, and watershed districts.

View the components of a working watershed lake and
a stream bank stabilization project.

Call (620)767-5111x110  to register.  
Lunch provided for those who reserve a spot - call today!

Brought to you by the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams and the Twin Lakes WRAPS project.

Toronto Lake Info and Evening Tour

posted Jul 18, 2017, 8:32 AM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams   [ updated Jul 18, 2017, 8:34 AM ]

Thursday, August 10 | 6:00 PM – Dusk

Cross Timbers State Park Office | 144 Hwy 105

Enjoy an evening of information about

RSVP to Cross Timbers State Park Office

620-637-2213 by Monday, August 7

(Limited to first 50 callers)

Presenters: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Kansas Department of Wildlife

Parks and Tourism, Toronto WRAPS, Greenwood County Conservation

District, Kansas Water Office, Kansas State University Extension

This Event funded in part through Sec 319 of the Clean Water Act

Registration for FREE Playa Workshop Now Open!

posted Nov 3, 2016, 7:30 AM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams   [ updated Jan 9, 2017, 8:01 AM ]

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams invites you to our

Playa Lake Workshop and Tour

January 10-11, 2017

(Click here to register online!)

Registration and lunch is FREE for playa lake landowners on BOTH days, thanks to our sponsors!

Join us for state of the art information and program delivery management options for playa lakes in Kansas.


  • January 10, 2017: Optional Landowner Tour (see attached itinerary).

  • January 11, 2017: Workshop at the Garden City, KS Finnup Center for Conservation Education

The one day Playa Lake Workshop at the Garden City Finnup Center will feature four well- known speakers who have decades of playa lake experience in management, ecology, hydrology research, and program cost delivery.

Three local playa lake landowners will be featured who will share their personal experiences with playa lakes on their farms and ranches. Many more playa lake speakers will cover USDA, KDWPT, PLJV, DU and other program cost delivery. Playa Lake Sponsors and Exhibitor booths will be at the Finnup Center Hart Hall.

The one day Playa Lake Landowner Site Tour in Lane County will demonstrate from playa lake landowners and the technical program cost delivery providers how playa lakes can be managed in effective and efficient ways for better conservation, management, recharge and for recreational enjoyment. Sharp Brothers Seed Co. will be providing the free sponsored lunch at their Healy, KS HQ.  

We hope you will consider joining us in January and participating with our workshop and tour! Register ONLINE Here

If you have any questions about the workshop and tour please contact:

Joe Kramer                                                    Mary Howell                                        Jessica Mounts    

Workshop and Tour Schedule: (Click here to register online)

January 10, 2017 - Lane County Playa Tour

9:00 am

Shuttle Leaves Garden City Finnup Center:

312 E. Finnup Dr, Finnup Park, Garden City, KS 67846

9:45 am

Arrive at Dighton NRCS Office Parking Lot

701 W. James St. Dighton, KS 67839

10 - 11:30 am

Travel to and tour Heath Property

12 pm

Lunch provided by Sharp Brothers Seed in Healy, KS

1:30 - 4:00 pm

Travel to and tour Ehmke Property

4:15 pm

Return to Dighton NRCS Office Parking Lot

701 W. James St. Dighton, KS 67839

5:30 pm

Return to Garden City Finnup Center:

312 E. Finnup Dr, Finnup Park, Garden City, KS 67846

January 11, 2017 - Finnup Center, Garden City

8:00 am

Registration Opens, Booths Open

9:00 am

Welcome (Jessica / Joe)

9:10 - 9:50

Dr. David Haukos, KSU Cooperative F&W Research Unit Leader, “Ecosystem Services and Playa Lakes of the Great Plains”

9:50 - 10:30

Robert.Reschke, Division of Conservation, “Playa Lakes” “Water Quantity and Water Quality”

10:30 - 10:45


10:45 - 11:25

Mike Carter, Playa Lakes Joint Venture Coordinator, “Playa Lakes and Municipalities Aquifer Recharge” 

11:25 - 12: 05 pm

Rob Manes, The Nature Conservancy KS Executive Director, “Grasslands and Playa Lakes” “Conservation Easements”

12:05 - 1:30

Lunch / Booth Info

1:30 - 2:30

Playa Landowner Panel:

Bob Price, Kearny County Mark Smith, Wallace County Vance and Louise Ehmke, Lane County

2:30 - 4:45

Breakout Sessions* (see below)

*Breakout Sessions

Lecture Hall

Classroom A-B

2:30 - 3pm

Agricultural Conservation Easement

Program for Wetlands Lynn Thurlow, NRCS

Riparian & Wetland Program
Katie Burke, KDA Division of Conservation

3:00 - 3:15



3:15 - 3:45

Conservation Reserve Program

and State Acres for Wildlife Enhancement
Bob McCready, PLJV

Playa Buffers,

Dave Haukos, KSU

3:45 - 4:15

Private Land Programs

Matt Hough, Ducks Unlimited

Center Pivot Playas:

