National Heritage Areas and Kansas HB2541

by Angel Cushing

The mid 1900s flourished in “back-to-nature” movements. The recreational vehicle was invented. Advancements in tents, fishing gear and camping equipment made exploring the outdoors easier and fun. Motels became mini-vacation destinations along the great out-door adventure that everyone wanted to be a part of.

Unfortunately, coveting of private property for recreation also flourished.

To make matters worse; federal departments were tasked to create inventory lists in which to covet from. This tortured the people who found their homes and farms on the inventory lists for future acquisitions.

The continued suffering and loss of family homes eventually soured public opinion of the use of eminent domain. That change resulted in the Sagebrush Rebellion and forced the covetous to look for other ways to acquire more access to land.

Federal Designations, Jurisdictions and Conservation Easements were invented in the 1980s as a method to gain access to more private property without relocating the occupants that were on the land. These various schemes freezes development and employ Regulatory Takings while agencies and their partners acquire the land and lobby Congress for agency management.

The new method of coveting land is not limited to the federal government.

HB 2541 was introduced into the Kansas House Agriculture and Natural Resource Committee on January 18th of 2024.

The very nature of the introduction was covetous. It was introduced late Thursday afternoon with a Hearing scheduled for the following Monday afternoon. Two floors of the Capitol were filled with tables and displays by environmental groups from all over the country. They provided everyone in the Capitol lunch and sent groups to visit with legislators, hoping to be awarded Kansas taxpayer’s dollars to gain control of private property in Kansas. The Capitol and Hearing room was packed with conservation organizations who had been organizing for weeks. Their day at the Capitol had been planned for weeks.

The taxpayer was the last to know they were being asked to pay hippies to lock up and convert private property into wilderness areas. As soon as they found out, they began sending emails and calling legislators on the Committee.

Despite the short notice, more than 100 Kansans reached out to Representatives to express their opposition to the legislation; even though they did not yet know the full cost the taxpayers would be asked to pay for the property conversions.

The response was so overwhelming that Amendments were being suggested for the bill hours before the Hearing was scheduled.

One suggested that a statement that the legislation would not be a part of 30×30 should be added to HB 2541. That suggestion would not stop the acquisition and control of private property to government and non-government organizations.

Another suggestion was to add an amendment that would require the non-government organizations (NGO’s) to abide by Kansas Open Records and Kansas Open Meetings laws. That suggestion would only apply to the organizations whose registered office is within the state of Kansas.

Only a handful of people and organizations were able to submit testimony against HB 2541. About a dozen people were able to take the day off on such short notice and make the trip to Topeka to attend the Hearing.

The Hearing on HB 2541 started at 3:30 pm. The Fiscal Note revealing the full cost of the program arrived to the Hearing shortly after it began. Although the bill promised to shift money from the Kansas lottery fund and make up the difference through additional taxes on sporting goods, the government accounting office determined that those sources would not meet the required amount the law intended to implement. Just for the fiscal year of 2025, taxpayers would be required to fork over an additional $23,146,474 to pay the organizations to lock up and convert private property to wilderness areas.

Once the land is transferred to government agencies and their partners, it is removed from real estate sales, forever. Acres locked up by our state and federal government is one of the contributors to high land prices and agriculture consolidations.

Angel Cushing
Allen, Kansas

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to click on the blue hyperlinks in the article above for supporting documentation and information regarding the topic.

The full hearing link is above. Watch the opposition testimony below:

Note Kansans for Conservation posted the January 22nd Day at the Capitol event on January 1st on their website.

The public was not made aware of this bill until January 18th, when it was introduced for a hearing on January 22nd – the same day as the Day at the Capitol event – when proponents would be at the Capitol but opponents did not have time to prepare.

HB 2541

By Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources
Requested by Representative Blex on behalf of Kansans for Conservation

AN ACT concerning natural resources; relating to state moneys for
conservation; establishing the state conservation fund, the working
lands conservation fund, the wildlife conservation fund and the Kansas
outdoors fund; providing for the use of moneys in such funds by the
Kansas department of agriculture and the Kansas department of wildlife
and parks; requiring certain reports regarding such funds be made to
the governor and the legislature; authorizing certain transfers from the
state general fund and the lottery operating fund to the state
conservation fund; transfers from the state conservation fund to the
working lands conservation fund, wildlife conservation fund and the
Kansas outdoors fund; amending K.S.A. 2023 Supp. 74-8711 and
repealing the existing section

Read more about the Federal National Heritage Area legislation for more info

S.1942 – National Heritage Area Act117th Congress (2021-2022)

Read opposition from Tennessee regarding the National Heritage Act: American Policy Center Sounds Alarm About Danger Of National Heritage Act To Tennessee Sovereignty

Image Credit: American Policy Center


  1. I am thankful for the pushback on this sneaky piece of legislation. I am very grateful to all who helped to do so…

  2. I have heard Angel speak on this several times. Still hard to wrap my head around all the sneaky, greedy people. People need to request their legislators have a zoom call like Chris Croft does every Friday to their people.

    By the way Angel is appropriately named for this time

  3. I have heard Angel speak on this several times. Still hard to wrap my head around all the sneaky, greedy people. People need to request their legislators have a zoom call like Chris Croft does every Friday to their people.

    By the way Angel is appropriately named for this time

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