"Records say when the first plows sliced through the great Midwestern prairie, a popping sound rang through the air like a volley of pistol shots. It was the sound of millions of roots snapping against the plow's steel blade.
Vast tallgrass prairie once covered about a third of Minnesota's landscape. But less than 2 percent of that native grassland remains, much of it plowed under for agricultural use.
'The places where you still have prairie and grass, are places where it was very difficult, or unprofitable to farm,' Steve Chaplin, prairie conservation coordinator for Minnesota and Dakotas for the nonprofit Nature Conservancy, said he stood on a stretch of prairie outside Moorhead."