Saturday, August 5, 2017

American Landscapes - Prairies


A physician and entrepreneur, Dr. Steven Armus owns and operates Native Prairie Restoration, a company dedicated to restoring natural prairie environments on behalf of its clients. In fact, as an undergraduate at the University of Colorado Boulder, Dr. Steven Armus studied biology with an emphasis on native habitat preservation.

Emily Dickinson once wrote:

“To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee.
And revery.”

This is not far from the truth, as prairie ecosystems are sustained in part by the interaction between native prairie flowers and grasses and important pollinators, like bees and birds. Prairies are characterized by vast planes of grassland dotted by the occasional tree. They’re also defined by climate features such as moderate rainfall and temperatures.

Unfortunately, America’s prairie landscapes are threatened. Once, central North America was dominated by prairies, but today only 5 percent of the continent’s original prairies survive. Prairie loss is largely a result of habitat destruction, competition from invasive species, and climate change.

There are myriad ways Americans can get involved in saving what remains of the country’s prairies. For instance, they can support efforts to prevent soil erosion and endorse measures to restore wetlands, which contribute beneficially to grassland ecologies.