Prairie Protector - Supplemental Materials

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Resource Summary
The following resources provide more information about the phenomenon at the heart of the Prairie Protector digital game-woody encroachment in the Great Plains- and its social, economic, and environmental impacts.
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Life Sciences
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Interested in learning more about woody encroachment in the Great Plains and its social, economic, and environmental impacts?

Read and Watch

Eastern Redcedar Science Literacy Project

  • The project provides a comprehensive resource on the spread and impacts of Eastern redcedar, one of the most well-studied and problematic invasive species in North America. This collection summarizes what is known about this issue from the scientific literature and presents this information in an easy-to-understand format. These facts can be used to question existing land management practices, to critique existing government policies and future proposals, and to hopefully create a more literate and informed society.

To learn more about the issue from the perspective of a Sandhills ranch family, check out the resources below featuring the Switzer family. In addition to ranching, the family owns and operates Calamus Outfitters, a nature-based tourism operation. 

"The Burning Prairie" 

  • In this short essay, Sarah (Switzer) Sortum discusses the threat invasive Eastern Redcedar trees pose to the grassland ecosystem and describes her family's approach to maintain ranchland productivity while supporting prairie conservation and biodiversity in the Sandhills.

"Prairie Fire: Controlling Invasive Species"

  • This video from NET Nebraska 360 takes the viewer on a behind-the-scenes tour of a prescribed burn. The video is narrated by Adam Switzer and explains how and why the Switzer family is combating the encroachment of these Eastern Red Cedar trees onto their land.