It was, of course, a difficult statement for many to hear. I had (and still have) mixed thoughts about it all, because I love exploring that country and its towns and its cultural landscape ... but at the same time, I know that I'm watching much of it fade away forever. If I were in charge of tackling the issue, I honestly have no idea what I'd do.
I'll post a more detailed quote from the Poppers' proposal tomorrow, but for today here's a paragraph from the beginning of the piece -- a description of the Plains as planners see it.
The Great Plains are America's steppes. They have the nation's hottest summers and coldest winters, greatest temperature swings, worst hail and locusts and range fires, fiercest droughts and blizzards, and therefore its shortest growing season. The Plains are the land of the Big Sky and the Dust Bowl, one-room schoolhouses and settler homesteads, straight-line interstates and custom combines, prairie dogs and antelope and buffalo. The oceans-of-grass vistas of the Plains offer enormous horizons, billowy clouds, and somber-serene beauty.