Great Plains Prairie Stamps
Nature of America, Third in a Series, United States Post Office

The varied tapestry of the tallgrass, mixed-grass, and short-grass prairies reaches from the eastern woodlands and oak savannas to the foothills of the Rockies. Grasses and wildflowers make good use of limited rainfall, and fire helps sustain the ecosystem. Prairies provide habitats for many animals, including the pronghorn -- North America's fastest land animal -- and the prairie dog, one of many burrowing animals living on the prairies.

Explorers were impressed by the immensity of the central and western grasslands, the region that came to be known as the Great Plains. Settlers' steel plows altered the landscape and transformed life on the prairies.

Native prairie is rare today; remaining patches exist because of careful management and diligent preservation efforts. But the defining characteristics of the prairies live on; for instance, cattle, rather than bison, are now the dominant grazing animals of the plains.

Back to Report #6


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