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Prairies have been termed the nation's most endangered ecosystem. Tallgrass prairies especially have been converted to cultivation; most states have lost ninety-eight percent or more of the tallgrass prairie that existed before European settlement. The rich soils that tallgrass vegetation created over millennia led to the prairies' replacement by the Corn Belt in a matter of mere decades.
While most persons, rather than mourning the passing of tallgrass prairie, are contented with the vistas of grains and soybeans that displaced it, some conservationists are attempting to stem the tide of habitat loss, and others are going so far as trying to restore or recreate grasslands. The Tallgrass Restoration Handbook is intended for this latter group.