Legislative Updates

Come to the Capitol Tomorrow – Thursday February 1, 2018 in show of support:

Press Conference with Senator Holland and Rep. Karleskint:

Kansas State Capitol
300 SW 10th Ave Room 212 N
Topeka, KS 66612
Thursday Feburary 1, 2018 at 3:00 PM

Thursday’s press conference will be about the legislation Senator Holland and Representative Karleskint are working on. This would place chicken processing factories and chicken CAFOs under rules requiring public notification and mandating a time frame for community and neighbor input. The purpose is so that something like Tyson could not be snuck into town in the dark of night like what happened inTonganoxie.

We need a grassroots effort of support. Please come to Topeka in a show of support. As we found out this summer, there is power in numbers.

Follow this bill introduced by KDHE SB 337, nicknamed the “Tyson Bill”

Last week the Kansas Department of Health & Environment requested legislation to change animal conversion units so that clusters of chicken houses with over 100,000 birds can be sited much closer to neighboring properties (4,000 feet down to 1,360 feet).

As state law is currently written, the number of birds is restricted by set back distances from neighbors. This is a move in opening the state up to contract poultry production and processing.

Read the full bill here:
http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2017_18/measures/documents/sb337_00_0000.pdf

Protecting Water in Kansas – A Panel Discussion
Sponsored by the Sustainable Action Network

Date: Friday, February 2, 2018
Time: 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM
Locatoin: 2110 Harper St., Lawrence, KS

The panel will consist of water activists who are leaders in their own organizations, and who draw upon varying perspectives for protecting our valuable waters. Our intent is to educate, inspire, bring additional people into the movement, collaborate, and mobilize to action. The following representatives from these groups will be the panelists:

Dawn Buehler – Friends of the Kaw: Kansas Riverkeeper
Craig Volland- Kansas Sierra Club
Thad Holcombe – Water Advocacy Team
Rachel Jefferson – Historic Northeast Midtown Association
Karin Pagel-Meiners – Wakarusa Group – Kansas Sierra Club
Jessica Skyfield – Kansas Water
Eric Kirkendall, moderator – Sustainability Action Network

The evening will begin with a pot luck dinner at 6:00pm.
7:00pm we will welcome everyone and give an overview of water issues concerning our local communities.

After introductions, each of the panelists will describe the state of water as they see it, and how their organization is working to protect our waters for the common good.

In the second hour, we want to explore how all of us can best work together as a team to define and spark action that will lead to substantive change. Each of the panelists and their organizations have distinctive approaches to these issues, and any potential actions will be more effective if we combine our efforts. We hope you will join us.

Events in January 2018

EVENTS – JANUARY 2018

Water Advocacy Team Meeting
Lawrence, Kansas

 Join us…to learn and to discuss.  All are welcome!

Feature No. 1: THE KANSAS RIVER: HOW BAD IS IT REALLY AND HOW MUCH BETTER CAN WE MAKE IT? Presented by Tom Stiles, Assistant Director of Bureau of Water, Kansas Department of Health and Environment

Feature No. 2:  ORGANIZING FOR PLANNING AND ADVOCACY with Focus Groups on Water Quality of the Kansas River and Clinton Lake; Depletion of Aquifers; Kansas Corporation Commission; Douglas County Horizon 20/20; 2018 Farm Bill

When: Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Time:  6:45 PM to 8:30 PM
Where: Central United Methodist Church (Fellowship Hall, Second Floor, 1501 Massachusetts Street, Lawrence, Kansas
RSVP:  Thad Holcombe @ tjholcombe@gmail.com and/or 785-843-2574

January Meeting/Seminar
of the
Douglas County Democrats

When:  Saturday, January 20, 2018

Time:  9:30 AM to 11:30 AM

Where:  Lawrence Arts Center, 940 New Hampshire, Lawrence, KS

Kansas Environmental Issues Panel: Come hear from statewide environmental organizations about key issues and what you can do to get involved!

Invited panelists include:

Zack Pistora- Sierra Club
Kris Knight- The Nature Conservancy
Dorothy Barnett- The Climate and Energy Project
Dawn Buehler – Friends of the Kaw

Thank you to Rep. Eileen Horn for organizing and moderating this informative event!

