Location: Kansas

Kansas Trail News: January 28, 2011

Kansas Trail News for January 28, 2011 from Sunflower Recreational Trails:

Trolley Track Trail Reopens

The Trolley Track Trail in south Kansas City, Missouri has re-opened after being closed for five months. A major trail segment was closed in September after a massive sink hole opened up within the treadway. The hole, an abandoned mine, was filled by work crews with 300 cubic yards of material, including 500 tons of rock at a cost of $45,000 ( KC Star 1-07-11).

The Trolley Track Trail is one of the few rail-trails in the nation converted from an old streetcar line (the old Country Club line). A proposal has been recently made to build a trolley line from Crown Center to the Riverfront Market. Then the line may be extended south to the Country Club Plaza. Ultimately, rail service may be restored on the rail-trail from south of the Plaza to Brookside.

150th Anniversary Of Founding Of Kansas

The great state of Kansas was founded 150 years ago this month. Celebrations will be held throughout 2011 all across the Sunflower State. It would be nice to have trail-related celebrations on National Trails Day since Kansas was settled by pioneers who traveled on historic trails. For more information about the Kansas Sesquicentennial which starts Jan. 29 go to ks150.kansas.gov.

The Kansas Historical Society says that sunflowers have been used as an emblem to characterize Kansans as “sunny, open and bright.” The state flower and emblem could also portray Kansans as “hopeful, friendly and helpful.”

Daniel Boone In Kansas

Famous explorer and frontiersman Daniel Boone moved to his son’s (Daniel Morgan Boone) Spanish land grant homestead near present-day Matson, Missouri in 1799. Later Daniel, Sr. received 2,000 acres from the Spanish government for services rendered.

“Boone was in the habit of taking long hunting trips, never losing his love for nor his skill in the use of the rifle. Between the years 1805 and 1815 he hunted up the valley of the Kansas river for a distance of 100 miles from its mouth, and in the spring of 1818, when 83 years of age, he wrote to his son: ‘I intend by next autumn to take two or three whites and a party of Osage Indians and visit the salt mountains, lakes and ponds and see these natural curiosities. They are about five or six hundred miles west of here.’” Daniel died in 1820.

“About 1826, he (Daniel Morgan Boone) was Indian Agent to the Kaw Tribe in Jefferson County, Kansas (seven miles upstream from Lawrence) and living there. His son, Napoleon, was born there in 1828. Daniel Morgan spent the next several years teaching farming to the Indians.”

The Boones always liked living in the wilderness on the frontier. Daniel probably followed existing Indian or settler trails along the Missouri River to Ft. Osage (east of Kansas City) and on an Indian trail along the Kaw River (probably on the south bank) and apparently got as far upstream as Silver Lake (northwest of Topeka).

When asked if he’d ever been lost, reportedly Daniel said, “I can’t say as ever I was lost, but I was a mite bewildered once for three days.”

Source: Kansas: a cyclopedia of state history, embracing events, institutions, industries, counties, cities, towns, prominent persons, etc. … / with a supplementary volume devoted to selected personal history and reminiscence. Standard Pub. Co. Chicago : 1912. 3 v. in 4. : front., ill., ports.; 28 cm. Vols. I-II edited by Frank W. Blackmar. Transcribed May 2002 by Carolyn Ward.

New Secretary Of Wildlife And Parks Selected

Below are excerpts taken from the KC Star (1-14-11):

Kansas Wildlife and Parks nominee aims to promote outdoors tourism

Robin Jennison has a vision for Kansas.

He sees hunting fields, fishing lakes, Flint Hills grasslands and parks teeming with visitors. And he sees rural towns near those resources reaping the economic benefits.

Promoting the Kansas outdoors — that will be Jennison’s priority when he goes to work as secretary of the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks. He was chosen to the post last week by Gov. Sam Brownback…

“Kansas is a great place to have an outdoors experience,” said Jennison, 56, who is from Healy, Kan. “Whether it be hunting, fishing, hiking, biking, camping or just enjoying the scenery, we have a lot to offer.

