Friday, May 28, 2010

Homestead's Unique Palmer-Epard Cabin

The Palmer-Epard cabin has stood at Homestead National Monument of America for 60 years as a representation of the hardships endured by the homesteaders. The cabin helps visitors visualize the dimensions of the dwellings that dotted the prairie during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. However, the Palmer-Epard cabin was somewhat unique to the homestead experience. The cabin is made of wood, a resource not readily available to the majority of early homesteaders. This cabin would have been the dream of such pioneers living farther west where trees were scarce and lumber was expensive. Instead, many had to settle for homes created out of the earth; a sod home or a dugout. A home, no matter what it was made of, was a necessity, not only for shelter, but to satisfy the residency criteria written into the Homestead Act.

George Washington Palmer came to Nebraska in 1865 to take advantage of the rich soil and mild climate he had heard about from his brothers in law. Like most new arrivals, he did not have the time or the resources to build a new home of wood. Palmer had to spend his first two years living, like many homesteaders, in a dugout. However, he did have access to a wooded area on his claim, and in 1867 he was able to build his family home. Palmer used seven different kinds of hardwoods to construct the two story cabin that measured 16’ x 14’. The cabin had a total of 336 square feet. The Palmer family, including his wife and five children, moved into the cabin in 1868.

Palmer’s story mirrors that of other homesteaders. Men would sometimes, not always, come to their tract of land prior to the arrival of his family. They would build the home and start the initial crops that would provide the food necessary for survival. Once the homestead was prepared, the family would then follow. The home was the central focus of most homesteads. Much work revolved around the crops, but dreams were realized in the home. Hardship and toil could always be found in the field, but small comforts and hopes of a better life could be found within the home.

For an immigrant coming from a life of serfdom or a laborer from a large city that had lived in a crowded tenement house, a home of their own would have been the fulfillment of a fantasy once thought impossible. The former slave who came to the prairie had gone from being property to owning property. The Homestead Act penetrated these insufferable environments and provided not only hope, but a means to achieve the American Dream. Owning land and property were ways of displaying success and wealth, but for many, these things represented freedom. The Palmer-Epard cabin meant many things to the various owners over the course of its 143 year history, but to me it stands as a symbol of the “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Tallgrass Prairies

If you had been standing in your very own backyard seven generations ago, your sight would have been quite different from what it is today. You would have seen tall grasses and beautiful wildflowers stretching to the horizon in every direction. “An ocean of grassland” once covered major areas of Nebraska, Kansas, North and South Dakota, and parts of Oklahoma and Texas. Today only 0.2 percent of the native tall grass prairies remain in the area you all grew up (Rice, 2009).

By Tasha Jackson
Southeast Community College

I have spent many hours admiring the astonishing beauty of Mother Nature. The tall grass prairies are one of my favorite things in nature to see. I would like to take the time to tell you about the tall grass prairies including the kinds of flowers and animals that inhabit the tall grass prairie, the problems that affect the prairie, and the restoration efforts that are in place to protect these areas.

I will start out by telling you a little about the flowers and animals that live their lives in the tall grass prairies. We all know what a field of wildflowers looks like, but many of us have never and will never be able to see the astonishing wildflowers that grew in the tall grass prairies that existed long ago. There was a large variety of flowers and grasses that grew in these natural prairies. There was once 720 species of plants growing on the prairies of western Nebraska (Randolph & Shevchuk-Murray, 2007).

Some of the flowers and grasses include bluestem grass, purple Echinacea, and Indian grass (Rice, 2009). Others include soap weed Yucca, Buffalo grass, daisies, milkweed, prairie roses, morning glory, and leadplant just to name a few (Randolph & Shevchuk-Murray, 2007).

According to Ladette Randolph and Nina Shevchuk-Murray in their 2007 book The Big Empty, plants on the tall grass prairie have roots that can reach anywhere from a couple of feet up to 16 or more feet into the ground. The magnificent mixture of perennial species of grasses and flowers made the prairie a successful natural habitat and contributed to the resistance of disease (Rice, 2009). A field of one plant or crop will be easily overcome by disease. If a field has large species diversity, the disease will likely die off because it can only affect one or two plants at a time instead of several thousand plants at once.

