Tending Iowa’s Land

Tending Iowa’s Land: Pathways to a Sustainable Future

From the book’s editor, Cornelia F. Mutel:

In fewer than 200 years, Iowa’s expansive prairies and other wildlands have been transformed into vast agricultural fields. This massive conversion provides us with food, fiber and fuel in abundance. But it also has robbed Iowa’s land of its native resilience, and created the environmental problems that today challenge our everyday lives: polluted waters, increasing floods, loss of rich prairie topsoil, compromised natural systems, and now climate change.

Here is a science-based book that surveys Iowa’s intensifying environmental problems and their implications for the future. The book is written in a straightforward, friendly style that draws readers into the questions at hand. Sixteen of Iowa’s premier scientists consider what’s happened to our deep prairie top soil (originally the richest on Earth), once-crystalline waters, dependable climate, and native biological diversity – and why these changes are important. Chapters go on to outline viable solutions to the problems, as well as future visions that would benefit agriculture and the state’s natural environments, thus helping to raise the quality of life for all.

The book’s can-do, positive spirit is heightened by 12 essays written by Iowans who have dedicated their lives to improving the environment and making the state more sustainable. Together, the essays and science chapters create an energizing call to action for everyone who cares about Iowa, nature and environmental issues, and our common future.

The book is written to empower, rather than depress, its readers. Collectively we can indeed tackle our environmental difficulties. We know what will work and what to do. The future lies in our hands. The time for action is now.

Tending Iowa’s Land is available from the University of Iowa Press or other online sources, and can be ordered from local bookstores.