Great Plains: America's Lingering Wildby Michael Forsberg, Ted Kooser (Foreword by), David Wishart (Introduction), Dan =O'Brien (Editor)
The Great Plains were once among the greatest grasslands on the planet. But as the United States and Canada grew westward, the Plains were plowed up, fenced in, overgrazed, and otherwise degraded. Today, this fragmented landscape is the most endangered and least protected ecosystem in North America. But all is not lost on the prairie. Through lyrical photographs,
The Great Plains were once among the greatest grasslands on the planet. But as the United States and Canada grew westward, the Plains were plowed up, fenced in, overgrazed, and otherwise degraded. Today, this fragmented landscape is the most endangered and least protected ecosystem in North America. But all is not lost on the prairie. Through lyrical photographs, essays, historical images, and maps, this beautifully illustrated book gets beneath the surface of the Plains, revealing the lingering wild that still survives and whose diverse natural communities, native creatures, migratory traditions, and natural systems together create one vast and extraordinary whole.
Three broad geographic regions in Great Plains are covered in detail, evoked in the unforgettable and often haunting images taken by Michael Forsberg. Between the fall of 2005 and the winter of 2008, Forsberg traveled roughly 100,000 miles across 12 states and three provinces, from southern Canada to northern Mexico, to complete the photographic fieldwork for this project, underwritten by The Nature Conservancy. Complementing Forsberg’s images and firsthand accounts are essays by Great Plains scholar David Wishart and acclaimed writer Dan O’Brien. Each section of the book begins with a thorough overview by Wishart, while O’Brien—a wildlife biologist and rancher as well as a writer—uses his powerful literary voice to put the Great Plains into a human context, connecting their natural history with man’s uses and abuses.
The Great Plains are a dynamic but often forgotten landscape—overlooked, undervalued, misunderstood, and in desperate need of conservation. This book helps lead the way forward, informing and inspiring readers to recognize the wild spirit and splendor of this irreplaceable part of the planet.
The increasingly bi-coastal citizenry of the U.S. and Canada know less and less of the great central plains of the North American steppe, but this engrossing book from photographer and naturalist Forsberg, with ecological and geographical essays by O'Brien and Wishart, fills that need in overflowing excess. Forsberg's photography is spectacular, capturing the wide-open spaces of locales like the South Dakota Badlands and the fluid movement of its wildlife. As Wishart points out, the Great Plains are far from flat, comprised of rugged river valleys, outcrops of old volcanoes, glacial potholes and buffalo wallows, and formerly-vast marshlands. Univ. of Nebraska geography professor Wishart contributes historical and geographic overviews of three major ecological regions: the Tallgrass Prairie, the Northern Plains and the Southern Plains. The authors also look at the history of cross-continent exploration by the Spanish and the French, as well as 18th century fur traders who traversed the Rockies decades before Lewis and Clark. Author O'Brien (Buffalo for the Broken Heart) provides vivid, precise, and emotional essays that describe the ecological present and the hope for future developments in grasslands restoration. Wonderful maps of the entire Great Plains and individual regions add a great deal to this informative overview, making it a coffee table book worth studying.
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- University of Chicago Press
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- 10.70(w) x 12.10(h) x 1.20(d)
Meet the Author
Michael Forsberg is a Nebraska native and a professional photographer whose images have appeared in publications including Audubon, National Geographic, Natural History, National Wildlife, and in books published by National Geographic and Smithsonian. He is a Fellow with the International League of Conservation Photographers and a charter member of the North American Nature Photographers Association. He is also the author of On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Cranes of North America. To learn more about his work, visit www.michaelforsberg.com.
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