Gov. Kelly reaffirms Tallgrass Heartland wind moratorium

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 5:19 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Governor Laura Kelly has reaffirmed the Tallgrass Heartland wind moratorium region of the Flint Hills.

Governor Laura Kelly says on World Nature Conservation Day, Tuesday, July 28, she proclaimed the reaffirmation of the Tallgrass Heartland wind moratorium region of the Flint Hills. She says the area includes portions of 12 Kansas counties and contains 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.”

The Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism Secretary Brad Loveless says he emphasizes 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 Kelly says former Governor Kathleen Sebelius first declared a wind development moratorium in parts of the Flint Hills in 2004 on the advice of the Kansas Geological Society and the Wind and Power Task Force. She says in 2011, Governor Brownback expanded the protection area to its current size and named 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.

Gov. Kelly says over 15% of Kansas’ electricity comes from renewable energy and the state has the second-largest wind power potential of any state. She says the industry has grown exponentially in the past few years and has more than tripled since 2008.

Governor Kelly’s full proclamation can be read here.

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