Lessons from The Nation's Prairie Capital

January, 2019

Lincoln -- Some days are better than others when it comes to governments, whether federal, state, or local. On January 9, 2019, as the federal government remained partially closed and the president walked out of a meeting to open it, state and local officials meeting in Lincoln calmly discussed and made progress on long range planning for the prairie grassland area northwest of the city.

The Lincoln meeting was chaired by the mayor and attended by top city officials and natural resource administrators from the University of Nebraska. The staff work for the meeting was excellent and the discussion moved forward based on facts and science. The meeting concluded with a sense of progress and accomplishment. Would that such people were in charge at the federal level.

A highlight of the meeting for me was an aside from a university official who reported that a recent visitor to Lincoln, a national leader in the discipline of range management, wanted to visit the grave of Frederic Clements in Wyuka cemetery, to pay homage to the remarkable founder of plant ecology. They found the gravesite and paid their respects. Clements was born in Lincoln and studied under Professor Charles Bessey before revolutionizing the world of life sciences with his far-reaching theories. His work (and that of his equally remarkable wife Edith Schwartz Clements) lives on not only in the history of science, but on the practical level in soil and water conservation efforts worldwide.

Great people and great lessons can come out of Lincoln, The Nation's Prairie Capital.