Watch “The Great Plains” on Public Television Next Week

If you live in Nebraska, you’re in for a treat next week.  You’ll have three opportunities to watch the premiere of The Great Plains, the television documentary of conservation photographer Michael Forsberg and the process of making his most recent book.  The Nebraska Educational Television (NET) program follows Mike around to the same sites he photographed and profiles the wildlife and people in each place.  Along the way, Mike talks about conservation and photography, and about the importance of a wide swath of country that is all but ignored by people that don’t live there.  The show will be on Sunday November 25 at 8:30pm CST, and then will be rebroadcast on November 28 at 7pm and December 2 at 2:30pm.

A film crew in our seed shop, with TNC employees Nelson Winkel (cowboy hat) and Nanette Whitten (background).

We had the opportunity to host Mike and the NET crew at our Platte River Prairies back in the fall of 2010.  They filmed us harvesting seed and talking about the importance of prairies and restoration.  In addition, Bill Whitney and his crew from the Prairie Plains Resource Institute had their combine on our prairies at the time, harvesting seed for both of us, so the film crew got to go along for the ride.

Bill Whitney drives the Prairie Plains Resource Institute combine through our prairie with a camera man in the cab and a sound man hanging on to the back.

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Mike Forsberg (left) and the NET film crew, as seen from the top of the PPRI combine…

Mike is a true conservation photographer, and an invaluable resource for the grasslands and other ecosystems of the Great Plains.  He is not only an extraordinary photographer – both artistically and technically – he’s also an excellent naturalist.  Most importantly, he speaks and writes with a passion for conservation that draws people in and makes them want to go out and save the world.  He does tremendous work to highlight the value and beauty of a part of the world that many other photographers fly over on the way to more traditional photographic destinations.

Please click here for a link to a 5 minute preview of the show.  In case you are in a big hurry, the best part is at 4:02 minutes…

Or click here to Mike Forsberg’s website where you can watch a longer (11 minutes) promo from Mike’s website.

And – if you can’t see the documentary (yet) you can certainly see the book that started it all.  (It’s a great holiday gift!)

It was hard not to envision the Beverly Hillbillies as the old Gleaner combine staggered through the prairie with a full load of people on board.

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About Chris Helzer

Chris Helzer is an ecologist and Eastern Nebraska Program Director for The Nature Conservancy. He supervises the management and restoration of approximately 4,000 acres of land in central and eastern Nebraska - primarily along the central Platte River. Chris is also the author of "The Ecology and Management of Prairies in the Central United States", published by the University of Iowa Press.
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10 Responses to Watch “The Great Plains” on Public Television Next Week

  1. Got the DVR set. Do you know if it is available in HD? Directv only shows SD listings.

  2. Jon H. Oberg says:

    Speaking of television programs, thanks to The Nature Conservancy for sponsoring Ken Burns’ “The Dust Bowl.” It makes me proud to be a contributor to TNC. In producing the film, Burns relied heavily on historian Donald Worster’s book of the same name, which won the prestigeous Bancroft Prize for American history. The film cannot do full justice to the book, which cites the leadership of ecologists Frederic Clements and Paul Sears, who both studied under Charles Bessey at Nebraska, and of Clements’ protégé Charles Whitfield, who devised the historic experiments at Dalhart dunes that helped tame the Dust Bowl. Worster’s book “Dust Bowl,” with its admonition that it could all happen again, should be in every ecologist’s library.

  3. Tracey Nelson says:

    Planning to watch and already have the ad for it up on our board! Mike Forsberg is a very gifted photographer and steward for the Earth and nature. His work is astounding and heartfelt. His Great Plains book is a great gift for sure!

  4. Ed May says:

    Chris, thanks for the reminder on The Great Plains documentary. I’m looking forward to watching it. Best wishes to you and your family for a wonderful Thanksgiving. Ed

  5. Mark Godfrey says:

    The trailer is just fantastic, I’m really looking forward to watching the documentary – congratulations to Mike and everyone involved in producing this important reminder of the value of our North American grasslands.

  6. RaeAnn says:

    Hey Chris, you might as well insert your name as well into the paragraph about being an awesome photographer, naturalist, and inspiration!

  7. James McGee says:

    That trailer makes me want to hop on a horse, carry a falcon on my arm, and travel around our American Steppe living like a Mongolian. Until the thought of my kid, wife, and responsibilities hits me. Well, the thought of rolling the dice and taking my chances against the bounty and harsh reality that is nature will have to wait for another daydream. I would probably go crawling back to my comfortable home and bed after just one day of what you guys do to make your living.

    James

  8. Pingback: Quickest Way to See The Great Plains? Buy the Video. | The Prairie Ecologist

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