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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.
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
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
18. Pleistocene Park
20. Long Road Home
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.
“Can be read with ease and interest.”—Environment And Ecology
“Impassioned, informative, and entertaining.”—Conservation Magazine
“Truett succeeds with this book. Nonjudgmental, questioning, provocative, and written with an appreciation of human’s increasing dominance of our finite home planet, readers will emerge at the volume’s end with countless questions that will not quickly recede.”—Qtly Review Of Biology
"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