The creation and protection of natural heritage in Reno County, Kansas
Lyda, Hayley M.
AdvisorPrice, Jay M., 1969-
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Throughout the past century in the state of Kansas the rural populace has tended to suffer disproportionally in the wake of large public works projects. These large public works projects sometimes lead to dislocation and subsequent loss of assets for rural families. The resistance to these projects is multi-faceted, families may object to projects due to loss of assets and dislocation as mentioned before, or it may be based in less tangible losses, such as loss of sense of community, loss of aesthetic value of their properties/surrounding areas, potential loss in local tourism, potential harm to local wildlife, and the like. In the case of Reno County, resistance has been documented as pertaining to the two largest proposed public works projects in the Ninnescah River Valley region: Cheney Reservoir and the proposed Pretty Prairie Wind Farm. The methodology for this project centered around researching dams, reservoirs, and affected communities in Kansas, conducting personal and large-scale interviews with affected Reno County citizens, reaching out to potential interviewees via online forms and social media, networking at key events, and reaching potential interviewees by distributing flyers and contacting senior care facilities. The evidence gathered suggested that resistance in the modern age may be more successful due to faster methods of communication and ease of access to information. In literature covering the subject of rural resistance to projects, the rural populace’s reasonings tend to be pigeonholed into the idea of NIMBYism; arguments against these projects deserve to be considered without the umbrella term overshadowing and silencing those voices.
Thesis (M.A.)-- Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Dept. of History