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Prairie Pathways

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Posted in Native Plants.

Discerning the path to sustainability

This is a path finding effort to focus attention on some of the best knowledge on how native grass agriculture contribute significantly to solving pressing national issues of overdependence on foreign hydrocarbons and the need for a sustainable, green economy. We must promote healthy nutrition, halt global climate problems, address environmental concerns such as adequate clean water, and meet societal challenges such the need to diversify and invigorate rural economies.

“Home Grown Energy Security:”The research outlined in this report suggests that sustainably produced biomass – particularly native prairie grasses well adapted to the Great Plains – can make significant contributions to our regions energy and material needs. These studies strengths are the ability to concretely translate bold new strategies to concrete actionable plans for all steps of the economic process Great Plains Institute: http://www.gpisd.net/resource.html?Id=274

“Land of Biofuels-Can we get Gas from Grass?” Fuels made from plants hold hope for a better energy future. But where will the raw material come from– Cornfields? Grasslands? Forests? This article’s strength is translate the profound debate for a popular audience of citizens. There are many concrete examples provided as well as quotations from natural resource leaders Conservation Volunteer Jan-Feb 2008 http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/volunteer/past_issues.html

“The Carbohydrate Economy” This series of research papers is consistently some of the most lucid thinking on 21st Century economic processes and technologies. The authors carefully discern the “real” costs, benefits and public policy ramifications for an economy and society that is increasing self reliant in meeting its needs Institute of Local Self-Reliance: http://www.ilsr.org/pubs/pubscarbo.html

“Environmental, economic, and energetic costs and benefits of biodiesel and ethanol biofuels” The big picture of a preferred and more sustainable future is painted by University of Minnesota researchers based upon rigorous science and very long term field studies. Many of these field studies were conducted at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. The great biomes of North America, the prairie and boreal and deciduous forests, meet in the area of Cedar Creek. http://www.cedarcreek.umn.edu/hilletal2006.pdf

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