K-State to host native grasslands conference

By The Mercury

Nearly 200 researchers, students, ranchers and conservationists will gather in Manhattan Aug. 12-14 for the biennial America’s Grasslands Conference. The event will focus on the status, threats and opportunities facing America’s declining grasslands.

It is the first time for Kansas State University to host the conference, which will be at the Hilton Garden Inn, 410 S. Third St., Manhattan. The event is co-hosted by the National Wildlife Federation.

This year’s conference, “America’s Grasslands: The Future of Grasslands in a Changing Landscape,” will focus on collaborating with ranchers to conserve grasslands.

Conference events will also take place at the Manhattan Conference Center, at Hilton Garden Inn. The nearby Flint Hills Discovery Center and the Konza Prairie Biological Station made Manhattan a natural fit for this year’s conference, said Briggs, who is also director of the Konza Prairie Biological Station.

The last conference, in Sioux Falls, S.D., two years ago, attracted more than 250 people.

On Aug. 12, conference participants will have the option to tour local grasslands, including the Flint Hills Native Tallgrass Prairie and the Konza Prairie Biological Station. Aug. 13 and 14 will include breakout sessions, presentations, posters and round-table discussion surrounding a variety of topics related to native grassland conservation and restoration.

An opening reception on Aug. 12 will take place in the Flint Hills Discovery Center and a dinner on Aug. 13 at the Konza Prairie Biological Station will give participants the chance to talk informally and collaborate.

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