The four million windswept acres of wildflowers and grass in the twenty national grasslands in the United States are scattered across a region extending from the Pacific Ocean to the eastern edge of North Dakota. Although all were once seas of grass teeming with wildlife, they now exhibit striking differences, and range from a small lake recreation area in Texas to the enormous Little Missouri National Grasslands in North Dakota.
An essential guide to the American grasslands and the Grasslands National Park of Canada, The National Grasslands presents a history of the region, that traces the establishment of the national grasslands as an important part of the New Deal’s social revolution. The guide also provides a concise summary of the debates surrounding preservation and use, with special focus on the Buffalo Commons controversy. Each national grassland receives individual attention, including overviews of flora and fauna, clear descriptions of terrain and noteworthy natural features, and vital information on grasslands’ history, visitor centers, and ranger stations. All the articles in this first full-length book on the history of the national grasslands are richly illustrated with maps and exquisite photographs by the noted Great Plains photographer Georg Joutras.
"Like the grasslands themselves, The National Grasslands covers lots of territory. It is a broad, sweeping tale of time and place. In Renaissance style, Moul integrates into his account biology, history, politics, conservation studies, geology, and agriculture. And, somehow, he manages to write in a way that is both scholarly and lyrical. Moul is a great advocate and cheerleader for the grasslands."—Mary Pipher, author of Writing to Change the World
"This is a smart, comprehensive, and insightful body of work that brings to life the complex history, ecology, and politics of our nation's grassland treasures and sets the stage for the myriad challenges they face in the twenty-first century."—Michael Forsberg, photographer and author of On Ancient Wings: The Sandhill Cranes of North America
"Francis Moul has written a book that has been needed for a long time. The history of the national grasslands and their ecological and economic importance should be common knowledge for all Americans. These landscapes are truly national treasures and so is this book."—Dan O'Brien, author of Buffalo for the Broken Heart: Restoring Life to a Black Hills Ranch and owner of the Wild Idea Buffalo Company
“As this book shows, it might be wise to take a side trip to spend some hours in the total serenity of the National Grasslands. Moul writes with the passion and poetry needed to stimulate the traveler to look beyond the bold and the gaudy and see into the very heart of the American continent. The photographs by Georg Joutras are seductive enough to lure any traveler seeking a less hectic pace. . . . This book is the first to describe each of the National Grasslands in a manner that emphasizes their value as well as their beauty.”—Library Journal
“If you’re a hiker, backpacker, off-road vehicle user, rock hound, canoeist, camper, day tripper, prairie dog hunter, this is the guide you need in your backpack.”—River Life
“Readers of both environmental and political history will appreciate this insightful analysis of the nation’s grasslands. The accompanying photographs by Georg Joutras alone would make this book enjoyable for readers, but Francis Moul’s in-depth study of the four million acres of America’s grasslands make it essential reading as well. . . . The history of the national grasslands and their ecological and economic importance should be common knowledge for all Americans.”—Kansas History
“A descriptive guide and excellent discussion of the 20 American National Grasslands and the Grasslands National Park of Canada.”—K. B. Sterling, Choice
“This rich introduction to the region encompasses the geological history, unique arid environments, and social and political movements that characterize it. . . . [T]he striking color photographs by Georg Joutras provide engaging evidence of the sweeping vistas linked to this geographic masterpiece.”—Bloomsbury Review
“[Joutras’s] photographs are lyric, evocative.” —Thomas D. Isern, Chronicles of OklahomaCh