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KSRE Tuesday Letter

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K-State Research and Extension
123 Umberger Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506-3401

August 1, 2023

Has Anything Changed in 70 Years?

Submitted by Carol Baldwin

See side-by-side comparison of land use change.

Have you seen changes in your local landscape in the past 70 years? What did it look like then compared to now? Using historic imagery and recent satellite data, the new Landscape Explorer allows you to compare the two timeframes side-by-side.

Zoom in on your area for more detail. Look for urban development and changes in agricultural land use. Especially look for expansion of woody encroachment in rangelands. Our native range is losing ground to undesirable tree cover that destroys grassland wildlife habitat, reduces forage available for livestock production, and increases wildfire intensity, along with numerous other losses in rangeland ecosystem services.

Rangelands are not “vacant lands” waiting for development. They are a precious part of our Kansas heritage and need protection. View the situation in your county and see where action is needed to keep rangelands as rangelands.