There is also a wide variety of animals that call the tall grass prairie home. When the prairies were more plentiful, animals like bison, pronghorn deer, mule deer, elk, and the greater prairie chicken roamed the tall grasses (Randolph & Shevchuk-Murray, 2007). Now that the vast majority of the tall grass prairies are gone these animals have had to adapt to other habitats. Now that you know what lives in the prairie, let me tell you about the problems this area is facing.

There are several threats toward the survival of the tall grass prairie. Every one of us has driven past field after field of corn or some form of cropland as we drive through Nebraska, Kansas, and many other states. Many of the grasslands that were in these areas have been turned into cropland or grazing fields for livestock. Would you be shocked to find out that seventy-five million acres of American land are used to raise grains to feed livestock alone (Rice, 2009)?

According to Stanley Rice in his 2009 book Green Planet, “nearly all of the North American tall grass prairies have been converted to prime agricultural land because of the deep rich soil they have.” The problem with this is that once the tall grass prairies are destroyed by plowing…“they can never come back unless they are deliberately replanted.” 

The tall grass prairies depend on natural cycles of fires to survive. The problem is that people prevent many natural fires from occurring and without these fires the prairies are dying. The grasses are not killed by the fires because they have underground buds that ensure their survival. Natural fires are most beneficial to the tall grass prairies when they occur in the fall and spring because the new grasses have not yet begun to grow. These prairies need the fires to turn the dead stems and leaves into fertilizing ashes so the new grasses can flourish in the rich soil (Rice, 2009).

Now that you know the problems surrounding the survival of the prairies, let me tell you how they are being solved. I would like to let you know what restoration efforts are currently in place to protect this beloved area. We can help with the restoration efforts by participating in the periodic controlled fires that are conducted each year or by helping to replant the tall grass prairie. “In 1965, the Iowa State Preserves System was created.” Since then, more than 63 areas have been created for the restoration of the native prairies (Shirley, 1994).

According to Shirley’s 1994 book Restoring the Tallgrass Prairie there are 240 acres of prairie being protected near Lime Springs in Howard County, Iowa and 60 acres devoted to the National Wildflower Research Center. Another restoration effort was started by the grant of $10 million by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to restore the prairie.

In the spring of 1992 planting began with 4 acres of forbs and 73 acres of big bluestem grass. An additional 400 acres of prairie were planted in the spring of 1993. In 1994, “4,922 acres had been purchased and authorization had been granted to purchase an additional 8,654 acres for the purpose of prairie restoration” (Shirley, 1994). A third restoration effort is called Chicago Wilderness. This is an effort to restore 7,000 acres of prairie landscape in suburban areas around Chicago (Freinkel, 2007).

According to Susan Freinkel in her 2007 book American Chestnut, this group wants to remove trees from local forest preserves to make room for a tall grass prairie reservation area. The danger of losing the diversity of grasses and wildflowers forever was well worth the loss of the few trees it would cost.

I would love to have been alive back in the 1800’s to see the tall grass prairies at their finest hour. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share the beauty of the tall grass prairie.  I have shared with you the kinds of flowers and animals that inhabit the tall grass prairie, the problems that affect the prairie, and the restoration efforts that are in place to protect these areas. I hope that when you drive by field after field of cropland on your way home, you stop to think of the way the land looked thousands of years ago.

References:

Freinkel, S. (2007). American chestnut: The life, death, and rebirth of a perfect tree. Berkeley University Press. Retrieved May 2, 2010 from Netlibrary.

Randolph, L, & Shevchuk-Murray, N. (2007). The big empty: Contemporary Nebraska nonfiction writers. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska Press. Retrieved May 2, 2010 from Netlibrary.

Rice, S. (2009). Green planet: How plants keep the Earth alive. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press. Retrieved May 2, 2010 from Netlibrary.

Shirley, S. (1994). Restoring the tallgrass prairie: An illustrated manual for Iowa and the upper Midwest. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press. Retrieve May 2, 2010 from Netlibrary.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Homesteader Pruitt Stewart: Get a Job, Get a Man, Become a Published Writer – No Problem!

