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Grassland of Special Environment Significance

Grassland of special environmental significance (GSS) means grasslands that:

  • contain little or no noxious or invasive species, as designated or defined by State or Federal law;
  • are subject to the threat of conversion to nongrassland uses or fragmentation;
  • and the land is:
    • (1)
      1. Rangeland, pastureland, or shrubland on which the vegetation is dominated by native grasses, grass-like plants, shrubs, or forbs, or
      2. Improved, naturalized pastureland and rangeland;

        and
    • (2)
      1. Provides, or could provide, habitat for threatened or endangered species or at-risk species,
      2. Protects sensitive or declining native prairie or grassland types, or
      3. Provides protection of highly sensitive natural resources.

Kansas determination process for GSS parcels

  • Grasslands contain little or no noxious or invasive species
    < 0.1 percent noxious species or quarantined plants
  • Invasive species as designated or defined by State or Federal law
    Kansas has no State invasive species list
  • Subject to the threat of conversion to nongrassland uses
    > 50 percent soils within the parcel in Land Capability Class 1-3, documented through Web Soil Survey
  • Subject to the threat of fragmentation
    > 50 percent of parcel is within Exurban Ranchette Development Areas, Potential Subsurface Mineral Exploration and Development Areas, or Potential Industrial Scale Wind Harvesting Areas
  • Rangeland, pastureland, or shrubland on which the vegetation is dominated by native grasses, grass-like plants, shrubs, or forbs
    at least 90 percent native warm season grasses/forbs as indetified in ecological site descriptions and within Grassland Region of Concern
  • Improved, naturalized pastureland and rangeland
    lands that have been re-seeded to least 90 percent native warm season grasses/forbs similar to appropriate ecological site descriptions within Grassland Region of Concern
  • Provides, or could provide, habitat for threatened or endangered species or at-risk species
    Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism (KDWPT) listing where critical habitat has been designated for threatened and endangered species or species in need of conservation (SINC) that is native grassland habitat being protected
  • Protects sensitive or declining native prairie or grassland types
    is at least 75 percent native sod containing grasses/forbs as identified in ecological site descriptions, never broke