Season 1

This American Land’s inaugural season. 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.

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A special episode on controversial plans for offshore oil drilling off Alaska’s Arctic coast. Two decades after the Exxon Valdez spill, lingering oil is still found on beaches in Prince William Sound. How could offshore spills affect the lives of Inupiat Native Americans who depend on subsistence hunting and fishing? Native Alaskans find kinship with those who suffered from the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A passionate marine scientist uses a deep ocean submersible to study the impact of the Gulf spill
hidden in the depths.

More Information

Lingering Oil
Trans Alaska Pipeline
Plans for Offshore Drilling Worry Native Alaskans
Alaskans Visit Gulf
Hidden Oil Plumes

While shuttle missions are no longer taking off from the Kennedy Space Center, scientists are still making discoveries at central Florida’s Space Coast: the Merritt Island Wildlife Refuge is a rich ecosystem. Protecting the upper Rio Grande is important for both Hispanic and Native American culture. Recovering from near extinction, California condors now face poisoning by lead bullets as wildlife authorities educate hunters about alternative ammunition. Urban “heat islands” are taking some clues from Mother Nature: green roofs in big cities are helping cool things off, recycle water, and offer a resting place for birds and butterflies.

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Merritt Island National Wildlife Refuge
California Condors
Georgia Bats
Southeast Bat Diversity Network
Rail Runner Express
Green Roofs 

A special episode on American bison. While big herds are coming back from near extinction a century ago, restoring these iconic animals is a complex and ongoing challenge. For the Crow Indians, the buffalo was far more than a source of food and
clothing, and it still plays a key spiritual role in their culture. How are bison herds and tallgrass prairie conservation linked together? Ranchers and restaurants create a market demand for bison that could guarantee their survival for future generations.
Linguists learn more about hand signing from newly discovered old films showing the use of intertribal sign language.

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Crow Tribe & Bison
Indian Hand Talk
Bison Restoration
Ted Turner’s Bison 

With an appreciation for nature as part of their training, high school girls and boys get more speed at a running camp at Steens Mountain in Oregon. Renewed efforts to mine uranium in New Mexico cause concern among residents and former uranium miners.
Smith Island in the Chesapeake Bay is known for its unique culture, but climate change could force all its residents to evacuate by the turn of the century. Mother birds are under increasing pressure from habitat loss, taking a toll on their offspring.

More Information:

New Uranium Mining in New Mexico
Chesapeake Bay/Smith Island Climate Change
Make Way for Ducklings
Steen’s Mountain Running Camp

Paleontologists find new dinosaur species in nearly two million acres of deep canyons at Grand Staircase Escalante Monument in Utah and Arizona. Fly-fishing is almost a spiritual endeavor for some Georgia anglers, and keeping waters clean is one of their
aims. Clean water is hard to find around the port of San Diego — decades of shipbuilding have left a toxic mess. In Wyoming, energy companies contribute to a fund that preserves migratory pathways. Rising sea levels threaten the delicate balance of fresh and salt-water marshes around the world.

More Information:

Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument
Grande Staircase Escalante Partners
Fly Fishing
San Diego Coastkeeper
Natural Gas Drilling Supports Conservation
The Conservation Fund
Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Marshes and Sea Level Rise

Facing spreading development, how can wildlife habitat be saved in Montana? In Kansas, researchers develop revolutionary ideas for growing perennial food crops that slow the degradation of cropland and offer greater food security in the face of everharsher climates. Is the Colorado National Monument the right place for a Tour de France style bike race? Counting tree rings, scientists solve history’s mysteries and predict our future. Just a few minutes from downtown Washington, D.C., a wildlife preserve is an oasis for hikers, bird watchers and anyone who needs a natural retreat.

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Montana’s Wild Legacy
The Land Institute
Lord of the Tree Rings
Dyke Marsh
Friends of Dyke Marsh
Dyke Marsh Wildlife Preserve: An Injured Jewel 

A paradise for birdlife, Arizona’s San Pedro River faces threats from development. Conservationists race against time to save Florida panthers from extinction. Locals debate whether the Rock Creek area of the Bighorn Mountains deserves federal protection as wilderness. It’s about the size of a garbage can, but a new ocean-going device helps scientists do critical water analysis. Innovative ideas for growing winter vegetables in the frigid Rockies.

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Arizona River
Florida Panthers
Lab in a Can
Rock Creek Wilderness

Volunteers clean up and restore a desert wilderness in Oregon. Local residents campaign to protect a mining-scarred but still spectacular landscape in Colorado’s San Juan Range. “Animal magnetism” guides loggerhead turtles across thousands of miles of open ocean. With a rich population of raptors, a conservation area in Idaho draws visitors eager to learn about hawks, eagles and falcons. Invasive insects destroy countless majestic hemlock trees in the southern Appalachians. A feisty bald eagle survives a horrific highway crash.

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Friends of the Oregon Badlands
Heart of Oregon, Badlands
Alpine Triangle Recreation Area
Alpine Triangle
Sea Turtles
Dying Hemlocks
Hemlocks Threatened
Miracle Eagle 

Paddling and protecting the spectacular Cascadia Marine Trail along Washington’s coastline. Robotic underwater gliders investigate mysterious “dead zones” off the Pacific coast. Young students in Oregon learn how destructive crayfish were transported across the Rockies for science experiments in their own school! A landfill gets a second career as a solar power station. Powerful grizzly bears test new designs for bear-proof trash cans.

More Information:

Grizzly Garbage Can Cracker
Cascadia Marine Trail
Oregon State Underwater Research
Rusty Crayfish
Hickory Ridge Landfill

Metro Atlanta Landfill

Teens from big cities join a new program to recruit them for careers in the National Park Service. In an emergency effort like Noah’s Ark, researchers rescue endangered frogs, toads and salamanders from a deadly fungal disease. Are there too many snowmobiles in Yellowstone National Park? Saltwater fishermen in Georgia offer quick lessons on protecting habitats needed by the most popular fish species.

More Information:

Amphibian Deaths
Captive Assurance Program
Georgia Anglers
Yellowstone Snowmobiles