Today, on World Nature Conservation Day, Governor Laura Kelly announced a proclamation reaffirming the Tallgrass Heartland wind moratorium region of the Flint Hills. The area encompasses portions of 12 Kansas counties containing two thirds of the world’s remaining tallgrass prairie.
“The Tallgrass Heartland moratorium helps conserve Kansas’ unique prairie ecosystem, vital to native wildlife, tourism, education and local ranching economies,” Governor Kelly said. “There has been bipartisan consensus across administrations that these lands should be protected, and I’m pleased to follow in that tradition today.”
Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Brad Loveless emphasized the region’s value.
“The Flint Hills are home to some of our most breathtaking vistas and iconic prairie species, so it’s important we continue to protect this remarkable landscape and the many wildlife that inhabit it,” Secretary Loveless said. “The proclamation signed today by Governor Kelly is sure to be welcome news for residents and visitors, alike.”
Governor Kathleen Sebelius first declared a wind development moratorium in parts of the Flint Hills in 2004 on the advice of the Kansas Geological Survey and the Wind and Power Task Force. In 2011, Governor Sam Brownback expanded the protected area to its current size, naming it the “Tallgrass Heartland.”
“Wind power will continue to be a key part of Kansas’ energy future,” Governor Kelly said. “We can and should seek both to expand the development of clean energy like wind and solar while protecting the ecosystem and natural beauty of our tallgrass prairies for future generations.
More than 15 percent of Kansas’ electricity comes from renewable energy and Kansas has the second largest wind power potential of any U.S. state. The industry has grown substantially in recent years, more than tripling since 2008.