Return of the Buffalo Commons

Thanks to the NRPA Weekly newsletter that shows up in my inbox, I ran across an interesting article about an old idea that I had long forgotten. Many years ago I went to a lecture at CU presented by the proponents of a concept they called the Buffalo Commons. While intrigueing at the time, it nontheless seemed pretty far-fetched. The idea was to remove people from much of the Great Plains and return it to a natural condition where the buffalo could freely roam. Interesting now to hear the idea being resurected by none other than the governor of Kansas. An article at talks about the possibility of turning a large part of northwestern Kansas into a "Buffalo Commons National Park".

The article also mentions a bill introduced in Congress last week to restore full funding to the Land and Water Conservation Fund. In my travels to inventory and evaluate parks across the country, I frequently run across parks that were created years ago with Land and Water Conservation Funds. These parks are providing an important service today to people in a wide variety of communities. Restoration of this program to full funding would benefit many communities, particularly smaller ones that don't have a lot of other resources for creating parks.

Rob Layton