7th Annual Beers of the Kaw

7th Annual Beers of the Kaw

Beer of the Kaw is a beer tasting of the breweries in the Kansas River watershed, which is 61,000 square miles!  We use beer and water to educate about the watershed.  Come join us to learn a little, taste a little beer, and support our work for the Kansas River!  Tickets $35 and supports Friends of the Kaw and our work for the Kansas River!

Tickets: https://bit.ly/3KSmVcL

Sunday, November 6, 2022 from 3:00 to 6:00 PM

Abe & Jake’s Landing, Lawrence, KS

Tickets also available at (cash or check only): Sunflower Outdoor & Bike, Lawrence, KS OR Compass Point, Home of Dirty Girl Adventures, Topeka, KS

More information: https://kansasriver.org/beersofthekaw/

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 26

Where did summer go?  Beautiful fall on the Kaw is here. 

Fall Kaw sunrise. Photo by Dawn Buehler

Do you ever just look back in a blur over the last few months and wonder where it went?  That’s about how I feel as I finally sit down to write a blog post.  Since I last wrote, we finished our educational paddle trip season and moved into fall cleanup season and the Kids About Water Education Program seasons.  Many of the programs that we do are very cyclical – coming at certain times of the year and then we move on to the next.  The one thing that remains constant, unfortunately, is pollution.  Pollution never takes a break.

FOK Education Coordinator, Denise Kidder, and her Water Quality Education Team! Photo by Denise Kidder

I had a very busy August with many meetings with the Kansas Water Authority.  We hosted a Water Policy Conversation with stakeholders across the state to discuss how we can move forward together to solve some of our most important water policy problems.  This was a very important meeting and I think it set the reset button for many of us to reflect on what’s important, find where we have common ground, and how we are going to move forward.  I am a glass that is always full, kind of person, so for me this was a great step. 

FOK Program Manager, Kim Bellemere’s team working at our Kaw River State Park Restoration Project! Photo by Kim Bellemere

As for Friends of the Kaw, we’ve had more events that I can count here in this blog post.  We owe a huge thank you to Kim, Denise, Jane and Macy for their hard work on behalf of FOK.  This team makes it possible. Thank you to everyone one of you that joined us for a Beginner Wednesday this year!

Battery Cases on the KDWP airboat. Photo by Dawn Buehler

We held our bi-annual Manhattan Battery Case Cleanup event in Manhattan last weekend. When will the battery cases end? We’ve done this cleanup twice a year for 5 years now and they are still there. We know we are making progress. We move about 3 ton every time we do it. Last weekend we had our partners along with about 40 students! It was a great day for the Kaw. One of these days, we will get them all, we promise.

You likely saw all of our emails about our first ever Day of Giving!  Thanks to all of you that donated and participated.  We are truly grateful for the donations from our friends and members, and to the FOK Board and anonymous donors for challenging us to raise the dollars.  It is a wonderful thing as a non-profit to have such unanimous support of the Board of Directors.  If you see them around town, do me a favor and thank them for serving and giving so much to the river!

So what’s next?  We’ve got Beers of the Kaw (most fun of the year!), our big tire cleanup tomorrow (like, 500 tires or more), a Kansas Water Authority meeting next week, and lots of gear cleanup and storage towards the end of the month.

Our annual Kaw River Guide Weekend is coming up and I always look forward to this event.  A weekend with our volunteers, just exploring the river and enjoying each other around the campfire is the perfect way to end the river season.  While the public side of things winds down, we will still be out on the river doing river checks and looking for pollution.  I’ll try to write a blog post over the winter about pollution – don’t even get me started on the fact that it still happens!

Kansas Riverkeeper, Dawn Buehler and Governor Laura Kelly. Photo by Governor’s office.

We did have many celebrations for the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act and I was honored to stand next to Governor Kelly as she signed a proclamation.  It was a great month to celebrate how far we’ve come in 50 years! 

Kansas Riverkeeper, Dawn Buehler joined present and former staff of Kansas Department of Health and Environment, alongside Governor Laura Kelly. Photo by Governor’s office.

