Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve

Infobox_protected_area | name = Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve
iucn_category =

caption =
locator_x = 140
locator_y = 92
location = Chase County, Kansas
nearest_city = Emporia, Kansas
lat_degrees = 38
lat_minutes = 25
lat_seconds = 58
lat_direction = N
long_degrees = 96
long_minutes = 33
long_seconds = 32
long_direction = W
area = 10,894 acres (44.1 km²)
established = November 12, 1996
visitation_num = 17,615
visitation_year = 2005
governing_body = National Park Service

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a United States National Preserve located in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. 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. [cite news |first= |last= |authorlink= |coauthors= |title= A Prairie Home. |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A06E3DD1130F935A15754C0A96E958260&scp=1&sq=Virgin+prairie&st=nyt |quote=Almost a century and a half later, an unusual three-way accord involving the Federal Government, a private nonprofit organization and big-time cattlemen allowed me to experience the same scene amid the nearly convert|11000|acre|km2 of rolling hills that form the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, one of the few large tracts of virgin prairie left in the United States. While the traveler of long ago saw bison in the distance, today's tourists share the prairie with thousands of head of cattle shipped into Kansas every spring to fatten on the nutritious bluestem grasses. |publisher=New York Times |date= |accessdate=2008-04-15 ]

Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a new kind of national park. The preserve is 10,894 acres (44 km²), but most of that land will remain under the ownership of the National Park Trust, which purchased the land in 1994, and The Nature Conservancy. The National Park Service may own up to 180 acres (0.7 km²), yet the legislation calls for the entire area to be managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the National Park Trust.

On September 20, 2002, approximately 32 acres (129,000 m²) were donated to the National Park Service from the National Park Trust. This area includes the 1881 historic ranch house, limestone barn and outbuildings, and one-room schoolhouse.

Tallgrass Prairie is the nation's second newest national preserve and the park is still under development with visitor opportunities continually being expanded.

There are currently five maintained hiking trails in the preserve allowing visitors access to the tallgrass prairie. During the summer, narrated bus tours of the prairie are offered.

On January 29, 2008, Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve was named as one of the 8 Wonders of Kansas.

External links

* National Park Service: [http://www.nps.gov/tapr/ National Park Service: Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve]
* [http://www.nature.org/wherewework/northamerica/states/kansas/features/ Photo essay about the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve] from The Nature Conservancy


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