On November 12, 1996, legislation was passed creating Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve in the Flint Hills region of Kansas. A superintendent was assigned to the site in February 1997. A General Management Plan (GMP) for the site was finalized on December 6, 2000, when the Acting Regional Director signed the Record of Decision.
Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve is a new kind of national park. The preserve encompasses 10,894 acres, but most of that land will remain under the ownership of The Nature Conservancy, which purchased the land in 2005. The property was originally purchased by the National Park Trust in 1994. The National Park Service may own up to 180 acres, yet the legislation calls for the entire acreage to be managed cooperatively by the National Park Service and the private land owner.
On September 20, 2002, approximately 32 acres 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.
The General Management Plan may be downloaded via pdf sections.
Further Planning Documents and Historical References
Did You Know?
Cattle can gain up to 2 pounds per day grazing on the prairie grasses of the Flint Hills. The calcium found in the limestone erodes into the soil, making the prairie plants more nutritious for grazing animals. Cattle grazing is still the main agricultural use of the Flint Hills today.