To install click the Add extension button. That's it.

The source code for the WIKI 2 extension is being checked by specialists of the Mozilla Foundation, Google, and Apple. You could also do it yourself at any point in time.

Kelly Slayton
Congratulations on this excellent venture… what a great idea!
Alexander Grigorievskiy
I use WIKI 2 every day and almost forgot how the original Wikipedia looks like.
Live Statistics
English Articles
Improved in 24 Hours
Added in 24 Hours
What we do. Every page goes through several hundred of perfecting techniques; in live mode. Quite the same Wikipedia. Just better.

Coteau des Prairies

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Coteau des Prairies: blue arrows indicate paths of the two lobes of the glacier around either side of the formation.
This excerpt from the Lewis and Clark map of 1814 shows the rivers of western Iowa and eastern South Dakota. The Coteau des Prairies is seen near the upper center of the map, "High land covered with wood called mountain of the prairie."

The Coteau des Prairies is a plateau approximately 200 miles in length and 100 miles in width (320 by 160 km), rising from the prairie flatlands in eastern South Dakota, southwestern Minnesota, and northwestern Iowa in the United States. The southeast portion of the Coteau comprises one of the distinct regions of Minnesota, known as Buffalo Ridge.

The flatiron-shaped plateau was named by early French explorers from New France (Quebec), coteau meaning "hill" in French; the general term coteau has since been used in English to describe any upland dividing ridge.[1]

The plateau is composed of thick glacial deposits, the remnants of many repeated glaciations, reaching a composite thickness of approximately 900 feet (275 m). They are underlain by a small ridge of resistant Cretaceous shale. During the last (Pleistocene) Ice Age, two lobes of the Laurentide glacier, the James lobe on the west and the Des Moines lobe on the east, appear to have parted around the pre-existing plateau and further deepened the lowlands flanking the plateau.

The plateau has numerous small glacial lakes and is drained by the Big Sioux River in South Dakota and the Cottonwood River in Minnesota. Pipestone deposits on the plateau have been quarried for hundreds of years by Native Americans, who use the prized, brownish-red mineral to make their sacred ceremonial pipes. The quarries are located at Pipestone National Monument in the southwest corner of Minnesota and in adjacent Minnehaha County, South Dakota.

Numerous wind farms have been built on the area's surface to take advantage of the high average wind speeds.[2][3]

YouTube Encyclopedic

  • 1/2
    46 883
  • America's Grasslands: A Threatened National Treasure
  • Hills in Saskatchewan


