The Flint Hills Work Group and the Flint Hills Regional Council created three priorities for the plan dubbed “The Three Frontiers.” These priorities are economic vitality, national defense, and cultural and natural resource conservation.
Economic Vitality: The Flint Hills is a unique asset to Kansas and northern Oklahoma, which can be leveraged to help sustain the economic viability of its smaller towns and outlying agricultural lands, while also ensuring the continued vibrancy of its more urban areas.
National Defense: Fort Riley is a critical asset to national defense. By avoiding habitat degradation elsewhere in the Flint Hills, encroachment into Fort Riley’s training area can be avoided and its overall mission can be preserved.
Cultural & Natural Resource Conservation: The Flint Hills contains history, heritage, cultures, and ecology found nowhere else in the world, and to sustain its people, economies, and ecosystems, careful and balanced stewardship of these resources is tantamount.
The Flint Hills Frontiers project aims to accomplish three major outcomes based on the three frontiers and initial stakeholder and community feedback. The three outcomes are a regional vision, identification of connections between organizations, resources, and issues, and a toolbox of solutions for voluntary use by local governments and private organizations.
Regional Vision: This plan has defined a vision for this region, which contains a diverse range of communities and interests and is united by the Flint Hills ecoregion. To successfully direct long-term growth and development in the Flint Hills region, the vision has come from the community. The hundreds of residents who participated in meetings and online are the source the ideas that will direct and guide future success in the region.
Identify Connections: The future of the Flint Hills depends on thousands of overlapping decisions from local governments, civic organizations, private sector partners, and a host of others. By finding connections between these organizations and issues, the strongest opportunities will emerge to coordinate efforts in support of a common vision. Thinking about connections when designing policies and projects will maximize the impact of these decisions.
Toolbox of Solutions: The regional plan will include a strategic set of voluntary policies and projects that local governments and private organizations may use to achieve their goals and the common vision. These recommendations will be visionary, yet realistic, far-reaching, yet implementable. By taking into account the community’s vision, stakeholder priorities, and the needs of local government, the Flint Hills Frontiers plan will help the region prosper in the future.