Lastly, I thought I’d let you all know that I became a first-time grandma in August.  My little grandson is healthy and perfect!  I can’t wait to get him in a kayak and on the river, but it will be a few years.  In the meantime, I plan to get him out on a few walks, playing in the dirt, sitting in the kayak on the pond, and dipping his toes into a mud puddle!  His Mom and Dad are gonna love how dirty he gets at Grandma’s! 

Campfire and moon with the Kaw River Guides. Photo by Dawn Buehler

I wish you all a wonderful fall season.  The best camping season on the Kaw is October – get out there and enjoy!  Contact me if I can help you plan your adventure, we are happy to help. 

I hope to see you all on the river!

For the river,

Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 25

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 25

Water Funding Updates and Summer

Hello river friends ~

Last weekend we spent time on the Kansas River from Junction City to Manhattan for the first time in a month after many rainy days.  Many of you have heard me speak about this part of our river and how beautiful it is.  Think of rolling Flint Hills and a narrower river before the influence of the Big Blue River downstream at Manhattan.  There is a very diverse tree canopy, wildlife everywhere and a peacefulness on the water.  We camped on Friday night after launching at Junction City and while it was a hot afternoon, the evening was quite enjoyable.  I slept really well in my little tent, better that I usually do for the first night out camping. 

Morning on the Kaw at Junction City (Photo by Dawn Buehler)

The next morning, we departed really early because we had to meet the public group at the Ogden Ramp.  We shoved off about 6:45 AM just after the sun came up.  There is nothing quite like watching the sun come up on the Kaw.  The wildlife along the shores and in the water.  We saw a beaver jump out of its den and another beaver swimming along beside.  This is truly a special place.

Later we arrived at the boat ramp in Ogden and met up with the public and started our Bugs, Biodiversity and the Kaw event with Dr. Greg Zolnerowich, a K-State Professor of Entomology.  We had a really great educational day on a gorgeous stretch of the river!  Next time, you need to join us!

Kansas River through the Flint Hills (Photo by Dawn Buehler)

This week is back to advocacy and working on water issues across the state.  The Kansas Water Authority meets tomorrow in Pittsburg and as the Chair, there is much to prepare for the meeting.  If you want to listen in on the meeting, there is a ZOOM option here on the Kansas Water Office website: 

https://kwo.ks.gov/admin-pages/events-landing-page/2022/06/22/default-calendar/kansas-water-authority-meeting

Speaking of water, funding and the Kansas Legislature; I wanted to give our members an update on the final tally for water this year.  In my many years of advocating for water funding, this is the first year that we have made so much progress.  Many thanks to all of the folks that have advocated for the last 15 years for funding, but also to Governor Kelly and the Kansas Legislature for finding a way to start to make water a priority. 

Here are a few updates:

  • The Governor recommended and the Kansas Legislature approved the FY 2023 SWPF appropriations including expenditures reflecting full statutory State General Fund (SGF) and Economic Initiatives Development Fund (EDIF) demand transfers of $6 million and $2 million, respectively, to the State Water Plan Fund. The full $8 million statutory demand transfer is the first time since FY 2008 in which this full amount was approved.
  • $80.0 million of State General Fund (SGF) was appropriated for the purpose of paying off capital expenses for water supply storage within Hillsdale Lake, Clinton Lake, and Big Hill Lake during FY 2022. The bill also included language regarding the dedication of revenue streams which would have been previously utilized for capital expenses on those three reservoirs to be utilized on retirement of storage debt in the future.
  • The John Redmond Reservoir bond debt will be paid off before the end of FY 2022, which will in turn put $1,000,000 per year back into the State Water Plan Fund.

We have a great deal to be thankful for this year pertaining to water.  Many heartfelt thanks to everyone that advocated for funding and kept the conversation going all these years.  We all worked hard to get here, but ultimately Governor Kelly and the Kansas Legislature made it happen.