“Current Pivot System Technology 

and Solutions to Integrate 

Wetlands into Farm Operations”  

Paul Meyer, Reinke and Brad Dunbar, Lindsay

4:15 - 4:45

Private Land Programs

Wes Sowards, KDWPT



Duck Hunters and Private Landowners Appreciate Wetland Workshop

posted Oct 11, 2016, 1:00 PM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams

Pleasanton, Kansas -
The Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge hosted a wetland workshop for landowners, producers and wetland managers on October 1st, 2016.  The event was organized by the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams with support from The Nature Conservancy, Ducks Unlimited, WESTAR Energy, Star Seed Company, Natural Resource Conservation Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism and Missouri Department of Conservation.

“I really appreciated this focused day on waterfowl habitat,” said Brad Bradley, a landowner who attended the workshop.  “It was a brilliant idea to involve surrounding local private landowners in the conservation efforts for waterfowl, and the agencies and biologists cooperated very well to pull off such an informative and useful workshop.” Bradley continued.  “There are many more acres of waterfowl habitat in private hands than in the state and federal waterfowl refuges. I learned things I could put to immediate use. Within two days of the seminar, I had re-worked one of my waterfowl levees in accordance with what I had learned, to revitalize it. I have plans to double the number of levees I have on my property. I have a much better understanding of why marshes work and how to make marshes work.”

Speakers and instructors at the workshop provided information on how holistic wetland management benefits many wildlife species, improves watershed function, and ultimately attracts plentiful waterfowl for duck hunting.  “Economics, recreation and ecological benefits are all part of the conversation,” commented Bob Culbertson with the Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams. “Landowners are already asking for similar workshops that include more details, or look at other wildlife resources such as turkey and deer.”

The workshop started at 9am with a classroom session at the Marais des Cygnes National Wildlife Refuge.  The afternoon session of the workshop included four stops on a field tour.  Three of the stops were on the Marais des Cygnes wildlife area and the final stop was at Patterson Duck Club.  The sites sampled moist soil management to promote waterfowl and wetland habitat, and a green tree wetland, a type of bottomland hardwood forest which depends on seasonal flooding to survive.  Various equipment and implements were also shown to demonstrate management options and techniques.

Sixty-Five people attended the workshop.  “We’d like to extend our gratitude to the supporters and sponsors of this event,” said Culbertson.  “Being able to provide this workshop at no cost to landowners was paramount in making it available to everyone who wanted to attend.”

Flint Hills Stream the Subject of Holistic Watershed Management Plan

posted Sep 22, 2016, 12:13 PM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams

September 22, 2016

Funding from Kingsbury Family Foundation Supports Conservation Research

Manhattan, Kansas - A project to develop and implement a holistic watershed management plan for a heritage stream in the Flint Hills recently received additional funding support from the Kingsbury Foundation in Kansas. The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) has been working through partnerships for a decade to build technology that can find and show the largest issues affecting our streams, rivers, wetlands and water bodies.

The project has been ongoing, but the new funding will assist with further research and validation of the existing tools, which include GIS, online mapping and flood analysis. This phase of the project will be completed by the end of 2018. Scientists at KAWS will be looking at stream bank erosion, barriers to fish migration, watershed health and floodplain connectivity in the Cottonwood River Basin, but the resulting tools can eventually be used across the entire state.

“During rain events and flooding, the water runs off the land and into our water supply - taking with it small pieces of the way we use our lands,” said Jeff Neel, Director of Applied Research and Restoration at KAWS. “By addressing the cause of the problems - land management that causes more runoff as opposed to increased infiltration and retention - rather than the result, we can more effectively address potential issues before they start, increase baseflow during droughts and minimize ongoing problems before they get worse.” 

KAWS will be using these tools to present easy-to-understand results and planning options to communities and landowners to help preserve habitat and support biodiversity across the state. Assessments of streams, wetlands and adjacent (riparian) areas will also be used as a part of this project.

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve a healthy balance of economics, conservation and community to support sustainability of the natural ecosystems and working lands of Kansas.

The Kingsbury Family Foundation funds conservation research and related efforts in Kansas. By limiting the scope of philanthropic giving, the Kingsbury Family Foundation has made a significant impact on conservation in the state. Since its inception in 2001, the Foundation has funded research and conservation efforts related to water quality, habitat quality, biodiversity, and species preservation throughout the state. 

Conservation Grant to Fund Wetland Restoration at Great Plains Nature Center

posted Sep 22, 2016, 12:12 PM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams

August 18, 2016

Wichita, Kansas - The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) recently announced that community-led wetland, stream and coastal restoration projects across the nation have been awarded approximately $2.2 million in grants. The grantees have committed an additional $5.2 million in local project support, creating a total conservation investment of more than $7.4 million in projects that will restore wildlife habitat and urban waters. These projects will engage thousands of volunteers, students and local residents in community-based conservation projects. 