Elinore Pruitt Stewart, author of 1914’s Letters of a Woman Homesteader and 1915’s Letters on an Elk Hunt was a famous and controversial figure on the prairie.  While her work was widely read and admired, there have been many questions about the historical accuracy of her trials and tribulations as a pioneer woman (Wishart, 2004).  Yet, even with this controversy, or perhaps because of it, she is considered to be a great American storyteller. 

by Christi Moock Willoughby`, Southeast Community College

While researching this essay I cleaned out both the Walt and Gere branch libraries of their books, biographies, and autobiographies on pioneer women.  Ok, I left a few, but don’t go and check for another week because I still have all the good ones.  When I found Elinore’s “Letters” and looked into her experiences I knew immediately that she was special. Elinore Pruitt Stewart was a woman with a fantastic imagination, who wanted to report all of her experiences on the prairie as both a success and an adventure. 

Elinore came from humble roots.  Born in 1876, she was the oldest of six children (Wishart, 2004). In the early 1900’s she married but reported that she was widowed before relocating to Denver.  From Denver, she made the decision to homestead in Burnt Fork, Wyoming where her skill for storytelling was “discovered” through her correspondence with a prior employer (George, 1992). After relocating, marrying, writing for pleasure, writing as a means of communication, writing as a career, and writing to support something that she believed in she touched lives across America. 

In 1909 Elinore Pruitt Stewart was a poor widow, barely supporting her two-year-old daughter by working as a washerwoman in Denver.  During this time she was receiving support from the Sunshine Rescue Mission and it was there that she first heard of the opportunities for women homesteaders. This was the beginning of a tremendous transition for Elinore.  She was leaving a life of nearly absolute poverty and, unbeknownst to anyone, she was about to become a famous female writer by combining her imagination with the events that she endured in Burnt Fork, Wyoming (George, 1992).

In early 1909 Elinore asked for guidance from the staff at the mission and applied for different jobs in the largely undeveloped west.  Her plan was to move west and work on a ranch while she learned the trade and then to sign for her own land and become a success (George, 1992). Sounds simple right? 

In April of 1909 Elinore accepted a job as a cook and housekeeper for Mr. Clyde Stewart, a fellow widower (Stewart, 1961).  Little did she know that this move would bring her untold fame in the next five years. 

The distance from Denver to Burnt Fork is 468 miles, by car this is around 7 hours and 20 minutes.  The move West took Elinore three days under tremendously difficult conditions.  In her first letter to friend and former Denver employer Juliet Cooney Elinore writes “I was twenty-four hours on the train and two days on the stage and oh, those two days!” Traveling west she was met alternately with snow and mud that at times came halfway up the wheels on the stage coach  (Stewart, 1961).

Elinore’s letters to Juliet in Denver outlined her determination, dreams and success after her first  summer surviving on the homestead. There was a shortage of hired men the first summer and Elinore prided herself on her strength and determination to work alongside Clyde haying and harvesting  (Stewart, 1961).  For all practical purposes it was her inspired and proactive approach to farming that spelled success for their farm that year.

But it wasn’t all work,  Elinore also had the opportunity to go exploring and to see firsthand the beauty of the land around her.  She wrote about these adventures and the dangerous elements of exploring as a single woman in the wild (Stewart, 1961) showing her bravery and encouraging women to live life to its fullest.

Elinore wasn’t only successful in filing for land and learning the hard work of a rancher, she also enjoyed a whirlwind courtship with Clyde. Susanne George in her 1992 book The Adventures of the Woman Homesteader reports that eight short weeks after Elinore accepted the job at Burnt Fork she and Clyde were married. After the wedding, Elinore would go from worker, to partner, and eventually to the role of successful breadwinner.

Now, you may be thinking wait, so she moves, marries her boss and comes out as a great success?  Doesn’t this all sound too easy?  This was supposed to be a difficult time in the west.  But Elinore was a terrifically smart woman, with a lot of self confidence and she was in it to win it. 

Throughout all of her adventures, from working the farm, holding her own land and having 4 babies in 4 years Elinore kept up her carefully transcribed correspondence with her friends in Denver.  George (1992) identifies that in 1913 Elinore’s friend Juliet Cooney met with her friend Ellery Sedgwick, who worked as an editor at the Atlantic Monthly.  Cooney shared with Sedgwick the happy, sad, adventurous, and sometimes heartbreaking letters outlining Elinore’s life on the prairie. After reading Elinore’s skillfully crafted work, Sedgwick was hooked and her collection of letters was published in the Atlantic Monthly from October 1913 until April 1914.