As I close out this blog post, I ask that you please write to your Kansas Senator and/or Representative and give them a big thank you!  For now, let’s celebrate!  Then tomorrow, onward to the next….as there is more to be done in water circles.   

I hope to see you all on the river!

For the river,

Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 24

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 24

Cleaning Up the Kansas River by 2030

When I was a kid, we use to fish just upstream of De Soto on the back side of a little bend.  My Dad would take our trusty old jon boat with an old outboard mercury and shove it off the bank of our farm.  My sister and I in tow, we would head out for a day of fishing.  These are some of my very best memories of my Dad, who died in 2015.  My Dad was my connector between our farm and the Kansas River.  He taught me how to fish, bait a hook, drive a boat, canoe, drive an airboat, shoot a shotgun, ride dirt bikes and 3 wheelers, drive every tractor under the sun and even drive a semi.  He was convinced that his daughters could do anything the boys could do, and we did.  I often refer to him as one of the early advocates for women’s rights starting in the 1970’s. 

My Dad’s home made airboat from the 1970’s. Photo by Dawn Buehler.

While I was fortunate to enjoy the river from our farm, many Kansans did not have access.  Thanks to 30 years of Friends of the Kaw and the advocacy, we now have 19 access ramps that Kansans can enjoy on their public river.  When the Kansas River was designated as a National Water Trail (only the 2nd in the nation at the time) in 2012, that elevated the river in ways that I don’t think we all fully realized at the time.  Our river is now a trail not unlike many walking trails like the Katy Trail in Missouri, where you have plenty of places to hop on and off the river as well as many communities along the way to stop and resupply or get a cold beverage. 

Kansas River Water Trail designation in 2012. Pictures L-R: Laura Calwell, Kansas Riverkeeper up until 2015; Mike Calwell and Craig Thompson.

Our Kansas River Water Trail is now becoming an important part of the state – both as a source of recreation and as a working river to provide drinking water to over 800,000 Kansans, to provide irrigation, industrial uses and generate electricity.  I think for so many decades, our river was a “forgotten river”, as my predecessor Laura Calwell referred to the Kansas River in our 30-year documentary.  I think she nailed it.  It was forgotten, until Friends of the Kaw elevated the river’s voice.

I do love that our river is becoming more accessible and used by our river friends.  However, it still bothers me the amount of old dump sites that remain on the river. We removed over 1,000 tires last year, but there is still so much work to do.  We have to remember that at one time, we did not have the modern trash services that we do today.  Many rural people had no where to take their trash and often had a trash dump on their property or barrels where they burned their trash.  There also was a time when there was no way to properly dispose of large items like appliances and vehicles. So many times, they were used a bank stabilization along our rivers and streams.  We also know that discarded tires were used a bank stabilization as well. 

Tires currently waiting to be cleaned up. We will be there in October.

Today, we are cleaning up these old dump sites as much as we can.  Obviously, if an old car is holding a bank, we would not want to remove it because a) it might destabilize the bank and b) it is likely on private property.  However, there are many places along the river that we can do a big cleanup.  We have created a map (yes, a map!) of the tire cleanup sites that we have identified along the entire 173-mile-long river.  We have plans to get all of these tires removed by 2030, but let me tell you that this is an expensive endeavor.  It takes people and resources to make it happen. It takes months of partnership and volunteer building by our staff. These events “don’t just happen”. They take a great deal of coordination, partnerships, and money.

 If I can do one very important thing during my time as your Kansas Riverkeeper, I want it to be to clean up the old dump sites.  It is our duty to leave this river better than we found it.  I will not leave this mess to my children and grandchildren.  I hope you will join me in this endeavor, but we need your help.  We have set a goal to raise $10,000 each year for our cleanup efforts.  As a non-governmental public advocate, we rely on your donations to get this important work done.  Can you help us reach that goal?  Make a donation today to continue our cleanup efforts on the Kansas River!  You can donate online:  https://kansasriver.org/donation/?did=1 or send a check to PO Box 1612, Lawrence, KS 66044. 

