Season Two

Episode #201

Critical Colorado, Checkups for Manatees, Appalachian Forests

The Colorado River brings drinking water, irrigation, recreation and livelihood to millions of people in the West. But it’s clear now that there’s not an unlimited supply of this precious resource. Business owners on and near the river are working to make sure their neighbors, and policy makers in Washington, get a complete picture of how critical this river is. Traveling through Arizona and northern Mexico, Bruce Burkhardt shows us there’s a lot that needs to be done to protect these waters now and for the future.

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Episode #202

Wolverines, Desert Wilderness, Military Base Makeover

Among the most solitary and elusive mammals in North America, wolverines were wiped out decades ago by fur traders and poison in the lower 48 states. Now these mammals with a ferocious reputation are making a slow comeback, migrating south from Canada. It takes rugged and dedicated scientists—and photographers!—to sneak a peek into their world! See how they are working to understand and preserve the wolverine’s habitat.

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Episode #203

Ferrets and Prairie Dogs, Hidden Gems, Follow the Water, Island Fires

Ferrets and Prairie Dogs: After being nearly wiped out in the early 20th century, the black- footed ferret is making a comeback. It’s taken a complicated conservation effort and a captive breeding program to restore this species to the Great Plains. The health of the ferret is tied directly to the success of prairie dogs— animals that have also had plenty of run-ins with humans. Keeping these two playful, adorable species in good shape is also helping save 130 unique plants and animals in this North American prairie ecosystem.

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Episode #204

Fiddler Crabs, Disappearing Chincoteague, California Desert, Hurricane Sleuth

Fiddler Crabs: Between their digging and mating rituals, fiddler crabs can amuse us endlessly! That big, odd claw on the male can be a weapon or an enticement to a female. But these little crustaceans also have a big impact on their environment. From watching them surround their burrows with mud balls, to viewing a parade of thousands of crabs scurrying across the wetlands, scientists are still trying to understand just where these animals fit into the coastal ecosystem.

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Episode #205

Bison Homecoming, Preserving Tribal Languages, Peregrine Protection, Soaring with Paragliders

The buffalo are back! One hundred years after Native American Michael Pablo sent his captive bison herd to Canada to help preserve the dwindling species, dozens of their direct descendants were released into the bison herd on the American Prairie Reserve in northern Montana. The World Wildlife Fund has been collaborating with the American Prairie Reserve to help restore the grasslands habitat for the bison, birds, and other important native species that roamed the region when Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805.

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Episode #206

Canyon Mysteries, Ailing Alligators, “Lights, Camera, Photosynthesis”, Wild Horses

Canyon Mysteries: A canyon can be an inspiring classroom, whether you are eight or 80. The stories behind two Georgia canyons could not be any different: Cloudland Canyon in the north is a natural wonder. But Providence Canyon in the southwest is now a tourist destination, in spite of the way earlier residents abused the land. Both intriguing stories come from Georgia Public Broadcasting.

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Episode #207

Beaver Builders, Wrangling Water, Body Electric, Census in the Smokies

Beaver Builders: Beavers are nature’s engineers. It turns out they are also good at restoring ailing ecosystems. In eastern Oregon, researchers are doing some extreme fieldwork (snorkeling in rivers and streams in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter!) to learn more about how beaver dams are helping create healthier streams and rivers for salmon, trout, songbirds, and for nearby communities.

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Episode #208

Digging for Dinosaurs, Sonoran Desert Protection, “Swamp People”

Digging for Dinosaurs: Talk about a special delivery! Co-host Caroline Raville got to witness the recovery of thousands of pounds of dinosaur fossils by helicopter, deep in the Utah desert. Paleontologists from the Bureau of Land Management call Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument one of the best “bone yards” on the planet. Scientists continue to identify new species of dinosaurs and other reptiles in this remote area. Many are 75 million years old!

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Episode #209

Arctic White Geese, Veterans in the Great Outdoors, Tracking a Coral Killer

Arctic White Geese: Snow geese and Ross’s geese make an almost unimaginable 3,000-mile migration each year. So it’s no wonder they enjoy spending a month or so in eastern Oregon, “bulking up” on tender grasses and nutritious bugs. The folks from Oregon Field Guide have captured the beauty of thousands of these birds on their stopover to the Arctic. Dedicated “citizen scientists” spend time during the birds’ respite to study them. Some say the sky is so filled with geese that it often looks like a snowstorm!

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Episode #210

Montana Wilderness, Bald Eagle Recovery, Lionfish Derby

Montana Wilderness: There’s an ambitious plan to protect 700,000 acres of new wilderness in Montana. And after many years of argument, it looks like local residents, loggers, hikers, and conservation groups have put aside their differences so nature is the big winner. You’ll meet one veteran outdoorsman, Smoke Elser, who’s almost as comfortable in this back woods as the elk and the bears are!

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Episode #211

Idaho Wilderness, Loggerhead Turtles, Sandfish Lizard, Wrangling Water

Idaho Wilderness: Its wild residents could fill a volume of some of the most iconic American wildlife: From elk and moose to spawning salmon, mountain goats and sheep to black bears and cougars. Efforts are underway to protect central Idaho’s Boulder-White Clouds Mountains, designating 330,000 acres as wilderness. The proposed federal legislation would both protect these lands, and ensure economic sustainability.

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Episode #212

Rio Grande Del Norte, Climate Adaptation, Flying Aces of the Insect World, Peel Watershed, Indigo Snakes

Saving the Upper Rio Grande: In northern New Mexico the Rio Grande runs through a spectacular gorge formed by a rift in the Earth’s crust. This river corridor is a critical flyway for migratory birds, and the arid plateau on either side of it is a major migration habitat for elk and deer. A pending bill in Congress would protect these areas as the Rio Grande del Norte National Conservation Area, in addition to designating two majestic cinder cone mountains east and west of the plateau as protected wilderness. The bill has widespread support among local Hispanic farmers and ranchers because it would allow their traditional hunting, grazing, fishing and wood-gathering to continue, preserving the culture that developed there over hundreds of years.

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Episode #213

Future Conservation Leaders, Natural Resources Revival, Fight for Frogs

Future Conservation Leaders: Santa Cruz Island, off the coast of California, is home to bald eagles, scrub jays, and the most adorable foxes you may ever see! This summer, the island is also home to high school students from the Los Angeles area, working side by side with scientists. Co-host Caroline Raville spent some time with these young people to learn about LEAF, Leaders in Environmental Action for the Future. This Nature Conservancy program not only gives high school students a chance to enjoy nature, but provides a spark for many of them to pursue careers in science and conservation.

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THIS AMERICAN LAND is the leading conservation news magazine program on public television stations nationwide. Opening windows to our country’s amazing natural heritage, we report compelling stories on America’s landscapes, waters and wildlife, taking our viewers to the front lines of conservation, science and outdoor adventure with stories that inform and entertain.
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THIS AMERICAN LAND AND SCIENCE NATION We are proud to partner with the National Science Foundation to bring our viewers exceptional reports from its SCIENCE NATION series in many of our episodes. Fast-paced and informative, each of these stories explores new scientific efforts to understand and conserve our natural resources.
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