- Paperback: 242 pages
- Publisher: University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (November 15, 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0226510964
- ISBN-13: 978-0226510965
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 5 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,423,283 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Where the Buffalo Roam: Restoring America's Great Plains 1st Edition
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From Library Journal
Matthews chronicles a bold plan by Frank and Deborah Popper, professors at Rutgers University and experts in land-use planning and geography, to return millions of acres in the ten Great Plains states to their natural condition. This plan is one way of solving a problem that has existed and worsened over 100 years, pushing the prairies beyond their ecological potential. The question, Could this plan ever really be accepted? seems easy to answer given the political ramifications and the sentiment of local inhabitants. This book helps the reader to think beyond these stumbling blocks. It will be sought by those concerned with environmental issues and readers with an interest in the Great Plains.
-Mary J. Nickum, Fish and Wildlife Reference Svce., Bethesda, Md.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Kirkus Reviews
A colorful and lively look at the controversy surrounding the plan of a New Jersey academic couple to return vast sections of the American Great Plains to their original prairie state. For Frank and Deborah Popper (a land-use planner and a geologist, respectively), the writing is on the wall as far as the semi-arid Plains are concerned. Stretching from Canada through Montana and the Dakotas to Oklahoma and Texas, the area, explains Matthews (Nonfiction Writing/Princeton), was settled by hardy sod- busters late in the last century after the Indians and buffalo had been successfully removed. The newcomers' determined tilling of the prairie soil and heavy grazing by their livestock opened the door to dust-bowl conditions whenever drought occurred, while persistent water demands depleted the aquifer to a fraction of its preagricultural reserve. With the resulting ecological stress readily apparent today, Matthews indicates, radical action seems necessary. The author follows the Poppers on several of their many forays into hostile country, chronicling their rise in notoriety from the inception of their ideas in 1987. In Nebraska, Oklahoma, and Montana, in talks before large audiences and in more casual encounters on the main streets of dying towns, the response is always the same: stiff resistance and shock in the face of apparently undeniable facts. The Poppers' plan for a ``Buffalo Commons''--to be created from dozens of distressed counties in ten Plains states--has created a big stir out west, so that so much of Matthews's report turns not on their ideas but on the couple themselves, in public and private, with media attention and personal responses to them figuring prominently. Eminently readable as a study of personalities and regional differences, and as a popular account of a provocative proposal that may herald a sea change in American land-planning. (Four photographs; one map.) -- Copyright ©1992, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
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There are a lot of pages about their travels, speaking engagements with often hostile crowds,hostile press (not all western) and some sections dealing with the science of what is happening to the land out there. You also get a fair amount of history, some people always saw the Plains as land that shouldn't be developed as eastern land had been (it wasn't suitable for such useage).
I'd have liked more science and more detail on the Buffalo commons concept, it's an interesting idea but I don't see it becoming a national policy. The new forward and afterword deal with changes in the situation since the original publication but don't convince me that it has much chance of really happening.