$105,000 Pledged to The Nature Conservancy

June 2022

The Northwest Kansas Conservation Foundation has awarded $105,000 to The Nature Conservancy in support of the Generational Grasslands three-year outreach program serving Logan, Gove and Scott counties. The foundation will grant $35,000 a year for 2022, 2023 and 2024. The program goal is to secure and maintain critical habitat in the high plains, Smoky River basin.

“The Kansas Farm Service Agency (FSA) reports that most of Kansas’ 1.75M acres of CRP is located in Western Kansas, and over 790,000 (45%) are set to expire by 2023. Key Western Kansas Lesser Prairie Chicken (LPC) populations – over 70% of the range-wide population – are largely CRP dependent. By providing additional Sign-Up Incentive Payments (SIP’s) for transitioning CRP to grazing land and CRP enrollment, we can help maintain this critical LPC habitat. CRP grasslands represent a new opportunity to connect landowners to grassland conservation.” Matt Bain – Program Manager, The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy has hired Mason Scheetz as their new Grassland Specialist that will be stationed at the Smoky Valley Ranch who will focus on providing outreach and implementations of the incentive payments to landowners over the next three years.

My name is Mason Scheetz and I was born and raised just south of Oakley, Kansas. I grew up working on my family’s farm and ranch and have always enjoyed being outside. I graduated from Kansas State University with a degree in Wildlife and Outdoor Enterprise Management and moved back to Oakley with my wife. We currently have a cowherd and raise crops. As a producer, I enjoy when conservation and production agriculture work well together. As the new Southern High Plains Grassland Specialist, I look forward to helping other producers implement conservation practices and new management techniques to their operations to ensure success for generations to come.” 

For more information, contact Matt Bain / 785-269-7481 / mbain@tnc.org