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The grasslands of the United States [electronic resource] : an environmental history / James E. Sherow.

By: Sherow, James Earl.
Material type: TextTextSeries: Nature and human societies: Publisher: Santa Barbara, Calif. : ABC-CLIO, c2007Description: 1 online resource (xv, 389 p.) : ill., maps.ISBN: 9781851097258 (electronic bk.); 1851097252 (electronic bk.); 9781851097203 (hard copy : alk. paper); 1851097201 (hard copy : alk. paper).Subject(s): Human ecology -- United States | Indians of North America -- Ethnobotany | Grassland ecology -- United States | Nature -- Effect of human beings on -- United States | United States -- Environmental conditions | NATURE -- Natural Resources | BUSINESS & ECONOMICS -- Environmental Economics | BUSINESS & ECONOMICS -- Green Business | Grassteppe | USAGenre/Form: Electronic books.Additional physical formats: Print version:: Grasslands of the United States.DDC classification: 333.740973 Online resources: EBSCOhost
Contents:
Series foreword -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- The emergence of grassland relationships pre-1500 CE -- The arrival of the immigrants -- What is a grass? -- The Pleistocene scene -- Climatic changes -- Archaic to Anasazi -- Plains woodland and plains village cultures -- On the eve of European contact -- References -- The unraveling of the wild grasslands -- Animal distributions, grassland patterns, and soil types -- Little Ice Age -- Human population and subsistence patterns -- Caddo, Jumano, Apache, and Pueblo exchanges and trade patterns -- Arrival of European diseases -- Contact and consequences -- The rise of the Comanche Empire -- New arrivals and ways of ecological adaptation -- Enter the Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Sioux -- The memes of trade and culture -- Collapse of the grassland biome -- The beginnings of the domesticated grassland -- The bridge between the wild and domestic grasslands -- References.
The urbanized and domesticated grasslands -- The urban eclipse of the agricultural economy -- Euro-American market culture values and land-grant colleges -- Market culture values and commodification -- Farming systems -- Domestic grasses -- The irrigation crusade -- Irrigation crusade -- Irrigation court cases -- Enter federal reclamation -- Bonanza farms -- Open-range ranching -- War and the grasslands -- The Dust Bowl -- The New Deal and World War II -- References -- The most endangered ecosystem on earth -- Artistic portrayals of the grasslands -- Grassland park systems -- Urbanized grasslands -- Contemporary grassland hydrology -- Changes in farming and rural demographics -- Environmental problems associated with modern agriculture -- Traditional conservation in the grasslands -- Alternative agriculture -- Environmentalism in the grasslands -- A buffalo commons in the making? -- Future directions -- References.
Case studies -- Case study : State making and unmaking (and making it back at all) : following Zebulon Pike across the Plains in 1806 -- A young nation and a young soldier facing West -- Making it in the grasslands -- A desert no more -- References -- Case study : Wetlands of the American Grasslands -- Wetland hydrology -- Wetland flora and fauna -- Humans and plains wetlands -- References -- Case study : John Wesley Powell and the Rocky Mountain West -- Powell's life -- Geology of the Rocky Mountains -- Learning the geography of the Rocky Mountains -- Pre-contact mountain biomes -- Fur companies, Indian peoples, and miners -- Forests and parks -- The West's reservoirs -- The urbanized mountains -- The West's playground or the nation's energy reserve? -- Powell's unrealized dream -- References -- Documents -- Important people, events, and concepts -- Chronology -- Selected annotated bibliography -- Index.
Summary: "Treeless, level, and semi-arid." Walter Prescott Webb?s famous description of the Great Plains is really only part of their story. From their creation at the end of the Ice Age to the ongoing problems of depopulation, soil erosion, polluted streams, and depleted groundwater aquifers, human interaction with the prairies has often been controversial. The Grasslands of the United States: An Environmental History explores the historical and ecological dimensions of human interaction with North America?s grasslands. Examining issues as diverse as whether the arrival of the Paleo-Indians led to the extinction of the mammoth and the consequences of industrialization and genetically modified crops, this invaluable reference synthesizes literature from a wide range of authoritative sources to provide a fascinating guide to the environment of this biome.
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Includes bibliographical references (p. 357-373) and index.

Series foreword -- Acknowledgments -- Introduction -- 1. The emergence of grassland relationships pre-1500 CE -- The arrival of the immigrants -- What is a grass? -- The Pleistocene scene -- Climatic changes -- Archaic to Anasazi -- Plains woodland and plains village cultures -- On the eve of European contact -- References -- 2. The unraveling of the wild grasslands -- Animal distributions, grassland patterns, and soil types -- Little Ice Age -- Human population and subsistence patterns -- Caddo, Jumano, Apache, and Pueblo exchanges and trade patterns -- Arrival of European diseases -- Contact and consequences -- The rise of the Comanche Empire -- New arrivals and ways of ecological adaptation -- Enter the Cheyennes, Arapahos, and Sioux -- The memes of trade and culture -- Collapse of the grassland biome -- The beginnings of the domesticated grassland -- The bridge between the wild and domestic grasslands -- References.

3. The urbanized and domesticated grasslands -- The urban eclipse of the agricultural economy -- Euro-American market culture values and land-grant colleges -- Market culture values and commodification -- Farming systems -- Domestic grasses -- The irrigation crusade -- Irrigation crusade -- Irrigation court cases -- Enter federal reclamation -- Bonanza farms -- Open-range ranching -- War and the grasslands -- The Dust Bowl -- The New Deal and World War II -- References -- 4. The most endangered ecosystem on earth -- Artistic portrayals of the grasslands -- Grassland park systems -- Urbanized grasslands -- Contemporary grassland hydrology -- Changes in farming and rural demographics -- Environmental problems associated with modern agriculture -- Traditional conservation in the grasslands -- Alternative agriculture -- Environmentalism in the grasslands -- A buffalo commons in the making? -- Future directions -- References.

5. Case studies -- Case study : State making and unmaking (and making it back at all) : following Zebulon Pike across the Plains in 1806 -- A young nation and a young soldier facing West -- Making it in the grasslands -- A desert no more -- References -- Case study : Wetlands of the American Grasslands -- Wetland hydrology -- Wetland flora and fauna -- Humans and plains wetlands -- References -- Case study : John Wesley Powell and the Rocky Mountain West -- Powell's life -- Geology of the Rocky Mountains -- Learning the geography of the Rocky Mountains -- Pre-contact mountain biomes -- Fur companies, Indian peoples, and miners -- Forests and parks -- The West's reservoirs -- The urbanized mountains -- The West's playground or the nation's energy reserve? -- Powell's unrealized dream -- References -- Documents -- Important people, events, and concepts -- Chronology -- Selected annotated bibliography -- Index.

"Treeless, level, and semi-arid." Walter Prescott Webb?s famous description of the Great Plains is really only part of their story. From their creation at the end of the Ice Age to the ongoing problems of depopulation, soil erosion, polluted streams, and depleted groundwater aquifers, human interaction with the prairies has often been controversial. The Grasslands of the United States: An Environmental History explores the historical and ecological dimensions of human interaction with North America?s grasslands. Examining issues as diverse as whether the arrival of the Paleo-Indians led to the extinction of the mammoth and the consequences of industrialization and genetically modified crops, this invaluable reference synthesizes literature from a wide range of authoritative sources to provide a fascinating guide to the environment of this biome.

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The grasslands of the United States by Sherow, James Earl. ©2007
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