CRP enrollment extended

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has extended the Conservation Reserve Program enrollment period for another week.

Landowners can sign up through April 13.

The extension was made reportedly because of strong interest.

Based on what is signed up, USDA will evaluate the offers based on cost and environmental benefits, which as wildlife habitat, water quality protection, soil erosion and air quality.

Offers ultimately accepted will take effect Oct. 1.

Details are available at county Farm Service Agency offices.

Wetlands center extends hours

GREAT BEND -- The Kansas Wetlands Education Center has changed its hours for the summer.

Through Oct. 31, the center will be open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday.

Between Nov. 1 and March 31, KWEC will revert back to regular hours.

The wetlands center is located northeast of Great Bend adjacent to Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Management Area. It is an adjunct to Sternberg Museum of Natural History in Hays.

New program for wildlife

A new Working Lands for Wildlife program has been launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help restore habitat for the lesser prairie chicken.

The program makes available $33 million to restore and protect habitat for the birds. Enrollment lasts through April 30, at which time USDA will rank eligible applications for funding.

Land in 36 Kansas counties are eligible for enrollment in the program. In northwest Kansas, those counties are: Ellis, Gove, Graham, Logan, Ness, Rush, Sheridan, Sherman, Thomas, Trego and Wallace.