After being published in the Atlantic Monthly, Elinore received mail from Doubleday Publishing offering to publish her stories about life in the west (George, 1992).  While she had enjoyed minor popularity this offer would quickly expand her success and reflect the achievements she had made from such a humble beginning. 

Elinore’s writing was inspirational, funny and compelling, it was in fact everything that a good publisher could want.  You see, Elinore painted a picture that made people celebrate the excitement in day-to-day life.  This publishing opportunity represented Elinore’s skill as a storyteller and reflected strongly the strength and determination for success that she had exhibited despite all the challenges in her life  (George, 1992). 

From a poor orphan to a widowed child bride Elinore was suddenly a published author and her letters were followed by many people on the east coast.  She had become famous nearly overnight. 

Elinore’s life of adventure wasn’t without controversy.  There have been many efforts by historians to prove that some of the events in her letters were embellished (George, 1992). Many of us have read the work of a great author and wondered if the story was really true.  Elinore’s letters and stories not only felt real to the reader but they gave the reader insight into an experience and career path in which few women had the opportunity to excel.

Because Elinore felt that her writing was overly criticized she changed direction in her 1915 work Letters on an Elk Hunt and carefully documented dates and details so that her work would ring true to anyone who challenged her stories (George, 1992). 

Her critics made her feel overly cautious which affected her writing style, and sadly, the excitement that she had so naturally added to her writing to make the reader feel as though they were escaping to their own western adventure was missing. Because of this, Letters on an Elk Hunt was not as popular with the reading public as her first work (George, 1992).

Even though some people disliked her “historical fiction” Elinore still had a strong following and her letters to friends and family continued to be filled with her experiences on the ranch  (George, 1992).

In Wishart’s 2004 Encyclopedia of the Prairie, the author notes that Elinore would “never let the facts get in the way of a good story.”   While that could be interpreted negatively, looking back, Elinore did a stellar job of making history come alive for an entire generation of readers. 

In 1919 after an extended period without being published Elinore began to write about her support of the early women’s movement and was again recognized as an important author and historian  (George, 1992). 

From a lowly orphan, to a widowed laundress, from a short courtship to a committed and loving marriage, Elinore Pruitt Stewart defied the odds in the old west.

Elinore’s letters and stories gave the reader an exciting western experience with her combination of real life pioneer spirit and a vibrant imagination.  She told of her experiences with a relish for life and adventure.

Elinore lived the life that pioneers dreamed about when moving west, she held her own land, married a successful rancher and was recognized nationally for her interesting and timely stories about her ability to survive in the “wild” west. Even through controversy she came out a great storyteller. 

Elinore truly was an amazing woman.  She had a strong work ethic and a strong sense of adventure, both of which can be seen in her writing.  She truly was a great American pioneer and we are as lucky to read her work today as those who experienced it when it was first written.  Most of all, Elinore was a success at making a challenging existence into a historic adventure. 

References:

George, S. (1992). The adventures of the woman homesteader.  Lincoln, NE. University of Nebraska Press.

Stewart, E. P.  (1961).  Letters of a woman homesteader.  Lincoln, NE.  University of Nebraska Press.

Wishart, D (2004). Encyclopedia of the Great Plains. Lincoln, NE.  Center for Great Plains Studies.

Friday, May 7, 2010

The Tallgrass Prairie


Oh give me a home where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope play… What do you think of when you hear those lyrics most recently sung by Neil Young? I don’t know about you but I think of a wide open hilly field with grass swaying beautifully in the wind. I am fairly certain that is what Brewster Higley had in mind when he wrote the original poem in1872 titled The Western Home.
by Michaela Papp
Southeast Community College

Apparently he was living in Kansas at the time and was describing what is now known as the tallgrass prairie. Chances are if you are sitting in this room, you are currently living in Nebraska and have seen how beautiful what is left of the tallgrass prairie is. Having been born and raised in Nebraska, I could take you to a few areas that remind me of those lyrics. Today I have the opportunity to share my knowledge and love of the tallgrass prairie. First, I will be informing you about what exactly the tallgrass prairie is and how it was created. Then, I will discuss some of the plants and animals that live within it and how some of them dealt with this harsh environment. Finally, I will tell you about what people are doing to preserve and restore the tallgrass prairie.

