Scenic USA - North Dakota
Scenic USA offers a collection of select photographs from a wide variety of attractions, points of interest, historic sites, state parks and
national parks found throughout the United States. Each photo feature is coupled with a brief explanation.
For further detailed information, links to other related sites are provided.
You may have thought it many times passing a small town, but Hensler says it in big, bold letters! About a half hour from Bismarck, Hensler is a typical small farm community in North Dakota. Surprisingly, a third of the state’s population is found in three cities, Grand Forks, Bismarck and Fargo. The remainder is spread out among the state’s farmland. In fact, more than 90 percent of the state's land is devoted to agriculture.
In the company of this vast farmland, a small portion land was donated or inherited to make up North Dakota’s 20 state natural areas. Just outside Hensler, along the Missouri River, lies the Cross Ranch Nature Preserve. The three main ecosystems found at the preserve are mirrored throughout the state. Adjacent the river and within the floodplain, forest and riparian woodlands are found the with the largest trees, willows and cottonwoods. Green ash, box elder, and American elm have slowly replaced the dwindling cottonwoods. Needle and thread, blue grana, Junegrass, little bluestem and buffalo grass dominate the prairie. Ravine woodlands, an important habitat for wildlife, are found on prairie slopes, a drier habitat sprinkled with small trees and shrubs.
The recent North Dakota Natural Preserve Act hopes to spur on more protection and preservation of existing lands. This new mandate has encouraged the North Dakota Game and Fish Foundation to set the bar to where other state have already paved the way.
Copyright ©2010 Benjamin Prepelka
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