Collaborating with surrounding communities—and US Army—to preserve the Flint Hills while furthering the Army’s mission
Fort Riley has been the heart of the Flint Hills region for more than 160 years. Established in 1853, the Fort was an outpost to protect westward travelers on the Oregon-California and Santa Fe trails. Today, the 101,733-acre facility contains innovative training, simulations, trainers, and gaming.
The Fort is also closely tied with the local community—as the largest employer in the region, its full economic impact is estimated to be almost $3.5 billion. In 2016, Flint Hills worked with our municipal community development team to initiate a joint land use study (JLUS) update to the former JLUS performed for Fort Riley in 2005.
There were several factors that increased the potential for land use conflict. These included significant changes in mission and operating environment, re-stationing the 1st Infantry Division to Fort Riley, major business development, and population growth in Junction City and Manhattan.
Ultimately, the 2017 JLUS included four counties and seven municipalities. Built onto the existing JLUS, it provided Flint Hills with the information they needed. How? By addressing the changing conditions and conducting a compatibility analysis, we successfully revised recommendations and established a detailed implementation plan for Fort Riley.
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