Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly SUMMER 1990 .Copyright 1990 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska—Lincoln.


Perhaps the most poorly known and least appreciated ecosystem in all of the U.S. is the shortgrass prairie. It is not as though this vegetation type only occurs in a limited area of the country. Shortgrass prairie dominates the landscape of an enormous region stretching from Canada to New Mexico. Why is there so little understanding of this expansive grassland? Perhaps it is because few people have bothered to write about it. Ruth Cushman and Stephen Jones took on this task and we may be thankful to have their book, The Shortgrass Prairie.