Season 3

Take a closer look at the people, places and stories featured in each season, watch full episodes, see what other viewers have to say about this special series, and find out if THIS AMERICAN LAND is airing on your local public television station.

Please donate today and support us

Your support via donations big and small go a big way to helping us keep making episodes celebrating our lands and the people who manage them. Please consider supporting us today.

Saving precious Sierra water
Melting snow from the Sierras in California generates $400 billion in economic activities, supports four million acres of farmland, and supplies drinking water for more than 23 million people. NRCS advisers assist farmers and ranchers with techniques to conserve water and preserve its quality downstream from the mountains to the coast

New appreciation for central Nevada wilderness
In the dry, harsh landscape between Las Vegas and Reno, most people have seen only wasteland with a few gold and silver mines. More Nevadans now see the sustainable value of these lands as protected wilderness and destinations for outdoor recreation

Uniting to protect a rich watershed in Colorado
A grass-roots collaboration of water officials, hikers, mountain bikers, hunters, fishermen and others initiated the drafting of a bill in Congress to establish protection for the 108,000-acre Hermosa Creek Watershed north of Durango, preserving some historic uses in most areas while designating 38,000 acres of wilderness and a 43,000-acre roadless area

Grass for gas: new frontiers in growing biofuels
In Iowa and Tennessee, researchers and farmers are on the front lines of the biofuel revolution where switchgrass, sourgum and miscanthus are grown specifically as renewable fuel sources

Backyard wilderness in Los Angeles
Unlike most wilderness areas that are remote and hard to access, the San Gabriel Mountains are within easy reach of the L.A. urban sprawl, forming the centerpiece of an imaginative plan for a 600,000-acre national recreation area

Restoring native plants in Utah
High school students in Kanab learn the importance of protecting vanishing native plants and tackling invasive species. Harvesting native seeds, sprouting them in a greenhouse and transplanting them in acre-sized test plots, they track the plants’ progress with GPS technology

Navajos in Utah want protection for lost ancestral lands
The proposal for a national conservation area would preserve Cedar Mesa and adjacent areas that are filled with some of America’s oldest archaeological treasures that need urgent protection

A new way to save sport fishermen’s bycatch
Off the coast of San Diego, marine biologists test an experimental device for increasing the survival rate of bottom-dwelling fish that are released at the surface as bycatch but are traumatized by changes in water pressure

More wilderness protection proposed for remote mountains in New Mexico
In the southeastern corner of the state, the Brokeoff Mountains are a little-known stretch of rugged canyons and peaks that are still relatively untouched by development

National monument would be first for West Virginia: Supporters say the monument would be a job-creating natural asset, protecting the headwaters of six regional waterways — including thousands of acres of wild terrain with some of the best hunting and trout fishing in Appalachia.

Private landowners protect prairie chickens and bog turtles: In Kansas and Delaware, NRCS advisers assist farmers with measures to improve their productivity and protect habitats for threatened wildlife

Developing “bioswale” techniques to filter water runoff: In an Oregon high school, students design and develop strips of land with plants that filter silt, oil and grime out of the runoff from the school’s parking lot; it’s hands-on learning about pollution, watershed management and environmental impacts

Artificial cave fights deadly bat disease
White nose fungus is likely to be the worst wildlife disaster of our time, and researchers in Tennessee hope that a human-built cave can attract enough hibernating bats to slow the spread of the infection

Rocky Mountain fracking riles Colorado residents
Rich deposits of oil shale in Garfield County yield huge amounts of natural gas and oil for energy companies, but local residents are pushing back against intrusive air and water pollution, noise and traffic

Colorado farmers and ranchers win fight against drilling
The federal government shelved plans to auction leases for oil and gas drilling in the North Fork Valley after local residents came out overwhelmingly against it as a threat to their new economy rooted in tourism, wineries and organic produce

Backpacking with llamas in Oregon
Older hikers have an alternative to carrying heavy backpacks: an outfitter providing sturdy, affable llamas loaded with chairs, tables, wine and other luxuries that allow full enjoyment of wilderness treks without aches and pains

Critical aquifer underneath the Great Plains
Farmers and ranchers work with NRCS advisers to find ways to conserve the Ogallala Aquifer, a vast expanse of prehistoric water now threatened by overuse

Trout in the classroom
Students in the Sierras in California help to restore threatened Lahontan cutthroat trout by raising the fish from eggs and releasing them in an approved stream

Yellowstone grizzlies achieve dramatic recovery
While the need for continued listing under the Endangered Species Act is still debated, grizzly bears have multiplied under federal protection since 1975, re-occupying areas where they had been absent for decades