Consumption and Production: Themes of Sustainability in Artists' Books
This guide shares information about artists' books from the "Consumption and Production: Themes of Sustainability in Artists' Books" events hosted by IU Libraries, as well as supplementary materials such as news articles, research, and multimedia resource
The Prairies is a rumination on the past, what was a pristine landscape transformed into an ecosystem endangered by the sins of our fathers. The text is comprised of a timeline of historical facts describing the demise of the landscape and stanzas from the poem “The Prairies” by William Cullen Bryant celebrating the plains.
Follow nature photographer Michael Forsberg as he examines the remaining wilderness in the Great Plains of North America. Featuring stunning imagery, the program is based on Forsberg's book of the same name. Less than 200 years ago, the Great Plains was one of the greatest grassland ecosystems on Earth, stretching nearly a million square miles down the heart of the continent. But as America grew, and the land was settled and tamed, the wilderness began disappearing.
Prairie fires have always been a spectacular and dangerous part of the Great Plains. Nineteenth-century settlers sometimes lost their lives to uncontrolled blazes, and today ranchers such as those in the Flint Hills of Kansas manage the grasslands through controlled burning. Even small fires, overlooked by history, changed lives--destroyed someone's property, threatened someone's safety, or simply made someone's breath catch because of their astounding beauty. Julie Courtwright, who was born and raised in the tallgrass prairie of Butler County, Kansas, knows prairie fires well. In this first comprehensive environmental history of her subject, Courtwright vividly recounts how fire--setting it, fighting it, watching it, fearing it--has bound Plains people to each other and to the prairies themselves for centuries. She traces the history of both natural and intentional fires from Native American practices to the current use of controlled burns as an effective land management tool, along the way sharing the personal accounts of people whose lives have been touched by fire. The book ranges from Texas to the Dakotas and from the 1500s to modern times. It tells how Native Americans learned how to replicate the effects of natural lightning fires, thus maintaining the prairie ecosystem. Native peoples fired the prairie to aid in the hunt, and also as a weapon in war. White settlers learned from them that burns renewed the grasslands for grazing; but as more towns developed, settlers began to suppress fires-now viewed as a threat to their property and safety. Fire suppression had as dramatic an environmental impact as fire application. Suppression allowed the growth of water-wasting trees and caused a thick growth of old grass to build up over time, creating a dangerous environment for accidental fires. Courtwright calls on a wide range of sources: diary entries and oral histories from survivors, colorful newspaper accounts, military weather records, and artifacts of popular culture from Gene Autry stories to country song lyrics to Little House on the Prairie. Through this multiplicity of voices, she shows us how prairie fires have always been a significant part of the Great Plains experience-and how each fire that burned across the prairies over hundreds of years is part of someone's life story. By unfolding these personal narratives while looking at the bigger environmental picture, Courtwright blends poetic prose with careful scholarship to fashion a thoughtful paean to prairie fire. It will enlighten environmental and Western historians and renew a sense of wonder in the people of the Plains.
On a gray and drizzly day in 1983, writer Alice D'Alessio and her math professor husband, Laird, made their way down a curving, tree-lined driveway on their way to a picnic. They were visiting 110 acres of land in Wisconsin's unglaciated Driftless Area that Laird had inherited from his parents. Emerging from the trees, Alice had her first glimpse of the valley that would become a twenty-five-year labor of love for the couple. In Tending the Valley, Alice chronicles their efforts to return the land to its natural prairie state and to manage their oak and pine woods. Along the way they joined the land restoration movement, became involved in a number of stewardship groups, and discovered the depths of dedication and toil required to bring their dream to fruition. With hard-earned experience and the evocative language of a poet, D'Alessio shares her personal triumphs and setbacks as a prairie steward, along with a profound love for the land and respect for the natural history of the Driftless.
Most prairies exist today as fragmented landscapes, making thoughtful and vigilant management ever more important. Intended for landowners and managers dedicated to understanding and nurturing their prairies as well as farmers, ranchers, conservationists, and all those with a strong interest in grasslands, ecologist Chris Helzer's readable and practical manual educates prairie owners and managers about grassland ecology and gives them guidelines for keeping prairies diverse, vigorous, and viable. Chapters in the first section, "Prairie Ecology," describe prairie plants and the communities they live in, the ways in which disturbance modifies plant communities, the animal and plant inhabitants that are key to prairie survival, and the importance of diversity within plant and animal communities. Chapters in the second section, "Prairie Management," explore the adaptive management process as well as guiding principles for designing management strategies, examples of successful management systems such as fire and grazing, guidance for dealing with birds and other species that have particular habitat requirements and with the invasive species that have become the most serious threat that prairie managers have to deal with, and general techniques for prairie restoration. Following the conclusion and a forward-thinking note on climate change, eight appendixes provide more information on grazing, prescribed fire, and invasive species as well as bibliographic notes, references, and national and state organizations with expertise in prairie management. Grasslands can be found throughout much of North America, and the ideas and strategies in this book apply to most of them, particularly tallgrass and mixed-grass prairies in eastern North Dakota, eastern South Dakota, eastern Nebraska, eastern Kansas, eastern Oklahoma, northwestern Missouri, northern Illinois, northwestern Indiana, Iowa, southwestern Wisconsin, and southwestern Minnesota. By presenting all the factors that promote biological diversity and thus enhance prairie communities, then incorporating these factors into a set of clear-sighted management practices, The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States presents the tools necessary to ensure that grasslands are managed in the purposeful ways essential to the continued health and survival of prairie communities.
