Losing and recovering the Great Plains, America’s Serengeti

Dan Flores talk series promotion poster

Sunday September 17, 1p-3p
Avogadro’s Number, 605 S. Mason St. Fort Collins
Award-winning author Dan Flores

Flores is a western historian and best-selling author. Western history fans, wildlife lovers, and prairie enthusiasts, will all enjoy Flores’ talk, based on his recent book, American Serengeti: The Last Big Animals of the Great Plains. In this award-winning book, Flores recounts the tremendous wildlife diversity and abundance that once occurred in the Great Plains. The term American Serengeti brings home the idea that North America’s grasslands once hosted teeming and diverse wildlife, on the same level of excitement as what remains in national parks within the African Serengeti. In America, that included countless bison, pronghorn, elk, and wild horses. Chasing them around were scores of grizzly bears, wolves, and coyotes.

Flores explores in riveting detail how this fantastic world was lost during the settlement of the American West in the 1800s and 1900s. Flores writes, “What we did to the Great Plains was not some admirable conquest. It was a myopic, chaotic, unthinking destruction, and, I think, immoral.”

But there’s still time to recover America’s Serengeti and plenty of room for optimism. Flores draws from the region’s rich history to discuss the urgent need to preserve North America’s grasslands and restore native wildlife. He discusses initiatives to create large expanses of preserved areas, including efforts close to home, in southeastern Colorado.