Timothy Egan had this excellent piece in the NYT about the Plains and the restoration of the prairie.
Here's the the beginning:
PAWHUSKA, Okla. – It is hard to love a land you don’t understand, and for most of my life I had no idea why anyone would ever live in the Great Plains – let alone love the place.
Flat, featureless, boring. Those were the words I heard growing up whenever someone would mention the plains. My view was informed by Dorothy’s Kansas, which looked scary and Gothic even before the twister took her house and Toto, too.
But then I spent some time here, mostly listening to people in the twilight of their lives tell about the land when it turned on them, during the Dust Bowl of the 1930s. At the end of a long day of hearing stories, I would go for a run in the wind, and sometimes get a glimpse of the magic of the place — a pronghorn antelope in a sprint, a sky blushing pink, the quiet when the air finally settles.
There are people with us still who remember the Great Plains in its birthday suit, grass as far as the eye could see, what Walt Whitman called, “that delicate miracle, the ever-recurring grass.”
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