The Bluestem Pasture Region
of Kansas

Historical marker on Kansas Turnpike
Towanda Rest Stop Butler County


          You are in the heart of one of the great grazing lands of the world. Thousands of buffalo, antelope and elk once roamed here. After the Civil War, and the wild days of Texas cattle drives, it became famous as a feeding ground for beef cattle. Today, over 300,000 head are shipped in each spring from Southwestern states – more than the yearly average to all Kansas in trail-driving days. Every summer, a million head, counting local herds, are fattened on its nutritious grasses.

          In these pastures are four and a half million acres. They extend from north to south across Kansas in a narrow oval, two counties wide. They comprise the last large segment of true prairie which once stretched from the forests of the East to the Great Plains. Popularly, they are known as the Flint Hills. They are better named after the two predominant grasses, Big and Little Bluestem – grasses so rich that in few other regions can so many cattle be concentrated.

Erected by the American Society of Range Management and Kansas Turnpike Authority

More  Historical Markers


March 10, 1998 / Bob Walter / Wichita, Kansas / history@kslib.info

Blue Skyways Kansas on the Net   Visit the Home Page for Kansas
  A service of the Kansas State Library