Grasslands

A rotation of pictures from various National Grasslands including scenes of the grasslands, wildlif

These wind-swept seas of grass and wildflowers - four million acres in all - have witnessed the pageant of the frontier, the Dust Bowl, and the dramatic recovery into a great national treasure. Come visit the 20 publicly-owned National Grasslands administered by the USDA Forest Service.

Contact a National Grassland…

Windmills on the National Grasslands

Picture of a lone dead tree in the foreground, a windmill in the far background.

To some, a windmill may be seen as a machine, but for those that live on the open plains a windmill is seen as a life tool. A windmill converts the energy of the wind to rotational motion that pumps fresh water from underground. They are recognized as a sign of settlement and livestock production. Across the grasslands, windmills are a mark of historical and cultural significance. Today, much larger windmills bring attention to the vastness of the landscape and also provide a source of energy.

This exhibit is on display at the National Grasslands Visitor Center, Wall, South Dakota.

Enjoy the exhibit online…

Ecosystem Services from National Grasslands

View of a national grassland floodplain.

The health and well-being of human populations depend on the services provided by ecosystems and their components: the organisms, soil, water, and nutrients. Ecosystem Services are the process by which the environment produces resources such as clean water, forage, and range; habitat for wildlife; and pollination of native and agricultural plants. The Forest Service currently administers twenty National Grasslands consisting of 3.8 million acres of public land. These grasslands are managed for a variety of purposes including forage, fish and wildlife, timber, water, and recreation resources. While National Grasslands are valued for these basic goods, they also deliver other important services that are often perceived to be free and limitless.

Read more…