Last week, Kansas was awarded a 2.7 million dollar federal grant issued through the Voluntary Public Access and Habitat Incentive Program, to continue to grow its walk-in hunting access (WIHA) program. Kansas is home to one of the most successful public hunting access programs in the United States. Due to this grant, the state will be able to expand on the 1 million acres of private land already offered for public access in 2015.
Since 1995, Kansas has provided a great service to hunters by increasing public access to private lands through WIHA. To make access easier for hunters, the state issues an annual atlas with all of the parcels mapped out. Users can pull it up online and print out maps county-by-county. It’s even available in an app called ArcGIS. Couple the online map tools with Google Earth, and it’s a powerful tool for finding hunting areas that are open and free to use.
With the new federal dollars this year, Kansas will be able to nearly double the annual effort and provide more lands and more long-term lease arrangements with private landowners who voluntarily agree to allow public access. The NRA applauds Kansas officials for providing valuable access to hunters - one of the biggest challenges facing sportsmen today - as well as improving wildlife habitat.