This book by the renowned naturalist and writer Paul A. Johnsgard tells the complex biological and environmental story of the western Great Plains under the black-tailed prairie dog's reign--and then under a brief but devastating century of human dominion. An introduction to the ecosystem of the shortgrass prairie, Prairie Dog Empire describes in clear and detailed terms the habitat and habits of black-tailed prairie dogs; their subsistence, seasonal behavior, and the makeup of their vast colonies; and the ways in which their "towns" transform the surrounding terrain--for better or for worse. Johnsgard recounts how this terrain has in turn been transformed over the past century by the destruction of prairie dogs and their grassland habitats. This book also offers a rare and invaluable close-up view of the rich history and threatened future of the creature once considered the "keystone" species of the western plains. Included are maps, drawings, and listings of more than two hundred natural grassland preserves where many of the region's native plants and animals may still be seen and studied.
A respected author and scholar, Paul A. Johnsgard has spent a lifetime observing the natural delights of Nebraska’s woodlands, grasslands, and wetlands. Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie collects his musings on Nebraska’s natural history and the issues of conservation facing our future. nbsp; Johnsgard crafts essays featuring snow geese, owls, hummingbirds, and other creatures against the backdrop of Great Plains landscapes. He describes prairie chickens courting during predawn hours and the calls of sandhill cranes; he evokes the magic of lying upon the prairie, hearing only the sounds of insects and the wind through the grasses. From reflections following a visit to a Pawnee sacred site to meditations on the perils facing the state’s finite natural resources, Seasons of the Tallgrass Prairie celebrates the gifts of a half century spent roaming Nebraska’s back roads, trails, and sometimes-forgotten places.
"The most destructive force in the American West is its commanding views, because they foster the illusion that we command," begins Richard Manning's vivid, anecdotally driven account of the American plains from native occupation through the unraveling of the American enterprise to today. As he tells the story of this once rich, now mostly empty landscape, Manning also describes a grand vision for ecological restoration, currently being set in motion, that would establish a prairie preserve larger than Yellowstone National Park, flush with wild bison, elk, bears, and wolves. Taking us to an isolated stretch of central Montana along the upper Missouri River, Manning peels back the layers of history and discovers how key elements of the American story--conservation, the New Deal, progressivism, the yeoman myth, and the idea of private property--have collided with and shaped this incomparable landscape. An account of great loss, Rewilding the West also holds out the promise of resurrection--but rather than remake the plains once again, Manning proposes that we now find the wisdom to let the prairies remake us.
A Project of the Center for Great Plains Studies and the School of Natural Resources, University of Nebraska Great Plains Bison traces the history and ecology of this American symbol from the origins of the great herds that once dominated the prairie to its near extinction in the late nineteenth century and the subsequent efforts to restore the bison population. A longtime wildlife biologist and one of the most powerful literary voices on the Great Plains, Dan O'Brien has managed his own ethically run buffalo ranch since 1997. Drawing on both extensive research and decades of personal experience, he details not only the natural history of the bison but also its prominent symbolism in Native American culture and its rise as an icon of the Great Plains. Great Plains Bison is a tribute to the bison's essential place at the heart of the North American prairie and its ability to inspire naturalists and wildlife advocates in the fight to preserve American biodiversity.
"As I looked about me I felt that the grass was the country, as the water is the sea. The red of the grass made all the great prairie the colour of wine-stains, or of certain seaweeds when they are first washed up. And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be running."--My Ántonia, Willa Cather It is often called "Catherland"--Webster County, Nebraska, where the quintessential American novelist Willa Cather spent her childhood and found inspiration for her stories of European immigrants on the prairie. Richard Schilling, with his watercolor paintings and ink sketches, conducts us to that land, to scenes that might have influenced Cather, but as they appear today. Schilling's images take us to Red Cloud, Cather's childhood home; to the Willa Cather Memorial Prairie, a botanical jewel of mixed-grass prairie restored to its pre-1900 condition; and on to "the divide," the high prairie land between the Little Blue River to the north and the Republican River to the south. Each evocative original watercolor is paired with an excerpt from Cather's work and with the author's own musings on the history, geography, and ecology of the landscape.