Let’s do this together.  We can make our river a better place, with your help.  One tire at a time. 

For the river,
Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 23

Chasing the Channel – Blog Post No. 23

Photo by Dawn Buehler

Spring is such a busy time at FOK, that I often feel like I’m chasing from one thing to another.  As Kansas comes alive again with outdoor activities and meetings, it is an exciting time!  We love connecting with all of you after a long winter, and this one has been long! 

When I last left the blog post, a few of us were embarking on a 173-mile-long river check.  As Kansas spring would have it, we made it exactly half way and had to abandon our plans due to forecasted 50+ mph winds and rain.  We know that we must set the example as well as make smart and safe decisions for ourselves, so we decided that the river would be there for another day to complete our river check.  We did enjoy a beautiful trip from Junction City to Topeka.  We camped on the sandbars and literally chased the channel as the sandbars were in full view.  The river was really active with all types of ducks and the bald eagles showed off their glory. 

New kayak trailer build in process.

Back in the office, it was time to get ready for our season. This effort is not simply pulling out the kayak trailer and hitting the road.  No, it is much more than that.  We have to complete maintenance on the trailer, boats, and gear.  We replace old lifejackets and paddles and help our Education Coordinator, Denise Kidder, get ready for the education season.  First Aid kits are replenished and ropes and tie downs are checked.  At FOK, we all do the dirty work from volunteers to staff to board members, and we are happy to do it! 

Beginner Paddle was fun!

We held our first Beginner’s Wednesday and took about 50 people out paddling on the Kansas River for the first time.  We have more events coming up, so be sure to check one out.  This is a great way to get hand on experience with one of our Kaw River Guides.  We have many other events scheduled this year including Beginner Camping and our Members Events.  We are also launching the KAW 173 Challenge this year – to encourage you to paddle the entire Kansas River (watch for more soon!). The best way to watch for all of these events and be the first to know is through our newsletter. 

Hopefully by now you have all seen our updated Kansas River Access Map!  With funding from Evergy, we were able to give the map a big overhaul.  So many hands were in this project from staff to volunteers to our board.  We will be giving a presentation with Google for their Geo for Good Lightning Talks Series #9 Outdoor Recreation & Sustainability!  We are super thrilled to be a part of this event.

For a quick update with the Kansas Water Authority, we held our meeting in Emporia in April.  We heard an update on the legislative activities involving water including opportunities to pay down debt on federal reservoirs, full statutory funding of the $8M into the Kansas Water Plan Fund, and pay down of the John Redmond Bond. If all of these items come to fruition, this could be one of the best years for water funding in a long time.  That said, to fully fund the State Water Plan will require much more, upwards of $55M per year. Reaching that goal will be our next challenge.  To stay up to date, follow along with social media from the Kansas Water Office or look for meeting dates and times on their website:  https://kwo.ks.gov/news-events/calendar

Kaw River Guide Workshop 2022

We also held our annual Kaw River Guide Workshop last weekend to a great crowd!  Some joined us for the first time, while others came to reconnect with each other.  This is one of my favorite events of the year and by far some of my favorite people.  Our Kaw River Guides give their time and talents to our collective efforts for the Kansas River, and none of our work could be done without them.  You can still join us. Attending the workshop is not a requirement, so reach out to me today if you have your own boat/gear and want to get involved.  We could use your help!

Please consider donating to our efforts to remove these tires from the Kansas River – and many more!

Lastly, we are always in fundraising mode as the only non-profit dedicated to the Kansas River and a non-governmental public advocate.  We rely on donations from our members to keep things going.  While fundraisers help us much of the year, we must continue to fundraise for our activities.  We have a healthy schedule this season to educate youth and public, cleanup our river and advocate for protection.  Please consider a donation today towards our efforts!  You can donate here:  https://kansasriver.org/donation/?did=1

Our team scouting the tire site in the pouring rain!