(guitar, bass, ; drums play in bright rhythm) (Carl Madsen) The native grasslands and the prairies of the plains states is a jewel and a national treasure. (Jim Ringelman) America's native prairie really is a phenomenal resource. It's actually one of the most imperiled ecosystems in the world. (Jim Faulstich) We've lost just tremendous amounts of native grass in this area. (Kurt Forman) What we have going for us is the partnership with ranchers. (Karen Kreil) And the saying is, that "Anyone can love the mountains but it takes soul to love the prairie." (woman) This program is funded in part by a grant through Ducks Unlimited, from the MDU Resources Foundation, which is funded annually by contributions from its member companies, MDU Construction Services Group, MDU Utilities Group, Knife River Corporation, and WBI Holdings, Inc., and by the members of Prairie Public. (guitar ; clarinet play soly) (female narrator) One of America's greatest resources is also one of its least appreciated. That's why native prairie is on the list of the world's most threatened biomes. Native grass has been disappearing in record amounts the last few years, converted to cropland. The bulk of the conversion is happening in the Prairie Pothole Region of North and South Dakota, where there are the last great remaining stands of grass. This is also the continent's most productive breeding ground for waterfowl, songbirds, and other wildlife. Nowhere are the grasslands more intact in this region than that landscape called the Missouri Coteau, which is kind of that narrow hilly area that was kind of at the terminus of the last glaciation. It tends to be poor soils, but it's an area that's also very rich in wetlands, and it's that matrix of wetlands and grasslands that attract waterfowl to the region, provide the resources both for food and for habitat for nesting in, and therefore, they are the very best of the best habitats that we have left in this part of the world. You could think, in Central South Dakota, there is a tract of land that's 2700 square miles contiguous of largely native grass with enough wetland densities to average 100 breeding duck pairs per square mile. That's an incredibly unique landscape that you can find nowhere else on the continent. (Dr. Scott Stephens) The native prairie areas with the wetlands are really diverse systems that include a whole rich community of plant life, forbs and flowers. (Mike Forsberg) Some of these other landscapes that just knock you right in the teeth as soon as you see them, Great Plains, these places, you have to really linger, you have to get into 'em, you have to get to know them like you get to know a friend and build that relationship. And it's only then when you start to see how remarkable they are, how important they are, and how valuable that they are. For the last 3-1/2 years I've been working on a book on the Great Plains. And basically it's to put a face to the lingering wild that's left. You can look down at a square meter of prairie and spend an entire day. There is so much life, and that life is all around you, and it's also at your feet. But you just don't see it if you don't get into it, and I think that's the thing. It's the biggest conservation challenge in the plains to me, if they can understand it, then they can appreciate it. If they appreciate it, then they can value it. And if they value it, then they'll want to conserve it. It's not lions and tigers and bears but it's every bit as remarkable. (Carl Madsen) The native grasslands and the prairies of the plains states is a jewel and a national treasure the same as the redwoods of California, the Rocky Mountains, the great rivers. (Karen Kreil) Once I was introduced to prairie, I fell in love with it. It has such a subtle beauty. I think that because of that, it's hard for people who aren't from here to have an appreciation for it. They drive by the prairie and wetlands at 75 miles an hour and think that it sort of looks all the same. But if they stepped out of their vehicle and took a walk, they'd see 250 species of plants, 150-plus species of birds, including many migratory birds, insects, wildlife galore. (bird sings) I just feel such a sense of place in the prairie. And the saying is that "Anyone can love the mountains, but it takes soul to love the prairie." (Randy Meidinger) Across the hilltops here you can imagine hundreds of years ago, the massive herds of bison that once roamed across the prairie here. We have dozens of teepee rings scattered across the hilltops. You can just see where the rocks were placed in circular fashion to hold down the buffalo hide. There's also many wagon trails coming across the Coteau region here that are still intact. That's part of our history where the pioneers and homesteaders came across the prairie here. And once you destroy that prairie, you lose that forever. Certainly you can plant grasses and native grass and forbs back onto the prairie, but it's taken 10,000 years for Mother Nature to get these hundreds of different grasses, forbs, sedges, mosses, and lichens to be in the place that they are. (cicadas chirp) (piano plays softly) (Jim Ringelman) Just in the last 5 years, we've lost almost 400,000 acres of native prairie in North and South Dakota. That's a substantial amount, and if that rate continues, a large percentage will be lost over a period of a couple decades. (a cow moos) (Jimaulstich) We've lost tremendous amounts of native grass in this area. A real concern I have is the amount of true native grass that's being broke and converted, and when I say broke, turned to farm ground and converted to cropland. There's a real push for more crops, grain crops are obviously more profitable than the average cattle operation the last couple years. (a cow moos) (Harris Hoistad) The threats to prairie grasslands are significant. There's so many other economic forces that are driving the whole grassland conversion thing. The fuel prices right now are driving people to break up prairie grasslands to grow corn for ethanol. Not to say that ethanol's bad, it's just that it's adding one more factor into that equation that is causing people to take a second look and think maybe I suld break that up and try and grow some corn on it. Doug Goehring) There's only so much margin to work with on every acre, so ultimately what happens is you are not squeezing enough out of there to meet your family living, to meet your cost of living. So those farms continually got bigger, and there's a point at which you have to determine, do you continue to grow, or what are you going to do to try to make these things work? And there's some tough decisions made. And the reality is about every year things change enough that one year it might have been somewhat economically feasible to have more cattle or to be in a livestock operation, and the next year grain production looks like it's actually a little bit better. But it does come back to this issue of what's my