The Flint Hills of Kansas and the Osage Hills of northern Oklahoma are the last substantial contiguous stand of tallgrass prairie in North America, and one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems.
This is about the last 4% of prairie remaining in North America. While most prairie has been turned into productive farmland, the rocky uplands made this part of the prairie difficult to plow. With the arrival of the Texas cattle drives in the 1860s, the Flint Hills became a principal grazing region. Since that time, the ranching heritage of this region has preserved the tallgrass in its natural state in many areas.
The subtle beauty of the Flint Hills has been an inspiration to musicians, poets and artists for generations. It is a place where man and nature have been able to successfully coexist, and it provides many important lessons for us as we work to care for our planet.