The North American prairie is ideal for agriculture. In fact, of the 2 million acres of North American prairie, less than one percent is not used for agricultural development. That's right, less than 1% of what used to be a vast ecosystem of grassland prairies that stretched across the Midwest remains.
By the middle of the twentieth century, nearly all of the North American prairie grasslands had been destroyed due to extensive farming. The result was miles and miles of soil with no strong prairie grass to hold it in place, and few trees to block the wind. When drought, struck the prairie in the 1930s, high winds blew the dry soil into huge, frequent dust storms, devastating the Great Plains. The Great Plains came to be known as the Dust Bowl during the Great Depression period.
As demand for land increases for food production and urban sprawl the reaming 1% of prairie will no doubt come under increased pressure for development. By working to actively protect these endangered ecosystems we seek to save the natural heritage of the Midwest.