We went out last week in the pouring down rain and scouted the next big tire cleanup site.  There are SO MANY TIRES.  Thanks to all of you – through donations or your volunteer efforts – we will get it done!  Save the date for Saturday, October 15, 2022 for a big effort.  We are gathering our partners, but we already have Every Green Team and Kansas Backcountry Hunters & Anglers ready to go!  Together, we can do more. 

We hope to see you on the river this season.

May you always have sand in your shoes.

For the river,

Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

It’s Paddle Season!

It’s Paddle Season!

Paddle season is here and you can join Friends of the Kaw for your first or next river adventure! We have big events coming up including Beginner Wednesday’s, Beginner Camping, and our popular Educational Paddle Trips including Bugs, Biodiversity & the Kaw coming up May 21 and a Water Quality Paddle on June 25! Find all of our events and sign up information on our event calendar!

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 22

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 22

Checking the entire river…..

Picking up tires on the Kaw. Photo by Dawn Buehler

It sure seems like winter keeps hanging on.  If you know me, then you know.  I’m all about summer!  My husband says we should truly live in another state based upon my love for warm weather.  That being said, it is crazy to think that I am departing on a 7 to 8 day river trip to do a river check in spring Kansas weather!  Wish me luck….I’ll be buried under many layers!

March was a busy month, but then every month has it’s own special kind of busy.  We’ve been working on our calendar and events for the season, getting grant projects kicked off, and fundraising for our new trailer, kayaks, boat trailer, and educational supplies for our Kids About Water Program.  Big heartfelt thank you to every one of you that donated to these efforts!  We could not do this without you.  We enjoy being a non-governmental public advocate – but that means fundraising to do our work.  Lucky for us, we have great donors and members that keep us going!  We can’t wait to show you all of the new gear once we get it all settled. 

I’ve done quite a few presentations this month to the Jayhawk Rotary, Manhattan Rotary, Tonganoxie Historical Society, and just this week, the keynote speaker for the Kansas Rural Water Association’s Annual Conference in Wichita.  Each of these are such wonderful opportunities for us to share our message.  Thank you to all of you!  If you would like a speaker for an upcoming event and want to learn more about our work for the Kansas River, reach out and get us on your schedule.  We love sharing our story!

Stay tuned to our social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) as we have a Kaw Minute coming out next week about doing river checks.  I will share some photos along the journey to our social media as well and will wrap up the trip with a blog post when I’m back in the office.  See you at Kaw Point or any stop along the way. 

May you always have sand in your shoes,

For the river,

Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 21

Chasing the Channel – Blog No. 21

Kayaking the river on one of the nice days last week. Photo just upstream of Wamego. Photo by Dawn Buehler

I went out on the river over the weekend just before the sleet and snow arrived.  I did catch some of the wind at the end of the trip, but otherwise the weather was pretty nice for March in Kansas.  Kicked off at St. George after getting some pizza from Willie’s Hideout (if you know, you know).  Made it about 6 miles downstream and camped for the night at a side island bar that we call Steve’s Back Porch.  Long story, but I think every sandbar has a story!  We stayed pretty sheltered out of the wind except for the hour when the wind shifted and rattled the tent flaps.  Otherwise, it was a beautiful night with great temperatures.  The next morning, we took off for Belvue, about 14 miles downstream.  The sun came out, it got warm and we shed some layers and had lunch on Comet View Sandbar (another story).  The only part of the trip that felt like a heavy lift was the last ¼ mile into Belvue when the big winds hit.  Let’s say my paddle arms got an early start to the season!

Kayaking towards the Wamego access point. Photo by Greg Zolnerowich

Well, by now you should have heard the news if you watch our social media that the mega water bill, House Bill 2686, was gutted by a substitute bill in the House Water Committee last week on March 1.  If you want to read up on the latest, you can follow our friends at Kansas Rural Center and their Policy Watch.  The bill was not a perfect bill, but was an attempt by the House Water Committee to solve many of the problems that they heard over the course of two years of hearings.  Obviously, there were many different opinions about the bill.  Whatever your thoughts are, the bottom line is that we need to find solutions that find common ground.  You know, the place in the middle where we can all agree.  I am known as an optimist, and I know that, but hear me out.  The only way we can find solutions to the water issues in Kansas is to work together.  I don’t know much about politics, but I do know a thing or two about building partnerships and community consensus.  I think the path forward must be rooted in building trust, learning more about the different demands for water and move forward on that.  There will be those that say there is no place to agree – and to that I say, that mindset is part of the problem and not part of the solution.  Step one is to be willing to have an open mind and think about things from another’s perspective.  So, let’s start there.  We need a grassroots effort that includes everyone. 

