An Act concerning riparian buffers; amending K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-1915
and repealing the existing section.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Kansas:

      Section  1. K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-1915 is hereby amended to read as
follows: 2-1915. (a) Appropriations may be made for grants out of funds
in the treasury of this state for terraces, terrace outlets, check dams, dikes,
ponds, ditches, critical area planting, grassed waterways, tailwater recov-
ery irrigation systems, precision land forming, range seeding, detention
and grade stabilization structures and other enduring water conservation
practices installed on public lands and on privately owned lands. Except
as provided by the multipurpose small lakes program act, any such grant
shall not exceed 80% of the total cost of any such practice.

      (b) A program for protection of riparian and wetland areas shall be
developed by the state conservation commission and implemented by the
conservation districts. The conservation districts shall prepare district pro-
grams to address resource management concerns of water quality, erosion
and sediment control and wildlife habitat as part of the conservation dis-
trict long-range and annual work plans. Preparation and implementation
of conservation district programs shall be accomplished with assistance
from appropriate state and federal agencies involved in resource man-

      (c) Subject to the provisions of K.S.A. 2-1919, and amendments
thereto, any holder of a water right, as defined by subsection (g) of K.S.A.
82a-701, and amendments thereto, who is willing to voluntarily return all
or a part of the water right to the state shall be eligible for a grant not to
exceed 80% of the total cost of the purchase price for such water right.
The state conservation commission shall administer this cost-share pro-
gram with funds appropriated by the legislature for such purpose. The
chief engineer shall certify to the state conservation commission that any
water right for which application for cost-share is received under this
section is eligible in accordance with the criteria established in K.S.A. 2-
1919, and amendments thereto.

      (d)  (1) Subject to appropriation acts therefor, the state conservation
commission shall develop the Kansas water quality buffer initiative for
the purpose of restoring riparian areas using best management practices.
The executive director of the state conservation commission shall ensure
that the initiative is complementary to the federal conservation reserve

      (2) There is hereby created in the state treasury the Kansas water
quality buffer initiative fund. All expenditures from such fund shall be
made in accordance with appropriation acts upon warrants of the director
of accounts and reports issued pursuant to vouchers approved by the
executive director of the state conservation commission or the executive
director's designee. Money credited to the fund shall be used for the
purpose of making grants to install water quality best management prac-
tices pursuant to the initiative.

      (3) The county or district appraiser shall identify and map riparian
buffers consisting of at least one contiguous acre per parcel of real prop-
erty located in the appraiser's county. Notwithstanding any other provi-
sions of law, riparian buffers shall be valued by the county or district
appraiser as tame grass land, native grass land or waste land, as appro-
priate. As used in this subsection (3), ``riparian buffer'' means an area of
stream-side vegetation that: (A) Consists of tame or native grass and may
include forbs and woody plants; (B) is located along a perennial or inter-
mittent stream, including the stream bank and adjoining floodplain; and
(C) is a minimum of 66 feet wide and a maximum of 150 180 feet wide.

      (e) The state conservation commission shall adopt rules and regula-
tions to administer such grant and protection programs.

      (f) Any district is authorized to make use of any assistance whatsoever
given by the United States, or any agency thereof, or derived from any
other source, for the planning and installation of such practices. The state
conservation commission may enter into agreements with other state and
federal agencies to implement the Kansas water quality buffer initiative.

 Sec.  2. K.S.A. 2000 Supp. 2-1915 is hereby repealed.
 Sec.  3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its
publication in the statute book.

Approved April 3, 2001.