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The Great Plains Some describe the great plains as flat, boring, monotonous. What a monstrous disservice to big sky vistas of fields, rangeland, rugged badlands, meandering rivers and streams, intimate ponds, and extensive forests. Massive herds of bison once roamed the vast prairies and endless forest stretched north. European settlers with horse drawn wagons and plows broke the land for agriculture and displaced the first nations. Later, the automobile, pick-up truck, and massive tractors again transformed the plains. Industrial scale farms replaced small family homesteads that now lie abandoned, and small towns, once centers of culture and service, are dying. Businesses on main streets are boarded up and homes are abandoned or have become bedroom communities to modern urban centers. Still, the plains retain a haunting beauty.

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