A more detailed story about Dr. Popper’s speech will be posted shortly.
Popper ends his speech by telling the audience he saved the more dramatic, controversial aspects of the Buffalo Commons proposal for a later date — he doesn’t want to scare us away from the get-go!
Popper claims that bison fall into three categories: commercial, historic or preservation. He asserts the same can be said for Native Americans.
“America doesn’t want to be regulated! Every white person in this country came from ancestors who left Europe to avoid regulation,” Popper states.
Many educated people think bison are actually extinct — Popper still gets this question all the time.
Natural gas boom may actually make the idea of a buffalo commons a more likely possibility in the Great Plains’ near future.
Continuing depopulation, continuing detraction of traditional agriculture on the Great Plains
“North Dakota could become a national sacrifice zone.” (in reference to natural gas drilling happening in the state)
Popper gives the audience an overview of the energy boom currently happening in North Dakota, Wyoming and other parts of the Great Plains — highlights the environmental consequences.
The Nature Conservancy has served as a prominent land-purchaser of the Great Plains in recent years — another example of conservation efforts.
“…bison as the chosen symbol of the American West.” — Popper in reference to Ted Turner’s conservation attempts to bring back bison populations.
Popper is the co-originator of the controversial “Buffalo Commons” proposal to restore the Great Plains — a rural region of rapid depopulation.
Montana, North Dakota and Wyoming’s missile silos have been decommissioned, resulting in less federal aid to northern plains — particularly agricultural aid.
Popper stresses the need for us (U.S.) to harness the immense wind power capabilities of the Great Plains.
Stay tuned for the next hour as I blog live from Dr. Frank J. Popper’s speech at CU Boulder.