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams (KAWS) was awarded one of the 58 “Five-Star and Urban Restoration” grants for 2016. These funds will be used to renovate an existing 2.6-acre wetland located at the Great Plains Nature Center (GPNC) in Wichita, Kansas with the help of 50 volunteers. The wetland will be restored through dredging and installation of a water control structure to provide enhanced management ability. This project will result in habitat improvement, improved management of the wetland, and removal of invasive species from surrounding buffers and uplands. Other partners on this project include: the City of Wichita, the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Westar Energy, the Regional Economic Area Partnership, Wichita Clean Streams, Ducks Unlimited, the Kansas Department of Agriculture’s Division of Conservation, Cargill Incorporated and the Whooping Crane Mitigation Fund.

“The Five Star and Urban Restoration Program is a funding opportunity for successful, community-focused conservation efforts,” said Jessica Mounts, executive director of KAWS. “Not only will this project produce tangible conservation rewards in an urban area, we will also see the additional benefits of engaging and empowering citizens to participate in the protection of fish and wildlife habitat and clean water in our community.”

“This wetland area at the GPNC is an integral part of the habitat for the deer, turkey, waterfowl, fish and shorebirds that call the area home,” remarked Jim Mason, Director of the GPNC. “Wetlands provide access to water for urban wildlife, and act as filters to help clean up watersheds. Beyond these benefits, the wetland is located just outside our ‘Bob Gress Wildlife Observatory,’ providing a prime spot where visitors to the GPNC can enjoy observing the animals that live here.”

“Ducks Unlimited is excited to join the 5-Star Urban Grant Partners on this very popular wetland renovation project at the GPNC. We hope the 20 thousand annual visitors at the GPNC will enjoy their newly renovated wetland,” said Joe Kramer, DU biologist for Kansas. “This project will give people who may not otherwise have opportunities to visit wetlands, a chance to experience how wetlands support people and wildlife.”

The Five Star and Urban Waters 2016 winners were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 220 applications. The partnership bases consideration for funding upon educational and training opportunities for youth and the community at large as well as ecological, cultural and economic benefits. These projects also involve a high degree of partnership between local government agencies, elected officials, community groups, businesses, schools and conservation organizations for improving local water quality and restoring important fish and wildlife habitats.

# # #

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve a healthy balance of economics, conservation and community to support sustainability of the natural ecosystems and working lands of Kansas.

The Great Plains Nature Center is a cooperative project between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks & Tourism, and the City of Wichita Department of Park and Recreation. The Nature Center features the Koch Habitat Hall, Owl’s Nest gift shop, Coleman Auditorium, and 2 miles of Chisholm Creek Park nature trails. The Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center is a support organization formed to increase awareness and help sustain the Center's environmental education programs, organize and promote special events, recruit volunteers to assist staff, and raise funds for long-term viability. 

Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world's largest nonprofit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13.6 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work,

KAWS Announces New Executive Director

posted Sep 22, 2016, 12:11 PM by Kansas Alliance for Wetland and Streams

August 1, 2016

Cheney, Kansas - The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams, a non profit organization dedicated to the conservation of the natural heritage and resources of Kansas, is pleased to announce that Jessica Mounts of Cheney, KS has been named as its new Executive Director. Mounts will fill the vacancy left by Jeff Neel, who will continue his work with KAWS as Program Director of Applied Research, Restoration and Monitoring.

Mounts’ resume includes twelve years of experience in fisheries, water conservation and natural resources, as well as successful leadership building teams and programs. She holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Newman University, earned a mini-Master’s of Public Administration at Wichita State University, and is a graduate of the KU Emerging Leaders Academy.

“We are very pleased to announce this appointment,” says Brad Loveless, Board Chairman for KAWS. “Jessica’s experience involving the coordination of multiple partners, landowners, funding sources and volunteers to build and maintain successful projects will bring continued success to the mission of KAWS. I am confident that her energy, enthusiasm and skills will be an asset to KAWS as we move forward from our recent reorganization and continue to develop additional program areas.”

Most recently, Mounts was a key partner in working with the National Park Service to designate the Arkansas River as a National Water Trail, and campaigned for funding to build the first fish passage structure in Kansas on the Arkansas River in Wichita. Her diverse experience includes multiple conservation projects, public service and volunteering, serving on the Friends of the Great Plains Nature Center Board of Directors, and multiple publications, including “A Pocket Guide to the Stream Fishes of Kansas”. 

“I look forward to continuing to serve the people and natural resources of Kansas as well as building community partnerships for conservation in this new capacity,” remarks Mounts. “I am dedicated to preserving our water resources, as our well-being and quality of life depends on healthy streams and wetlands. KAWS plays a key role in working to conserve this resource in innovative and collaborative ways for Kansas.”

The Kansas Alliance for Wetlands and Streams is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization working to achieve a healthy balance of economics, conservation and community to support sustainability of the natural ecosystems and working lands of Kansas.

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