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A natural features inventory of the Smoky Hill ANG Range, Kansas

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A five-year study of the biological resources on the Smoky Hill Air National Guard Range was conducted from 2003—2007 by the Kansas Biological Survey. The three primary objectives of the project were to conduct biological inventories for animals,
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    Open-file Report No. 137 September 15, 2007 Kansas Biological Survey 2101 Constant Ave. Lawrence, KS 66047   A N ATURAL F EATURES I NVENTORY OF THE S MOKY H ILL ANG R ANGE , K ANSAS    A N ATURAL F EATURES I NVENTORY OF THE S MOKY H ILL ANG R ANGE , K ANSAS   P REPARED FOR  A IR N ATIONAL G UARD R EADINESS C ENTER  3500 F ETCHET A VENUE  A NDREWS AFB, MD 20762-5157 AND  S MOKY H ILL A IR N ATIONAL G UARD R ANGE  8429 W EST F ARRELLY R OAD  S ALINA , KS 67401-9407 S EPTEMBER 15, 2007 Citation: Busby, W. H., J. M. Delisle, C. C. Freeman, K. Kindscher, H. Loring, D. E. Nimz, and C. J. Schmidt. 2007. A natural features inventory of the Smoky Hill ANG Range, Kansas. Open-file Report No. 137. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS. 403 pp. Assume corporate authorship for chapters and appendices except where stated otherwise. Chapters and appendices with individual authors may be cited as in the following example: Kindscher, K., and H. Loring. 2007. Plant communities and landscape features. Pp. 11—34.  In  Busby, W. H., J. M. Delisle, C. C. Freeman, K. Kindscher, H. Loring, D. E.  Nimz, and C. J. Schmidt. 2007. A natural features inventory of the Smoky Hill ANG Range, Kansas. Open-file Report No. 137. Kansas Biological Survey, Lawrence, KS. 403 pp. Cover Photo: Smoky Hill ANG Range Landscape. Hillary Loring.    i TABLE OF CONTENTS   Table of Contents…………………………………………………………………………… iList of Figures………………………………………………………………………………. ivList of Tables……………………………………………………………………………….. viAcknowledgements…………………………………………………………………………. viiiExecutive Summary………………………………………………………………………… ixChapter 1. Introduction…………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.1. Project Background …………………………………………………………………. 1 1.2. Study Objectives…………………………………………………………………….. 1 1.3. Study Area……………………………………………………………………………4 1.4. Overview of Ecological History, Current Conditions, and Land Management Recommendations ………………………………………………………………….. 7 1.4.1. Management goals and philosophy………………………………………………... 7 1.4.2. Historical ecological conditions……………………………………………………. 7 1.4.3. Current Ecological Conditions……………………………………………………... 7   1.4.4. Current Land Management………………………………………………………… 8 1.4.5.   Land Management Discussion and Recommendations…………………………… 8 Chapter 2. Plant Communities and Landscape Features…………………………………… 11 2.1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………….. 112.1.1. Management Areas on the Smoky Hill ANGR…………………………………….112.1.2. Past Land Uses…………………………………………………………………….. 132.1.3. Objectives of Community Vegetation Data Collection…………………………… 15 2.2. Methods………………………………………………………………………………152.2.1. Community Assessments………………………………………………………….. 152.2.2. Percent Cover of Plant Species……………………………………………………. 152.2.3. Condition Grades………………………………………………………………….. 202.2.4. Floristic Quality Assessment and Shannon Diversity Index……………………….202.2.5. Soils………………………………………………………………………………...212.2.6. Rangeland Areas Adjacent to Smoky Hill ANGR………………………………… 212.2.7. Riparian Area……………………………………………………………………… 21 2.3. Results……………………………………………………………………………….. 232.3.1. Former Crop Fields and Historic Landscape……………………………………… 232.3.2. Plant Communities and Landscape Features……………………………………… 232.3.3. Plant Community Data from Tallgrass Prairie……………………………………..262.3.4. Riparian Woodland Results……………………………………………………….. 33 2.4. Conclusions………………………………………………………………………….. 34Chapter 3. Floristic Surveys………………………………………………………………... 35 3.1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………….. 35 3.2. Methods………………………………………………………………………………36 3.3. Results and Discussion……………………………………………………………….383.3.1. General Surveys…………………………………………………………………… 383.3.2. Rare Vascular Plants………………………………………………………………. 