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This American Land

This American Land

A unique series of magazine-style episodes hosted by Bruce Burkhardt, a former environmental reporter for CNN, and a fresh new talent, Caroline Raville. Each episode will link 5 or 6 stories, sometimes in a theme, showing how conservationists, fishermen, hunters and outdoor recreationists are sharing responsibilities for protecting America's natural heritage for future generations. The focus will be on will be on wild and beautiful places you've never heard about, and on passionate people protecting vital American landscapes, waters, and wildlife. There's nothing quite like this on national television; THIS AMERICAN LAND will be a distinctive approach to covering serious national conservation issues. We realize that many stations produce quality programming like this for their local markets, and we think there's a national audience for it in a series like ours. We will showcase stories from participating affiliates, drawing attention to the special natural resources their localities and what people are doing to protect them. Current participants are Oregon Public Broadcasting and Georgia Public Broadcasting. Segments will also be featured from local public broadcasting programs such as Outdoor Oklahoma and Exploring North Carolina. Each episode will also include a segment from the Science Nation series funded by the National Science Foundation.

Latest Episodes

Fertilizer nutrients from farmlands in the Midwest are carried downstream in the Mississippi Basin, causing the "dead zone" in the Gulf of Mexico where virtually no marine life can survive. We profile a farmer in southwestern Iowa who has made it his mission to develop his farm as an example to others, using no-till seeding, multi-crop and pasture rotation, minimal fertilizing, and runoff filtering to keep the nutrients in his soil and prevent runoff.

Private landowners in Pennsylvania work with government support to provide critical forest habitat for threatened populations of bats. Along the Meramec River near St. Louis, residents try to break the costly cycle of flooding, cleaning up and re-building by adopting more natural solutions to flood mitigation. Managing forest plantations in Florida, landowners use prescribed fires to reintroduce a natural process that results in healthier ecosystems for wildlife as well as better forest and ranching operations.

With new water rights and a major irrigation project under construction, the Gila River Indian Community in Arizona is gearing up for a revival of an agricultural heritage that sustained them for centuries before European settlers arrived. Public-private partnerships in national parks are saving taxpayers money while supporting critical services, maintenance and repairs. With individual fishing quotas for red snapper, charter boat captains on the Gulf Coast adopt new sustainable practices that provide them with more income and safety.

With Louisiana's coastline sinking and washing away, projects to restore the Mississippi Delta aim to reverse decades of mismanagement that has blocked the depositing of sediment at the river's mouth. Pollution in Lake Erie has focused attention on nutrient runoff from Ohio's farms, and government advisors are assisting farmers to develop solutions. With nutrient runoff also a problem where farms use poultry litter to fertilize fields, researchers are finding ways to recycle litter into nitrogen and other useful chemicals.

In Montana, conservationists, landowners, business leaders and government officials consider the importance of the most important yet least-known and understood conservation and access program in the U.S. - the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Farmers in Oklahoma use cover crops and smart pasturing of livestock to reduce their use of chemical fertilizers, improve water quality, and increase their bottom line. Researchers are finding useful purposes for recycled urine.

Commercial fishermen in the Gulf of Mexico are now using individual fishing quotas to manage their catches of red snapper, a fish population that has made a remarkable recovery after years of overfishing. With federal government support, landowners in Pennsylvania are managing their forests for diversity, providing better habitat for declining species of songbirds like the golden-winged warbler. In Georgia, a program on Lake Lanier for school kids teaches them the importance of water quality.

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