Back in the 1500’s, the tallgrass prairie was part of a grassland that stretched from Manitoba, Canada to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Rocky Mountains to Kentucky (Preserving our Prairie Heritage, 2009). Unfortunately, if you have traveled to any state in the area recently, you will notice that it seems like all you will see is fields of corn, beans, and other crops (Allen, 2007). According to the Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve, “The tallgrass prairie was the dominant presettlement vegetation type in the eastern third of the Great Plains occupying approximately 142.62 million acres; today, only an estimated four percent remains.” Most of this four percent is located within the Flint Hills in eastern Kansas and northern Oklahoma. This area has been preserved from plowing up for farmland because of its unique rocky landscape (Tallgrass Prarie National Preserve).

It took about 20 million years to make this large stretch of tallgrass prairie (Allen, 2007). If you are anything like me this comes as a bit of a shock to you. Grass isn’t too hard to grow and it comes up in a lot of places, so how could it take that long? According to Preserving our Prairie Heritage from 2009, “It was a unique, finely tuned system of living things and environmental factors – the result of millions of years of interaction among soil, climate, fire, changing surface features such as hills and valleys, and a host of plants and animals.” Basically, what this quote is saying is that the tallgrass prairie wasn’t just a bunch of grass growing; it was pretty organized when you really look into it.

Believe it or not, fires had a lot to do with the creation of the tallgrass prairie. How could such a destructive thing help create such a beautiful landscape? Long before people inhabited the tallgrass prairie, lightening would cause a fire to start, three to four times a year. Winds would spread the fire rapidly, cutting back the grass in a pruning type of way. The fires wouldn’t actually kill the grass but after being cut back time and time again, the root systems on the grass would become very stable (Preserving our Prairie Heritage, 2009). According to The Harsh Prairie Environment, written by Tricia Andryszewski, “Grasses often grow even better after a fire, which clears away years of dead stalks, allowing light and air to reach new growth at ground level.”

Not only were these fires helpful for strengthening the grass, they were also helpful in keeping the tallgrass prairie from over-population. As stated in Preserving our Prairie Heritage from 2009, “Many animals perished in a prairie fire. Among those lucky enough to escape were adult birds, burrowing creatures, and surface dwellers that were swift enough to get to water.” The animals that were able to survive the fires lived on food they had stored underground. A few days after a fire, new green plants would make their way up from strong roots (Preserving our Prairie Heritage, 2009).

Due to these fires and the lack of rain fall, most trees were only able to survive around bodies of water. However, some trees that don’t need a lot of rainfall to live, survived. The fires are the main reason the tallgrass prairie didn’t turn into a forest. (Andryszewski, 1993).

At first the humans only helped the process of making and retaining the tallgrass prairie. The early settlers would start fires to help scare out animals and clear out areas to put their villages. We were not quite as helpful after John Deere revealed his first plow in 1837 (Allen, 2007). Thus began a little bit of the agricultural revolution, and the beginning of the disappearance of the tallgrass prairie.

Now that we know a little bit more about what the tallgrass prairie is and how it was made, let’s discuss some of the plants and animals that lived in it. We all are familiar with the plants and animals we see in our area, however it is rather interesting to find out what used to live around here and how they have adapted to the new landscape.

As stated in Ecology (2009), “The ability to resist the damaging effects of drought and to actually benefit from fire has helped big bluestem grass become the most common species of grass on the tallgrass prairie…”
Studies have shown that after burns this grass grew faster and thicker with more abundant leaves, and produced more nutrients, more efficiently than the big bluestem grass that remained unburned. As I pointed out before, it was concluded that the fires removed the dead leaves and stems from previous years. By cleaning this out, more sunlight was able to reach the new grass, apparently strengthening the species.

Another characteristic that helped big bluestem grass thrive was that its leaves curled up to reduce the amount of sunlight striking them. This also helped reduce the water lost through transpiration (Ecology, 2009).

The second most common species of grass found on the tallgrass prairie is switchgrass. Switchgrass needs more moisture for it to be able to survive, but still not as much as most other types of grass (Ecology, 2009).