423.3.2.1. Federal-listed Species…………………………………………………………… 42    ii3.3.2.2. State-rare Species………………………………………………………………... 423.3.3. Floristic Surveys…………………………………………………………………... 453.3.4. Weed Surveys……………………………………………………………………... 50 3.4. Conclusions………………………………………………………………………...... 56Chapter 4. Animal Surveys………………………………………………………………… 58 4.1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………...... 58 4.2. Rare and Endangered Animal Species………………………………………………. 594.2.1. Methods…………………………………………………………………………….594.2.2. Results and Discussion……………………………………………………………..594.2.2.1. Federal-listed Species…………………………………………………………… 594.2.2.2. State-listed and Rare Species……………………………………………………. 62 4.3. General Vertebrate Surveys…………………………………………………………. 734.3.1. Reptiles and Amphibians………………………………………………………….. 734.3.1.1. Materials and Methods…………………………………………………………... 734.3.1.2. Results…………………………………………………………………………… 784.3.1.3. Discussion……………………………………………………………….………. 804.3.1.4. Species Accounts………………………………………………………………... 824.3.1.5. Potential Species………………………………………………………………… 1034.3.2. Mammal Surveys………………………………………………………………….. 1034.3.2.1. Materials and Methods…………………………………………………………... 1034.3.2.2. Results…………………………………………………………………………… 1064.3.2.3. Discussion……………………………………………………………………….. 1124.3.2.4. Species Accounts………………………………………………………………... 1134.3.2.5. Potential Species………………………………………………………………… 1294.3.3. Bird Surveys………………………………………………………………………..1294.3.3.1. Materials and Methods…………………………………………………………... 1294.3.3.2. Results and Discussion…………………………………………………………...1314.3.3.3. Potential Species………………………………………………………………… 1384.4. Abundances of Breeding Birds According to Fire, Hay, or Cattle Grazing Management…………………………………………………………………………. 1384.4.1. Materials and Methods…………………………………………………………….. 1384.4.2. Results and Discussion……………………………………………………………..1414.4.3. Management Recommendations…………………………………………………... 145Chapter 5. Evaluation of Range Management Practices…………………………………… 151 5.1. Introduction………………………………………………………………………….. 151 5.2. Range Tour Notes…………………………………………………………………… 152 5.3. Overview of Recommendations……………………………………………………... 154 5.4. Post-Tour Comments from Evaluation Team Members…………………………….. 157Chapter 6. Preparation of Recommendations and Action Plan for Control and Abatement of Invasive and Non-Native Species…………………………………………… 160 6.1. Background………………………………………………………………………….. 160 6.1.1. Study Ojectives…………………………………………………………………….. 160 6.2. Tasks………………………………………………………………………………… 160 6.2.1. Background Rsearch………………………………………………………………. 160 6.2.2. Analyze and Evaluate Database…………………………………………………… 161 6.2.3. Identify Data Gaps………………………………………………………………… 161    iii 6.2.4. Methodology Development………………………………………………………...161 6.2.5. Classification of Vegetative Community Types…………………………………... 162 6.2.6. Field Verify Plant Community Mapping Units…………………………………….162 6.2.7. Delineate Boundaries of Critical Habitat and Stands of Non-Native Plants……….162 6.2.8. Conduct Qualitative Surveys for the Presence of Non-native and Invasive Species 162 6.2.9. Integrate Updated Plant Community Mapping into Current ANG GIS Database… 163 6.2.10. Prepare a Report of Recommendations and Action Plan for Control and Abatement of Invasive and Non-native Species………………………………….. 163Literature Cited……………………………………………………………………………... 164Appendix A.1. Average percent cover for species found in grassland habitats…………….169Appendix A.2. Average percent cover for species found in riparian plots………………… 175Appendix B. Vascular plants documented in Saline County and on Smoky Hill ANGR…. 177Appendix C. Checklist of birds reported in Saline County and on Smoky Hill ANGR…… 195Appendix D. Results of breeding bird surveys conducted on Smoky Hill ANGR from 2003 to 2006……………………………………………………………205Appendix E. Data layers provided in ArcView GIS format……………………………….. 208Appendix F.1. Report on Land Use History……………………………………………….. 210Appendix F.2. U. S. Military Training in Saline County--Unit Histories…………………. 286Appendix G. Report on Invasive and Non-native Species………………………………… 310 
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