Many changes – some discouraging, others hopeful – have occurred in the Rocky Mountain region since the first edition of this widely acclaimed book was published. Wildlife habitat has become more fragmented, once-abundant sage grouse are now scarce, and forest fires occur more frequently. At the same time, wolves have been successfully reintroduced, and new approaches to conservation have been adopted. For this updated and expanded Second Edition, the authors provide a highly readable synthesis of research undertaken in the past two decades and address two important questions: How can ecosystems be used so that future generations benefit from them as we have? How can we anticipate and adapt to climate changes while conserving biological diversity?
Dennis H. Knight is professor emeritus, Department of Botany, George P. Jones is associate director and vegetation ecologist, Wyoming Natural Diversity Database, and William A. Reiners is J. E. Warren Professor of Energy and Environment, all at the University of Wyoming. William H. Romme is professor emeritus and research scientist, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University.
"Written with authority and passion, this second edition of Mountains and Plains is a treasure trove of information on Wyoming's grand ecosystems. It's a must-have for the serious ecologist, resource manager or weekend naturalist."
– Cathy Whitlock, Institute on Ecosystems, Montana State University
"There is an extensive glossary, especially useful in a book so rich in detail, a book as likely to be consulted as a reference as to be read straight through [...] The remarkable level of accuracy in the book's writing and editing makes the work virtually error-free."
– David M. Armstrong, Great Plains Research
"The inter-relationships between vegetation, soils, topography, history and other factors are stressed throughout the book, which will surely be a valuable text both in Wyoming and in adjacent states, and which would be excellent reading for any ecologically minded visitor to the state. The book is well-produced and informatively illustrated throughout."
– Kew Bulletin
"One of those rare books that will appeal to the whole spectrum of ecological reader from casual wildflower enthusiast to serious researcher."
– Chris Madison, Editor, Wyoming Wildlife
"An excellent description of Wyoming landscapes that will become the definitive work for all those interested in this fascinating region of our country."
– Paul G. Risser, president, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio
"This is a very readable book that is equally attractive to the serious researcher and to travelers who appreciate the great diversity that exists in Wyoming landscapes."
– Jane Sullivan, First Lady of Wyoming
"A stimulating primer on the ecology of the Intermountain West and the scientific inquiry that these landscapes engender."
– Cathy Whitlock, Yellowstone Science
"A well-organized, well-written labor of love by a man eminently knowledgeable about his topic. The writing is crisp, clean, and readable by nearly everyone. Ecological theory is skillfully interwoven with descriptions of the numerous and varied biotic communities in Wyoming [...] Mountains and Plains is a fine accomplishment, and worthwhile reading for both professional and layman alike."
– H. J. Harju, Prairie Naturalist
"We students of vegetation should read the book for ourselves and then share it with friends who want to know more about the U.S. West."
– Dr. Jane H. Bock, Journal of Vegetation Science
"At once very engaging reading, an important reference work, and a superb entree into the scientific literature."
– Michael B. Coughenour, New Biological Books
"Dennis Knight has distilled decades of learning about Wyoming landscapes into this wonderful book that combines the best of ecology and natural history [...] I hope this book will stimulate scholars to prepare books that examine the landscapes of other territories in western North America, and that they will be done with the thoroughness, balance, and style makes this book so informative and fun."
– Dan Binkley, Northwest Science
"A must for any naturalist visiting this state, and if only a book like this were available for other areas of the United States."
– Bryan Sage, Country-SIDE
"This book is useful to a relatively broad audience, from undergraduate students to advanced researchers. There is enough detail and literature citations to provide an excellent introduction to most of the landscapes of the Rocky Mountain region. The book would be very appealing for field courses in ecology and conservation biology using this region as a classroom [...] An important resource for students of Rocky Mountain ecology. It provides a synthetic approach to understanding the ecology and wise land use management of one of North America's greatest natural regions."
– William D. Bowman, Ecology
"Mountains and Plains, 2nd Edition is truly a remarkable and comprehensive piece of scholarship. I know of no other book with similar focus, scope, and insight."
– Donald R. Zak, University of Michigan
"Knight, Jones, Reiners, and Romme have tackled a large, complex topic and have woven some remarkably clear stories. Very well done."
– Dan Binkley, Colorado State University
"Would that a book like this were available for every state!"
– Donald A. Windsor, Science Books & Films
"An extraordinary and highly readable explanation of the Wyoming landscape for anyone involved with the use, study, or preservation of our resources from beneath our feet to the horizon."
– John Schiffer, rancher and Wyoming state senator
"Technically accurate and gracefully written. The authors have spent much of their careers studying the plant and animal life that make Wyoming one of the most engaging landscapes in North America. From the flower-strewn tundra of the Beartooth Plateau to the alkali pans of the Red Desert, Mountains and Plains explains in straightforward terms why the region is the way it is. A great reference; a great read."
– Chris Madson, editor emeritus, Wyoming Wildlife, and author of When Nature Heals