In Honor of our Future we will be providing Free Daycare at Laugh Out Loud (ages 2 and up). Please RSVP by messaging Douglas County Democrats on Facebook or emailing dcdksit@gmail.com.

Kaw Valley Eagles Day
Saturday, January 20, 2018
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM

Lawrence Free State High School
4700 Overland Drive, Lawrence, KS

The 22nd Annual Kaw Valley Eagles Day is a free event for the whole family! There will be arts and crafts, informational booths, presentations, live critters on display, owl pellet dissection, and eagle-viewing field trips. Come for an hour or the whole day: you won’t be disappointed!

Kaw Point Park Eagles Day
Friday, January 26 and Saturday, January 27, 2018
9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Kaw Point Park
1403 Fairfax Trafficway, Kansas City, KS 

Kaw Point Park Eagles Day is a free event for the whole family! There will be a program on eagles from Prairie Park Nature Center featuring an eagle and other birds of prey.  Many things for the kids and located on the beautiful Kansas River!

Decrease in level of PCBs in the Kansas River leads to modification of Kansas River Fish Consumption Advisory

Decrease in level of PCBs in the Kansas River leads to modification of Kansas River Fish Consumption Advisory

Kansas has modified fish consumption advisories for portions of Cow Creek, the Kansas River, and Little Arkansas River because of decreased levels of polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) in bottomfeeding fish fillet samples collected in recent years.

Kansas recommends restricting consumption of bottom-feeding fish to one meal per week from the following location because of PCBs:  The Kansas River from Lawrence (below Bowersock Dam) downstream to Eudora at the confluence of the Wakarusa River (Douglas and Leavenworth counties.

https://khap2.kdhe.state.ks.us/NewsRelease/PDFs/1-3-18%20Kansas%20issues%20revised%20fish%20consumption%20advisories.pdf

Please Help Us Protect the Kansas River in 2018

FOK Santa

Dear Friend,

Let me start off by thanking you for being a part of Friends of the Kaw in 2017 and supporting the work we do to protect the Kansas River!  Your support is truly how our work happens and we are grateful to you for your continued partnership for the river.

2017 kicked off with some of our regular activities as we worked to promote recreation and engage people about the river and our work to protect it. This included our annual Volunteer Paddle Workshop, tabling events such as Earth Day, our Kids About Water (KAW) Classes, and many cleanups along the banks of the Kansas River.

We were successful in obtaining a grant that funded the Kansas River Inventory this summer. Our work is not yet complete but we have already inventoried a portion of the river – documenting the places that need cleaned up, erosion points, and concrete rip-rap along the banks. We will use this data to help us make decisions about future grant programs and projects along the river.

Additional success this year included the inclusion of the Kansas River into the Sustainable Rivers Program. This is a partnership between the Corps of Engineers and The Nature Conservancy Kansas to manage for more ecological flows on the river. We are happy to be a partner in this long-term project and look forward to the potential benefits that this can provide to all users of the river.

In September, the Corps of Engineers released the Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will ultimately decide whether or not to renew dredging permits on the Kaw. We expect a Record of Decision to come out soon that will detail the decision by the Corps of Engineers.

The Kansas Riverkeeper is a member of the Kansas River Regional Advisory Committee. This committee was established by the Kansas Water Authority in conjunction with the Long-Term Vision for the Future of Water in Kansas. The role of the committee is to advise the Kansas Water Office and the Kansas Water Authority in identification of water-related problems, issues and concerns within the Kansas River region. The Committee has been busy in 2017 finalizing action plans for the region’s water quality and water supply goals. Dawn Buehler, our Kansas Riverkeeper, has done a tremendous job representing the Kansas River on this committee.

Lastly, I would like to ask you to send your tax-deductible gift today and help us to remove dredging operations from our river, advocate for water quality, educate youth and adults, demand enforcement of the Clean Water Act, and represent the Kansas River in discussions that impact our state. Consider giving a membership as a holiday gift, or become a Sustaining Member. Over 800,000 Kansans depend on the Kaw for drinking water, and the river is home to many native plants and animals. The river has been designated a National Water Trail and is arguably the superior outdoor experience for the region.

Thank you for your continued support of Friends of the Kaw and the Kansas Riverkeeper. Together we are protecting our river for present and future generations.

Warm regards,

Mark Dugan, President