Friday, 25 September 2015

Tallgrass Prairie

Flying from Puwhaska, Oklahoma.

This is in the Tallgrass Prairie Reseve in NE Oklahoma
It's the largest remaining undisturbed prairie reserve,
most of the rest has gone under the plow.
This rich natural prairie used to extend from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico.

 There's even a large herd of bison roaming free here.

There's a really interesting history of this area.
The Osage Indians originally lived in the Ohio valley,
but that was prime agricultural land, so of course they were pushed out by white invaders.
Chief Pawhuska was very wise and cunning, 
and managed to to get a good price for the land that his tribe vacated.
Then he arranged for them to buy this land in the Flint Hills.
He chose it deliberately because it had very shallow rocky soil that couldn't be plowed, 
and if it couldn't be plowed then white men wouldn't push them off again.
But it's excellent pasture for bison, 
and he was doubly cunning in demanding all the rights for anything that was under the land.
This is limestone country so there'd be no chance of gold, 
so the government granted those rights.
Then they discovered oil, lots of it!
So the town was soon filled with  lawyers, 
supposedly advising the Indians how to manage all that money,
but really trying to extract all that they could.
At one time there were over 1000 lawyers in this very small town, 
but now the grand brick buildings built to house them are now empty,
witness to the history.

No comments:

Post a Comment