The Garden City Telegram
12/17/2013
OPINIONS AND COMMENTARY

Your Views

Consider threat to local land

As a farmer or rancher, have you stopped to think what would happen if you were suddenly restricted from the use of your property? What would happen if that restriction was placed at the prime time of planting or grazing? What if your access to a property was denied because use of the access might disturb or endanger the habitat of a wildlife species?

What would be the effect on your county tax base as a result of reduced productivity of farm and ranch land, or perhaps a reduction in mineral production due to mandated restrictions? What if it became impossible to construct transmission lines or electric production facilities, pipelines or a new pasture fence and stock tanks?

This is not a far-out possibility. We could all be forced into a management plan that has nothing to do with efficiency or production. The pending listing of the Lesser Prairie Chicken on the endangered species list is something all landowners, mineral producers, electric companies, tenants, property owners and taxpayers should be concerned about, especially if you have property in or along a designated LPC area. As I see it, production could be prohibited for part of, or the entire year. As it stands currently, you have little or no say in your future. Remember what happened to producers in California and the end result of that little minnow being listed as endangered?

Hopefully there is a brighter side to this story. You have a local group working on your behalf. Landowners, tenants, royalty producers, energy companies and anyone with an interest or investment in production of any kind from the land should be interested in joining this local group.

The newly formed Kansas Natural Resources Coalition is a group of western Kansas counties and county commissioners that have been working to resolve the LPC listing by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service. To date, 32 counties in western Kansas have joined forces. A small committee selected from those member counties has done an inordinate amount of research, produced and delivered those documents to proper USFWS authorities in Washington, D.C. The documents not only point out the law, but detail steps required by law, prior to any determination on the listing of the LPC by USFWS. After reviewing a small portion of those documents, I have a feeling this is the first time USFWS has ever seen anything like this and is not quite sure how to proceed.

As government rules and regulations continue to intrude our rural way of life, our liberty and our freedoms, I can see a real need for KNRC, not only today on the LPC issue but on many issues involving our land and ability to continue production. When you control the land you control the people!

KNRC needs your support and help to continue the efforts. Contact KNRC President Ken Klemm at KNRC.counties@gmail.com or your local county commissioner. Ask if they are a member of KNRC. Ask how you can help. I believe KNRC is a great investment in our future.

JIM RICE,

Liberal

Rice is a Seward County Commissioner.

Windsor support goes a long way

Dear citizens,

In this season of celebration and reflection, our organization would like to thank you for the progress to date and soon to come. You have made possible a successful year of fundraising and with the opening of bids in early January, the Transportation Enhancement Grant work can begin. The Lois Kaye Walls lobby and cupola renovation will follow and the community will see the forward movement we've all been working for so hard.

We continually are raising funds and have come up with a permanent calendar with historic Windsor Hotel photos and are selling steps to the grand staircase for commemorating that special individual or event. Plus, we have a documentary by Valerie Smith for order.

As 2013 culminates, take a moment for philanthropy and extend your legacy past today into a lifetime and beyond. Give a tax-deductible gift to the Windsor Hotel.

The Windsor Hotel is our community's grand old building and holds the history of our common experience.

Re-established by your efforts, the Windsor will be testament of those who came before us and the character of those who followed.

If the Windsor Hotel is the sustaining identifier of what Garden City is and was, help predict what will be by contribution or deed.

You can become a part of the FCPA at our annual meeting Jan. 22. Join the board. We need people of fervor to carry the past into the future!

Respectfully,

DON HARNESS,

Garden City

Harness is president of the Finney County Preservation Alliance.