On to more fun topics, like our events coming up.  Did you see that we are bringing back Bones of the Kaw?  Remember, we had this scheduled just days after the COVID shutdown.  Thanks to KU Natural History Museum, we are partnering to bring it back!  This event is free to our members (it quickly sold out, but we hope to release more tickets soon).  Coming up later this year, is Fish of the Kaw in June, Prairies of the Kaw in September, and Otters & Beavers of the Kaw in December.  You can look at all of our events on our calendar here:  https://kansasriver.org/eventcalendar/

Kaw River Guides building friendships during our Shawnee Tire Cleanup last year.

Still thinking about joining us as a Kaw River Guide?  Don’t hesitate and join us for our annual Kaw River Guide Workshop. Maybe you are nervous, don’t think you are ready, or are concerned about meeting new people.  I’m here to tell ya – all are welcome. We do our best to create an atmosphere that is inclusive and welcoming.  You don’t have to have it all figured out – you can learn along the way just like the rest of us did.  Just take the first step and come out on the river with us!  If you have questions, call or email me and I’m happy to visit with you about the program. 

Big, fun events coming up this year with themed paddle trips including our first one in May called “Bugs, Biodiversity & the Kaw” where you can join us on a paddle with Dr. Greg Zolnerowich, Entomologist with K-State, or a Water Quality Testing Paddle Trip with our very own Education Coordinator, Denise Kidder!  Later in the summer, we will paddle with the Jayhawk Audubon Society to learn all about Birds on the Kaw.  So many fun things to do, thanks to our partners.  All of our events will open about 6 weeks out and we will notify via our newsletter, so stay tuned.

First up are two big cleanups that we do every year.  The annual Manhattan Battery Case Cleanup and the Kansas River Cleanup in Lawrence (details coming soon).  Who doesn’t love a good cleanup? 

Denise Kidder, our Education Coordinator on the left, with our 2021 Board President, Margaret Fast. Denise never asks for much for her educational programs and really knows how to stretch a dollar. If you can, please donate towards the $2,000 we need to upgrade the materials she needs to teach students about water quality.

In the meantime, we are gearing up for spring by getting our gear repaired and ready to go.  Please consider donating to our Wish List – we need just 6 more new kayaks to complete our wish list for new gear for our Educational Paddle Program.  Thanks to you, we are almost there!  We also are in need of about $2,000 for our Kids About Water Program for new gear and training.  Please consider a donation to our programs to educate! 

I think that’s it for now – so much going on with our river that it is hard to put it all into words.  I did promise our late friend, Rolland Love, that I would continue to write my thoughts about the work we do for the river in a blog post.  Rolland passed away in January and was such a bright light to all that knew him.  Hilarious, kind, wicked sense of humor – and he always, always, always encouraged me to write.  So here I am, thanks to Rolland and I will keep doing my best to write about our journey.

I hope to see you soon on the river.  Join us – somehow, some way. 

May you always have sand in your shoes.

For the river,
Dawn Buehler

Kansas Riverkeeper

ADVOCACY ALERT: House Bill No. 2686

House Bill 2686

ADVOCACY ALERT: House Bill No. 2686

REORGANIZATION OF WATER RELATED AGENCIES AND FEES FOR WATER FUNDING
The House Water Committee has introduced a bill, HB 2686, with the goal of improving the protection and management of water in our state. You can read the bill on the Kansas Legislature’s website here: http://www.kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/measures/hb2686/


Please consider submitting your thoughts on the content of House Bill No. 2686. You can submit testimony either in writing, virtual or in person. Testimony will be heard on Wednesday and Thursday of next week, February 16 and 17, 2022. We also ask that if possible, come to the Statehouse for the hearings! Water is important and we need to show our support for attention to water in Kansas.

