ICYMI: Sen. Marshall Putting his conservation money where his mouth is
(Washington, D.C., January 10, 2022) – U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. was recently featured in a story about the conservation measures he takes in the management of lands and wildlife. In part the story reads,
“Dr. Roger Marshall, now Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), is more than an obstetrician and politician — he’s a fifth-generation farm kid, U.S. Army Reserve veteran, avid hunter and conservationist… The Senator is considered one of the most ardent conservations on the Hill, and he is happy to talk about it rather than some more contentious political issues…”
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Putting his conservation money where his mouth is
Dr. Roger Marshall, now Sen. Roger Marshall (R-KS), is more than an obstetrician and politician — he’s a fifth-generation farm kid, U.S. Army Reserve veteran, avid hunter and conservationist.
“I grew up in the outdoors,” he said.
After medical school at the University of Kansas, he began his medical practice in Great Bend, Kansas and hunted whenever he could, owning Labradors and Vizlas. In 1999, he bought land between two wetland areas, the Cheyenne Bottoms and the Quivera National Wildlife Refuge.
“Rattlesnake Creek flows through the property by the refuge,” Marshall said. “It was covered in salt cedar. We worked with the refuge to eliminate it. There were no chemicals used — it was all dozers, axes and chain saws.”
At Cheyenne Bottoms, the largest wetlands in the interior U.S., Blood Creek is the source of water for the area — a major passageways for birds on the Central Flyway.
“We fenced off the creek to keep cattle out,” Marshall said. “Duck hunters from 1900s figured out how to back flood about 60 acres and obtained water rights that predated the establishment of Cheyenne Bottoms. We worked with Ducks Unlimited and shored up the dikes to store the water and let it egress out. It has tremendous duck hunting and the work was good for the wetlands and the wildlife.”
Sen. Marshall took on one more land project — 320 acres in nearby Stafford County consisting of a wheat field and a few small ponds and a modest cabin.
“We worked with the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service) to plant 20,000 seedlings from the Kansas Forestry Department, and we created food plots and put shrubs with berries all around the outside. It has turned it into a haven for pheasants, quail, turkey and deer.”
The work was done by hand, with some help.
“It was a great project for my kids,” Marshall said. “When the baseball team or church kids needed to raise money, we put them to work. We replanted trees when some died — it was 4 to 5 years of hard work.”
The Senator hosted a “Team Marshall” hunt in early November, including spending a day in Great Bend hunting ducks in the morning at his property, followed by a few hours chasing pheasants at his farm.
“I hunt as often as I can,” Marshall said. “I get home and hunt maybe on Friday and then on Saturday, and then head back to Washington, D.C. on Sunday.”
The Senator is considered one of the most ardent conservations on the Hill, and he is happy to talk about it rather than some more contentious political issues.
“I embrace conservation,” he said. “The air and water are cleaner today than I was growing up.”
While there are some great governmental programs, like CRP and EQUIP, Sen. Marshall said it’s not programs that produce the real results.
“It’s not the federal government that breeds conservation,” he said. “It’s not a carbon tax that breed conservation. It’s the innovating thinking and practices implemented by the American farmers and ranchers.”