Nature tourist profile
Some 129 million people take
time to stop and observe the natural scenery around them, while
71.2 million people view birds (NSRE 2000).
47 percent of the more than
2 million residents of Kansas take part in wildlife-related
Cheyenne Bottoms has earned prestigious titles:
of International Importance -
one of only 22 U.S. sites designated by the Ramsar Convention
Globally Important Bird Area - named by the American
Hemispheric Shorebird Reserve - designated by the
Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network
Cheyenne Bottoms Wildlife Area
twelve large marshes historically present in Kansas, only three remain: Cheyenne
Bottoms, Quivira, and Jamestown. With more than 41,000 acres in the Cheyenne
Bottoms Basin and more than 28,000 acres managed by Kansas Department of Wildlife
and Parks and the Nature Conservancy, Cheyenne Bottoms is the largest wetland
in the interior of the United States.
Of the 417 species of birds documented in Kansas, a minimum of 340 have been
observed at the Bottoms. The International Shorebird Survey estimates that approximately
45% of North America's shorebird population stops at Cheyenne Bottoms when migrating
north in the spring. The Bottoms attract an estimated 90% of the White-rumped,
Baird's, and Stilt Sandpipers; Long-billed Dowitchers; and Wilson's Phalaropes.
Waterfowl numbers can approach several hundred thousand.
Annually, an average of more than 60,000 visitors come to the Cheyenne Bottoms for the purpose of hunting,
bird watching, environmental study, fishing, and trapping. According to a study done in 1987, the economic
impact of the Cheyenne Bottoms on the State's economy is greater than $2.8 million annually. The impact on
Barton County alone is in excess of $1.8 million.