legacy going to be when I leave this land? What are my children, what do they want to do with this place? What are my intentions for it? (Kurt Forman) What's different in recent years is that the majority of the native grassland loss is occurring in the prairie pothole region. For example, the last 3 years we know that 80% of the native prairie converted to tillage agriculture occurred in the prairie pothole region of South Dakota. Most people don't realize that particularly for ducks, the majority of the birds that we're interested in, including upland nesting ducks, nest in grasslands. Songbirds, shorebirds. (motor rumbles) (narrator) Each spring in the Dakotas, scientists evaluate what effect the loss of grassland has on how successful nesting waterfowl are at producing the next generation. We found 5 or six nests today, which, just in the short time we were searching, was pretty good. This is good nesting habitat, thick vegetation as a result of all the rain. Having the large expanses of grassland make it easier for the birds to disperse their nests and make it more difficult for the predators that would search for those nests to find them. (Kurt Forman) What we're interested in, bird production, bird conservation, is a strong relationship between the patch size of a grassland and that grassland's ability to produce ducks, pheasants, and a wide array of songbirds. (narrator) In North Dakota, when the eggs begin to hatch, researchers put bands on the legs of hens and ducklings to follow their travels. (Jacob) We've captured a hen blue-winged here. We found her yesterday and marked her nest. We're leg-banding these birds and also putting nasal markers on them, so that if a hunter shoots this bird somewhere, or if this bird is found or recaptured somewhere, that band number is unique to that bird, and it can be reported, and then that will go in this bird's data file and we'll know a little bit about migration and also learn a little bit about just how long these birds live and their survival rates while they're up here on the breeding grounds in the prairie pothole region. We're going to pull her nest file up on our PDA. We have all the nests entered in here. Once a bird is banded, that number is assigned to that bird throughout its life. When they are in the uplands incubating eggs, it's a dangerous time for them. A lot of hens become predated by predators, and it's also a stressful time for them. There's a lot of food available, but you've got the demands of laying eggs and preparing for a molt, so it's also a fairly physically demanding time for them. And then on a year-to-year basis, site fidelity, which is basically how site faithful these birds are in nesting locations. Some of these birds we've been able to document over the past several years, return to the same site to nest. We're particularly interested in blue-winged teal because North Dakota is the main area where the continental blue-winged teal population comes every spring to nest and reproduce and subsequently raise ducklings that end up in the fall migration. We've got fresh hatched blue-winged teal ducklings. These probably hatched earlier this afternoon, and they've dried off now, and we're going to put leg bands on these not even day old ducklings. It's a female. Okay now that they're all banded, we're just going to take them back and put them back in their nests and then cover them up so that their mother can come back and uncover them and find them and eventually lead them to the nearest pothole, where they'll begin feeding and start growing. (narrator) As the young ducks are learning to fly, researchers in South Dakota capture even more for banding. (Randy Meidinger) This is an adult male blue-winged. You can tell obviously by the blue patch. Are we doing left foot? Left leg upsidedown this year. Some of these birds are pretty good travelers. We've banded birds here on the Goebel Ranch in mid September, and two days later, they were harvested in early teal season on the Gulf Coast, so they can really move when they need to. (a duck call) (a duck call) (shotgun fires two shots, a dog whines) (man) Fetch him! This is the Horseshoe Lake Hunting Club here in Morehouse Parish, Louisiana. Because of the type of habitat we have, the type of food we have, we typically see gadwall, also known as gray ducks. We shoot mallards and widgeon and green-winged teal. (a whistle blows) The prairie pothole region, or the Missouri Coteau of North Dakota is very important to ducks 'cause that's where they breed in the glacial landforms, the water and very importantly, the grasslands of North Dakota are what's critical to ducks. Ducks nest in the grass and they take their broods to the water, and so that's what makes it important. The average gadwall or mallard or whatever from Louisiana will make its way back in March, in that time frame, and then they'll breed and then they'll come back to us to Louisiana in October. They actually spend more time in the wintering grounds than they do the breeding grounds, but again, those breeding ground times are very critical to the population. (Randy Meidinger) This is an example of native prairie pasture that supported livestock for the last hundred-plus years. And just this spring, they were sprayed down with herbicide to kill the native sod and soybeans were planted. (Harris Hoistad) It's going fast. Technology has changed, equipment has changed. It's so easy to convert prairie into cropland. It used to be in the old days, in the '40s and '50s that you had to physically turn the land over with some type of implement. Now you can plant right into the sod, and the corn and soybeans will grow right through it. (fiddle ; guitar play) From the first sodbuster that came here, he broke the prairie to grow it, so it started changing immediately. And you can go back to the Atlantic Coast when the pilgrims landed, we changed things, for the better. For those of us who eat 3 meals a day, we're glad it's changed. (Karen Kreil) Grassland birds are declining at a rate faster than any other bird communities. So just from that standpoint alone, it's a concern. But on the other hand, I really like bread, I really like corn on the cob. (Doug Goehring) Those farmers want to provide a living for their families. They want to feed a growing world, understanding that food security means something. A country without its ability to feed itself will be held hostage by every other country in the world. (Karen Kreil) It's going to be an incredible challenge for both conservation and agriculture to work together to find a way to ensure that we have grasslands and wetlands for the future, but at the same time, meet our growing needs for food. (Carl Madsen) I remember in the mid to early '70s, we had a big grain boom at that time. We plowed up a lot of land and said we got to meet this big market, we've got to go-- that did not last. We were left with a lot of fragile lands that were broken. Now we're