On February 29, 2020, 15 volunteers from Kansas BHA and the general hunting community joined Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) at Perry Wildlife Area for the chapter’s first boots-on-the-ground stewardship project aimed at enhancing local wildlife habitat. Perry Wildlife Area is approximately 10,000 acres of land at the north end of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Perry Reservoir, located in northeast Kansas. Perry Wildlife Area is operated by KDWPT for wildlife management and is open to the public for hunting, fishing and trapping opportunities. Bordering the Delaware River, Perry Wildlife Area boasts about 1,000 acres of wetland habitat along with woodlands and warm/cool season grasslands.
The primary purpose of the project was to assist in access clearance and habitat management through the creation of a firebreak. As is the issue elsewhere in Kansas, invasive red cedars have taken hold throughout Perry Wildlife Area and effective management of the wildlife area requires controlled burns. Armed with chainsaws and pliers, volunteers clearcut a ¼ mile firebreak on an abandoned railroad easement and removed close to one mile of fence. In the week following the project, KDWPT began its burn program in the area which was desperately needed but previously unavailable due to the lack of firebreak control.
Despite Kansas’s erratic weather this time of year, volunteers were treated to a picturesque spring day. Although the work was physically demanding, volunteers ended the day with an overwhelming sense of accomplishment and a new appreciation for Kansas’s beautiful public lands.
If you would like to be involved in future Kansas BHA service projects, please email [email protected]