The Saga of the Flint Hills Burning

Much of the grasslands in the Flint Hills are burned in the early spring every year to encourage the growth of nutritious new grass that aids cattle grazing and also to prevent encroachment of woody plant species that would reduce pasture. However, intensive burning and stocking practices were introduced in the 1980s to speed cattle weight gain have also led to a decline in the population of grassland birds including the iconic prairie chicken. Also, the more frequent and intensive burning has caused exceedances of the national air quality standard for ozone smog in Wichita, Topeka, and the KC Metro area. On tonight’s EcoRadio KC, special guest Craig Volland of the Sierra Club will be in the studio to explain all this and what can be done about it.

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