looking at the same thing, and we've got to ask the question, will it last? And should we be making our long-term plans to permanently convert grasslands to meet this immediate market demand? (Jim Faulstich) Between the rocks, the potholes, we tend to be a dry area, it's just more conducive to raising grass than crops in the typical scenario. I guess my concern long term is that the way the production costs are going up, mainly fertilizer and diesel fuel, I question how sustainable farming's going to be in the long run on these marginal lands. (narrator) A United States Government Accountability Office report says federal farm programs may inadvertently be encouraging grass conversion. The nonpartisan research group says farm program payments provide a significant incentive to convert grass to cropland. The report says federal crop insurance in particular, takes most of the risk out of raising crops on land less suited for farming. (Jim) When you can look at being subsidized and have crop insurance, and you can get insurance on grasslands as well, but a typical payment back from insurance on grassland may be 2 to 3 bucks an acre, where on cropland it may be 200 to 300. That's not a level playing field. The good Lord put grass here for a reason, and it's unfortunate that the tables are tilted so far to the cropping side. Cropping is important, we farm too. It's just that it's an awful important ecosystem, not only from a rancher's standpoint, I mean I don't think people want to give up eating beef and the other products that come from livestock. The question is how much grass loss can we lose before the whole grassland based ag economy doesn't remain sustainable, and then we see a wholesale loss of it as there's no cattle barn to take your cows to, there's not enough pasture to maintain the large herds of cows that we have now. And if we see that, we'll see huge detrimental impacts on the wildlife population. (Brad Magness) I have a concern, not just because I'm a rancher, but because I run a livestock auction market. When I see grass get torn up, that's just that many fewer cattle that might have a chance to come through my sale. So now along comes the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and other donors and said we want to reward guys for good stewardship of taking care of the grass. So it wa't a hard decision because it really wasn't going to alter any of our operations. (Harris Holstad) The Magness family came to us a couple of years ago and expressed an interest in our grassland easement program. And they had a very, very nice, very, very attractive piece of property in that over 95% of it was unbroken native prairie. If you'll look off to my right, you'll see a wetland there. And way back in the day, I don't know if it was in the '30s or '20s or when, with horses they dug a ditch across here to drain that wetland. The Fish and Wildlife Service filled this back in to where they feel that this was the original grade, so that that will hold water again, as opposed to just running on and running on. And there's years that that's the only feed you might have is in that wetland, so I'm not opposed to preserving that. (a cow moos. birds sing) (narrator) Keeping the grass in beef production is a key to protecting it. Cattle producers own the vast majority of this region's grass, and wildlife and livestock do a good job of sharing the same space. Helping cattle producers stay viable will mean the grass will still be there for cows, wildlife, and people. What we have going for us is the partnership with ranchers. We have estimates that there's about 5-1/2 million acres of native grass remaining in eastern South Dakota. Almost all of that is in a grazing regime, so you have landowners, ranchers, who have a vested interest in maintaining that grassland for their reasons. And those are the same reasons in many cases that we're interested in that same landscape. Keep the grass and the water in place for grazing and for wildlife production. There's interest from landowners to protect these areas that's sort of consistent with their view of how this land should be used, and so they're interested in protection of it via easement. Our science tells us these are the most important areas for waterfowl and a whole host of other wildlife. Really, we just need the funding to sort of get that job done. Probably one of the greatest feelings that I've ever had is to be able to do something so positive and something that will have meaning for a very long time. (narrator) Private donors are helping conservation groups and public agencies work with landowners to protect native prairie. (Karen Kreil) It's about the future. There's no other way to look at things because we have a responsibility, I think, to ensure that all of our children, the children of the world have wild places, they have grasslands and wetlands so that they continue to be able to recreate in them, to gain the benefits from them. (Michael Forsberg) The land ethic Aldo Leopold talked about. The soil has to be well taken care of, the grass has to be well taken care of, the water has to be well taken care of and that will sustain life. And that means all life, from the tiniest little insect to the most powerful species on the planet-- us. When we start to lose wildlife, when wildlife becomes compromised, and when the systems that sustain wildlife become compromised, that's the proverbial canary in the coal mine-- because guess who's next. (birds sing. cicadas chirp) (Carl Madsen) I hope that 40 years from now, we can say boy, we were wise to hang on to some of this because we really need it for clean water, for clean air, for livestock production, for wildlife, and for all the good reasons that we have natural resources. (birds sing. cicadas chirp) (woman) This program is funded in part by a grant through Ducks Unlimited, from the MDU Resources Foundation, which is funded annually by contributions from its member companies, MDU Construction Services Group, MDU Utilities Group, Knife River Corporation, and WBI Holdings, Inc., and by the members of Prairie Public.

Photos from North Dakota


  1. ^ "entry for "coteau"". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved December 19, 2014.
  2. ^ "2009 Wind Technologies Market Report" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on March 1, 2012. Retrieved July 5, 2013.
  3. ^ "U.S. 80 Meter Wind Resource Map". Archived from the original on July 28, 2013. Retrieved July 5, 2013.

External links

44°00′00″N 96°19′00″W / 44.0000°N 96.3167°W / 44.0000; -96.3167

This page was last edited on 7 April 2023, at 16:04
Basis of this page is in Wikipedia. Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 Unported License. Non-text media are available under their specified licenses. Wikipedia® is a registered trademark of the Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. WIKI 2 is an independent company and has no affiliation with Wikimedia Foundation.