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Percentage of American Great Plains that's left unchanged

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created January 02, 2012 at 6:46 AM

Hey folks, I was wondering if anyone knew what percentage of the American Great Plains is left unchanged from it's natural state, versus the percentage that's covered under farmland or cities/roads? I tried googling but couldn't figure out the right way to phrase it. Thanks!

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4 Answers

1
Bdede2dbc411f2533a7e6f13674ade51

(804)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:45 AM

0% - Native Americans used different tactics, including intentional fires, for controlling the landscape to best fit them. Mankind has altered the great plains for thousands of years.

0
Cf4576cbcc44fc7f2294135609bce9e5

on January 02, 2012
at 12:28 PM

thats a very good question, one that i think google earth can shed tremendous light upon. so, i looked at my Oklahoma county and the answer was clearly 80 percent of my county is grassland. that probably explains the dear, bear, mountain lion that i observe. as a state average probably 75 percent is grassland. i bet some really smart computer programmers could write software to give a detailed analysis. anyboy up for it out there? i might be over estimating the grassland portion because i include forrested lands in my estimate. but clealy my state is a grassland state.

0
3eb3f79868b24b3df4450ea2d4f9a5d5

(2387)

on January 02, 2012
at 10:27 AM

Just as Nate wrote: All of it has been changed and has been subject to change for billions of years, either by humans, animals or other forces of nature or succession, of course. Your question is impossible to answer.

You might want to rephrase your question to "What percentage of the area once called the American Great Plains can and does still suport a sustainable ecosystem all by itself?" It might be easier to find an answer to that question, although even then it is all based on what we know today and what we can imagine happening.

I guess nature will one day find a way to establish a working ecosystem even on square miles of asphalt. But humans will probably not be part of that.

0
Dfada6fe4982ab3b7557172f20632da8

(5332)

on January 02, 2012
at 07:36 AM

At it's peak, apparently, farmland accounted for about 90% of the Plains. So that's all arguably changed even if it's gone back to nature now. I'd suspect very little overall remains unchanged strictly speaking.

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