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How Can We Restore the Great Plains of the U.S.?

 
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Have friends in Wyoming who need to be able to grow more of their own grasses to feed cattle over Winter.The big question has always been "how do we restore and replenish our Great Plains. It is worthy of a National Project! Maybe some Permie out there has a date with History! What are your ideas?
 
pollinator
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Stuart, look into keyline plowing and holistic grazing.  Water needs to be enabled to slow down and soak into the ground. The great plains evolved with large herds of grazing animals moving ahead of predators.

Keyline

Grazing

What part of Wyoming?
 
gardener
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Stuart,

When you talk of rebuilding the Great Plains, do you mean restore the grass mixture of the Great Plains on certain spots for forage?  Or do you mean restore the entire Great Plains all the way from the Appalacians all the way to the Rockies?

Eric
 
pollinator
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I think to restore the Prairie will require the things that created it - grass, bison, humans and/or wolves, and fire.  

https://www.americanprairie.org/bison-grazing-proposal-faqs

https://blog.nature.org/science/2014/02/03/bison-good-cattle-bad-a-prairie-ecologists-perspective/

https://bioone.org/journals/rangeland-ecology-and-management/volume-66/issue-6/REM-D-12-00113.1/Bison-Versus-Cattle-Are-They-Ecologically-Synonymous/10.2111/REM-D-12-00113.1.short

(there is a ton of literature out there on this subject, so I just pasted a few)

 
steward & bricolagier
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
https://blog.nature.org/science/2014/02/03/bison-good-cattle-bad-a-prairie-ecologists-perspective/


Tyler: good links :) I liked that one a lot. Made sense to me. Thank you :)
 
Stuart Sparber
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Thank you for your responses and valuable links! What I call of the Great Plains are areas west of the Mississippi that used to see Buffalo and Bison.I don,'t think it is a realistic goal to bring them back.But restoration and protection of vast stretches in Montana,Wyoming and South Dakota agriculturally would certainly be a blessing. New ideas like Air bubble Ang geodesic domes could also possibly be envisioned as a help on a huge scale. These would have to collect water and snow melt in order to work., Natural restoration by using the techniques of Hugelculture on a vast scale would work. We have a vast land and we need to look to new ways possibly restoring it to the way it was is not the answer.
 
pollinator
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The high plains is not much populated, and in much of the plains the small farmers once present have vanished. So it has been proposed that much of the area extending patchily from Canada to Mexico could be restored to bison habitat. Rather than restore all the natural predators, it is suggested that the bison be harvested by humans for market, management, harvesting and processing of the bison to be in the hands of Native entities.

Interstate highways in the West are beginning to be designed with crossovers for wildlife and such accommodations would enable such a bison herd to roam over wide areas.

Areas of plains, and of bison, extended eastward as far as Virginia, but any large-scale bison restoration today would have to be in the high plains.
 
pollinator
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What are your ideas?



Its like the Simpson's Already Did It episode.

Gabe Brown is the godfather of high plains remediation.
Amazing evidence it works.
 
I'm sure glad that he's gone. Now I can read this tiny ad in peace!
100th Issue of Permaculture Magazine - now FREE for a while
https://permies.com/goodies/45/pmag
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