U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran, R-Kan., held his 15th annual Conservation Tour on Thursday in Sheridan, Logan, Thomas and Sherman counties in northwest Kansas.

"Kansans understand the importance of conserving natural resources like water and grasslands, because their livelihoods and communities depend on these resources for raising cattle, growing crops and attracting tourism to western Kansas," Moran said in a statement.

The 2020 tour stops included:

• Hoxie Feed Yard in Sheridan County, to learn more about the Sheridan 6 Local Enhanced Management Area (LEMA) that works to conserve groundwater for agriculture use. Local producers from six townships came together to cap water use in order to preserve the viability of irrigated agriculture and extend the use of the water.

• Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park, which is owned by The Nature Conservancy in Kansas and located in Oakley, partnered with the Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism to make portions of the 332-acre area park open to the public.

• Smoky Valley Ranch, which borders Little Jerusalem Badlands State Park and is owned and operated by TNC. The ranch has collaborated with USDA’s NRCS for more than 20 years to protect the grassland through grazing management plans.

• The Ducks Unlimited Wetland Reserve Easement Project, which consists of 34 acres of land currently under restoration. This project will provide a habitat for fish and wildlife, improve water quality by filtering sediments and chemicals, reduce flooding and recharge groundwater.

• The Water Technology Farm at Northwest Technical College in Goodland, which is a public-private partnership with the college, students and local farmers that allows for the exploration and testing of water irrigation technology that could increase the efficiency of water use in agriculture.