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Land once purchased for a nuclear power plant is now 6,000 acres of restored prairie

Talk of Iowa, hosted by Charity Nebbe

Less than 0.1% of Iowa's tallgrass prairie remains today, which once covered 85% of the state's land prior to European-American settlement.

This complex ecosystem is about much more than tall grasses, as discussed in this episode of Talk of Iowa recorded in front of an audience on Earth Day, April 22 at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in Prairie City.

Host Charity Nebbe talks with wildlife biologists Jim Pease, Pauline Drobney, and Pete Eyheralde about what led to the establishment of the refuge and its bison herd and its purpose of restoring and reconstructing native ecosystems.


  • Jim Pease, associate professor emeritus, Iowa State University
  • Pauline Drobney, retired prairie and savanna biologist, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Pete Eyheralde, associate professor of biology, William Penn University
Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Samantha McIntosh is a talk show producer at Iowa Public Radio. Prior to IPR, Samantha worked as a reporter for radio stations in southeast and west central Iowa under M&H Broadcasting, and before that she was a weekend music host for GO 96.3 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.