NEBRASKAland December 2018

NEBRASKAland Magazine is dedicated to outstanding photography and informative writing with an engaging mix of articles and photos highlighting Nebraska’s outdoor activities, parklands, wildlife, history and people.

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Page 41 of 59

42 NEBRASKAland • DECEMBER 2018 T wo summers ago, when I pulled into Dan Frank and Allyson Dather's Sandhills ranch just west of Bassett, their appearance was unexpected. Dan wore shorts, T-shirt, tennis shoes and a ball cap, while Allyson sported shorts and low-cut cowboy boots that exposed a colorful tattoo of prairie wildflowers running the length of her right calf. This was not standard rancher attire. Though unconventional in aspects, Dan and Allyson are traditionalists at heart who could talk shop with any weathered Sandhills rancher. On this day, however, their minds were not on cattle. They were excited to show me the prairie they recently restored on former center-pivot-irrigated cropland. At day's end, after bouncing around for miles in a UTV, I was impressed by the prairie restorations, their grasp of prairie ecology and land ethic. A Sandhills family restores grasslands Story and photos by Gerry Steinauer, Botanist Allyson Dather and Dan Frank pose in a Sandhills meadow. PHOTO BY ERIC FOWLER

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