Hearing: Wednesday, February 16, 2022, 9:00 AM Room 152-S.
Hearing: Thursday, February 17, 2022, 9:00 AM Room 152-S.


Here you will find the House Water Committee’s agenda for next week here. http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/committees/ctte_h_water_1/documents/agenda/weekly/20220220.pdf

We have also included the House Water Committee’s rules for testifying below. You should notify the committee assistant, Tony Prohaska, of your intent to testify as soon as possible and no later than 9 am Monday. Tony can be reached by email at Tony.Prohaska@House.ks.gov or by phone at 785-296-7310. An electronic copy of your testimony should then be submitted to Tony no later than 10:00 a.m. the day before you testify. Testimony can be offered orally or written, virtually or in-person, and can be proponent, neutral, or opponent in nature. The committee rules are listed here: http://kslegislature.org/li/b2021_22/committees/misc/20212022watercommitteenoticetoconfereesadjustedfornewca.pdf

Why is this important? Some thoughts from your Kansas Riverkeeper:

For years, we’ve been advocating at the Kansas Capitol for more attention to water issues. We’ve begged, pleaded, and danced around in hopes that someone would pay attention. In the middle of the battles over education, we were told that “water would have to wait”. The Kansas Water Plan has been under funded for the last 15 years and has never received an increase since it’s inception. We have heard from citizens that water is confusing in Kansas and that you never know where to go to find anything. We’ve been advocating, but often times it felt like our voice was small compared to so many other issues facing our state.

In 2021, the House Water Committee was created and they took up the issue (we are grateful). They spent all of last session taking a very hard look at how water is organized in Kansas, how far behind we are on dealing with water issues, and how much money we need to get things right. Along the way, the rest of us learned about water in Kansas, too. If you missed it, you can get up to speed by watching the videos of the House Water Committee in 2021 and 2022 here: https://www.youtube.com/c/KSLegislatureLIVE

What we all learned, is that water in Kansas is confusing and we don’t really realize great synergies due to the way that water is organized right now. We are in this together – trying to make sure we have enough water for EVERYONE, the best water quality for EVERYONE, planning for climate change, and making sure that our kids don’t have too many messes to clean up. This is hard work, folks. I commend the House Water Committee for their hard work to bring forth House Bill 2686. I am grateful for their bipartisan leadership – yes, you heard me right. Bipartisan leadership. They have set the example at the Statehouse and I’m proud of the work they’ve done.

Now it’s your turn. Submit testimony. Be heard.
For the river,
Dawn Buehler
Kansas Riverkeeper

For more thoughts on water, read your Kansas Riverkeeper’s latest blog about funding water in Kansas: https://kansasriver.org/category/chasing-the-channel-blog/

13th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

13TH ANNUAL WILD & SCENIC FILM FESTIVAL

LIVE and VIRTUAL SCREENINGS – FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 25, 2022
Tickets for Liberty Hall

Tickets for VIRTUAL Showing

What is the Wild & Scenic Film Festival?

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), in 2003.  Read more here:  https://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/about/.  The film festival has evolved into the largest environmental film festival in the nation.  The annual event each January in Nevada City, CA kicks off the nationwide tour to over 140 cities. We think the films are just too good, and the messages too powerful to keep them to ourselves. Come watch and see for yourself!  Learn more about the Wild & Scenic Film Festival!

This Festival benefits Friends of the Kaw! We are hosting the 13th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and all proceeds from the event will benefit Friends of the Kaw and the Kansas Riverkeeper Program.

FREE Education Tickets, first come first serve.  Email request for FREE tickets to:   info@kansasriver.org.  Courtesy of EVERGY’S GREEN TEAM! Learn more: https://kansasriver.org/wsff/