Rutgers professor featured in documentary

May 30, 2012

In 1987, Bloustein professor Frank Popper and his wife, Deborah, currently a professor at the College of Staten Island, proposed the return of much of the drier portion of the Great Plains to native prairie and reintroduce the American bison, or buffalo, that once made the land their home.  Throughout the 1990’s the Buffalo Commons proposal was widely resisted and criticized by both academics and by the people who lived in the states affected.

Fast-forward nearly three decades, and there has been a renewed interest in many of the concepts originally presented by the Poppers. Since 2000 there has been a noticeable shrinking in economic development, water sources in the region are drying up more quickly than expected, and the high plains population has continued to decline.

In 2010, a small group of filmmakers produced a short documentary related to the Buffalo Commons. The High Plains Films production, “Facing the Storm: The Story of the American Bison,” by Doug Hawes-Davis, aired nationally in April on PBS and its linked stations. Movie trailers are available on thefilmmaker website and the documentary can also be purchased on ITunes.

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