Part autobiography, part philosophical rumination, this evocative conservation odyssey explores the deep affinities between humans and our original habitat: grasslands.
In a richly drawn, anecdotally driven narrative, Joe C. Truett, a grasslands ecologist who writes with a flair for language, traces the evolutionary, historical, and cultural forces that have reshaped North American rangelands over the past two centuries. He introduces an intriguing cast of characters - wildlife and grasslands biologists, archaeologists, ranchers, and petroleum geologists - to illuminate a wide range of related topics: our love affair with turf and how it manifests in lawns and sports, the ecological and economic dimensions of ranching, the glory of cowboy culture, grasslands and restoration ecology, and more.
His book ultimately provides the background against which we can envision a new paradigm for restoring rangeland ecosystems-and a new paradigm for envisioning a more sustainable future.
Foreword Acknowledgments Prologue 1. Promethean Legacy 2. Out of the Forest 3. Science and Faith 4. Playing God 5. Pleasing to the Eye 6. Where the Short Grass Grows 7. Turf 8. Grass and Grazers: An Ecological Primer 9. Bison Plains and Prairie Dogs 10. Taming of the West 11. Production Science Comes to the Range 12. The Last Pariah 13. The Trouble with Livestock 14. Subsidizing John Wayne 1.Truett, Grass 5/29/09 2:49 PM Page vii 15. Collateral Damage 16. Cowboy 17. Resurrection 18. Pleistocene Park 19. Diversity 20. Long Road Home Epilogue Notes References
Joe C. Truett is senior biologist with the Turner Endangered Species Fund. He is the author of Land of Bears and Honey: A Natural History of East Texas and Circling Back: Chronicle of a Texas River Valley, and coeditor of The Natural History of an Arctic Oil Field: Development and the Biota. He lives in New Mexico.
Writing in language that is downright poetic at times, Joe Truett is clearly speaking from the heart.-Ernest Callenbach, author of Bring Back the Buffalo! and Ecology: A Pocket Guide