Despite the disappearing tallgrass prairie, no plants from it are on the Species in Need of Conservation list. There are, however, two plants on the federal threatened species list: western prairie fringed orchid and the meads milkweed (Tallgrass Prarie National Preserve).

About 120 mammal species are currently found on the tallgrass prairie. The most common of these are the mule deer, white-tailed deer, antelope, and bison. The black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and elk have been sighted in the past, but not since the late 1800s (Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve). Even though the thought of mountain lions and bears running around here is a little scary, I think it would be awesome to be able to see such beautiful creatures. While learning more about the tallgrass prairie, I can’t help but wonder how different our landscape could have been.

As for birds, there have been 428 species documented. While studying the birds that live within the tallgrass prairie, the U.S. Geological Survey and the Biological Resources Division suggested to burn prior to the breeding season or in the fall to ensure they will not become extinct (Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve). This is a good recommendation because as stated by the Tallgrass Prarie National Preserve, “Spring burning followed by grazing resulted in reproduction levels below replacement rates.”

There are 28 species of amphibians (8 salamanders and 20 frogs) and 53 species of reptiles (4 turtles, 12 lizards, and 37 snakes). However the Tallgrass Prarie National Preserve thought it was important to point out that these were identified mostly by untrained volunteers over a two day period. So these numbers aren’t exact, but they give us a pretty good idea of how many amphibians and reptiles are still living in the tallgrass prairie area (Tallgrass Prairie National Preserve).

Finally, now that we know more about what the tallgrass prairie is and how it was made, and what kinds of plants and animals inhabit it, let’s discuss what people are doing to preserve and restore it.

As I stated before, the prairie burned on average every three to four years. Today, ranch managers that are working to preserve the tallgrass prairie are burning off their preserved prairie every year. They are doing this because this causes their grazing cattle to gain more weight and in turn be more profitable. As of now they are using cattle; however, their hopes are one day to reintroduce bison to the landscape.

While cattle and bison are similar, their effects on the tallgrass prairie are different. Cattle usually eat more of the native forbes while bison are almost exclusively grass eaters. (Schlyer, 2008) According to At Home on the Prairie, written by Krista Schlyer in 2007, “As with any altered ecosystem, especially on as altered as the tallgrass prairie, trying to reconfigure the natural system is difficult.” This just goes to show that they have come to terms with the fact that the restoration of the tallgrass prairie will take a while to figure out.

The biggest challenge to restoration lies underground where 70 percent of the tallgrass prairie’s biomass resides. As I stated in my first point, in order for the grass to be successful in growing back after all of the burns, the root system needs to be strong. According to Rebirth in the Prairie State written by Karen Schmidt, “Even after 15 years of restoration, a prairie’s soil ecosystem still bears the shallow simplicity of the cornfield it was built upon.” Since it took millions of years for these root systems to become so strong, you can imagine it might take a few more than 15 years to fully restore the tallgrass prairie.

To ensure that the tallgrass prairie isn’t completely destroyed in the next few years, more and more prairie scientists and public and private organizations are encouraging state legislatures and land owners to donate or sell tallgrass prairie land for preservation (Preserving our Prairie Heritage, 2009). If we don’t try to preserve it, there is a good chance the rest of the tallgrass prairie will be gone in the next few decades.

Today we learned a lot about the tallgrass prairie. I shared my knowledge and love of this beautiful grassland. We talked about what exactly it is, some of the plants and animals that lived within the tallgrass prairie, and what people are doing to preserve and restore it. Hopefully one day we will be able to look back and be very glad that we saved the tallgrass prairie, not wish that we had tried harder.

References

Allen, L. (2007). Prarie revival. Science News. Retrieved April, 15 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Andryszewski, T. (1993). The dust bowl. Chapter 1: The harsh prairie environment. Retrieved April 15, 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Ecology. (2009). World Book Science Year. Retrieved April 15, 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Preserving our prairie heritage. (2009). World Book Year Books. Retrieved April 15, 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Schlyer, K. (2007). At home on the prairie. National Parks. Retrieved April 18, 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Schmidt, K. (1992). Rebirth in the prairie state. U.S. News & World Report. Retrieved April 15, 2010 from eLibrary research database.

Tallgrass prairie national preserve. The Affected Environment. Retrieved April 25, 2010 from http://www.nps.gov/archive/tapr/parkdocuments.htm
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