“But that’s something we’ve never promoted. That’s always been lacking…

Jennison and Brownback already have several ideas for better promoting the outdoors:

  • They would like to establish a governor’s pheasant hunt in western Kansas, hoping to help economies in rural areas.
  • They hope to add an additional 50 to 100 miles of hiking, bicycling and horseback-riding trails in the Flint Hills. “The governor has talked about making the Flint Hills the horseback riding equivalent of Sturgis,” Brownback said, referring to the popular South Dakota motorcycle rally that attracts thousands.
  • They have discussed several proposals to better fund Kansas state parks.

In the past, it was proposed to charge an annual $5.00 fee to register motor vehicle such as is done in other states such as Montana.

As currently proposed, the Flint Hills equestrian trail would not be open to the general public. Only equestrians led by rancher guides could travel on the trail.

Mike Hayden was a good friend of trails, outdoor recreation, parks and wildlife. It is unclear at this time if Jennison will support rail-trails which are vigorously opposed by the Kansas Farm Bureau and Kansas Livestock Assn.

Tourism Division Merges With KDWP

Gov. Brownback has issued an executive order moving the Division of Travel and Tourism from the Dept. of Commerce to the Dept. of Wildlife and Parks. The new agency is called Kansas Dept. of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism. It is thought that the promotion of recreational trails will increase with this change.

Wildlands Philanthropy

Over the last century, visionary philanthropists have acquired millions of acres of wild lands for conservation resulting in the creation of national parks, national monuments, state parks and nature preserves. America is a better place as a result of these visionaries. One of the premier philanthropists was John D. Rockefeller, Jr. whose acquisitions and donations helped create some of America’s most spectacular national parks such as Grand Teton National Park, Acadia National Park, Great Smoky Mts. National Park and Virgin Islands National Park.

3M mining heiress Katharine Ordway donated more than $53 million to fund Nature Conservancy purchases of prairie grasslands in Minnesota, Missouri, and Kansas, such as the stunning 8,616-acre Konza Prairie near Manhattan, Kans.

Roxanne Quimby, co-founder of Burt’s Bees, sold the multimillion dollar personal care products company and set up an operating foundation which owns and maintains 120,000 acres of wilderness in the North Woods of Maine. Her goal is to create a North Woods National Park.

Media mogul Ted Turner has acquired more than 2 million acres. He and his son, Beau, are “restoring biodiversity, reintroducing native plant and animal specials, and generating income.” Ted Turner’s ranches are opened to the public and include the 42,479-arce Z-Bar Ranch in the beautiful Red Hills near Medicine Lodge, Kansas, where bison are raised and the Black-footed Ferret has been re-introduced to control prairie dogs. He also owns the 41,689-acre Bluestem Ranch located south of the Nature Conservancy’s 45,000-acre Tallgrass Prairie Preserve on the Osage Indian Reservation in northeastern Oklahoma.

Doug Thompkins, co-founder of Espirit, a multimillion clothing company, sold his share of the company in 1990 for $200 million. Since then, he and his second wife Kris McDivitt (a founder of Patagonia, Inc.) have purchased and conserved more than 2 million acres of magnificent wilderness in Chile and Argentina, more than any other private individual. They have created national parks and nature sanctuaries plus are restoring damaged pampas for inclusion in parks and preserves.

Sources: Eco Barons: The Dreamers, Schemers, and Millionaires Who Are Saving Our Planet by Edward Humes, 2009 & Wildlands Philanthropy: The Great American Tradition by Tom Butler, 2008.)

Leavenworth Trails Network Expands

The City of Leavenworth continues to expand its trails system: leavenworthtimes.com.

RTC Celebrates 25th Anniversary

An email from Keith Laughlin, President of Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) states: “We’re marking our 25th anniversary in 2011, and I can’t think of a better time for a milestone year. With nearly 20,000 miles of trail on the ground across the country, never has the rail-trail movement been so dynamic, so strong or so exciting.

For 25 years, RTC has helped you build, protect and use the trails you love, and we’re still going strong as we kick-off 2011…”

Kansas Trail NewsKansas Trail News is published monthly by Clark H. Coan, Public Information Specialist for Sunflower Recreational Trails, P.O. Box 44-2043, Lawrence, KS 66044, 785-842-3458. Reprinted with permission. If you have any trail news you’d like to share, please contact us.

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By Randy Rasa, editor/webmaster at Kansas Cyclist, the web's premier Kansas cycling information site, featuring authoritative guides to Kansas cycling clubs, bike shops, organized bike rides, touring, trails, and much more. [learn more]

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