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I really appreciated this article. Really lovely. However, the implication that native peoples in North America didn’t alter their landscape is outdated and incorrect. In fact, as far as I can recall, many Woodland groups, at least, practiced extensive “ecological management,” burning prairie regularly to prevent encroaching forest, cultivating edible plants, nuts and berries at their different seasonal campsites, etc. They were (and *are*), throughout much of their history on this landscape, the original sustainable agriculturalists. By the same token, the Mississippian native communities (400-1000 CE, roughly) practiced something a little closer to modern monocultural farming, and, in the end, abandoned that practice when it lead to disastrous results. In other words, for what I’ve heard and read, there’s a much longer history of learning how to live on and with the land in North America, and we shouldn’t give in to the myth that American Indians didn’t also participate in shaping the landscape (increasing the reach of the prairie in some places almost to the east coast). The main difference is that it seem they learned from their experiments, and respected the landscape implicitly.
A clarifying question. The article stated: “In Oswald’s eyes, the greatest obstacles to leaving the land better for his daughters and their families are education and information.”
Does this mean that the obstacles are what is passing for education and information, i.e. they are outdated and not leading to improved land or the obstacle is that there’s not enough education and information about alternative practices?
Important, eloquent reporting. Great work
Enlightening article on an important ecologic topic. Very well told. Thank you.
Hello from south central Iowa, very nice well written article. We need to save prairie remnants and restore more land into prairie! It’s our heritage and must be preserved for the many reasons listed in this here.
Excellent informative article! I grew up in Nebraska and live in Kansas now, but this article taught me things about the prairie and prairie management I never knew, thank you. I hope we are not too late to ‘save the prairie!’
Thanks, Heather. It’s such an important and beautiful story and we’re very proud to have published it.
Thank you for this wonderful piece! Unger did a fantastic, thorough job of bringing sunlight to a landscape often overlooked. I’m at the Nature Conservancy in Illinois and we really appreciate how this was told. We shared it everywhere! :) And Jay is definitely a great character to illustrate the work. Really wonderful!
Very, Very Cool!
Thank you for this amazing article!!! I hope everyone in America gets a chance to read it!