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.
Local residents support a bill in Congress to designate new wilderness areas and wild & scenic rivers to ensure permanent protection of treasured public lands in the vast Los Padres National Forest. Farmers and ranchers in Louisiana add cover crops and rotational practices to improve soil health and keep their upstream runoff from contaminating the Gulf of Mexico. A small community in West Virginia was promised a recreational dream, but instead got a power plant’s coal ash dump that poisons their drinking water (co-produced with Earthjustice).
A widely based coalition of local interest groups campaigns for permanent protection of forests, watersheds and wildlife habitat in a critical northern Montana landscape. Small-scale farmers in Montana learn how to grow crops organically with helpful support from advisers with the Natural Resources Conservation Service. Crop dusters commonly spray a toxic brew of pesticides on farmworkers in the fields, and the impact on the environment and the health of many people in Lake Apopka, Florida is obvious (co-produced with Earthjustice).
With waste from a new industrial hog farm threatening the purity of the nation’s first national river, citizens raise the alarm and score a victory with a lawsuit. Farmers in Iowa and Illinois adopt new practices to prevent runoff of chemicals and waste that would pollute the Mississippi River. Running out of space in Yellowstone National Park, bison are re-located to Indian reservations in Montana where they can build new populations of wild herds (produced with Earthjustice).
A new decision by President Obama supports fishermen and local communities that oppose the prospect of offshore oil and gas drilling that would threaten the Southeast Bering Sea’s incredibly rich seafood harvests. In a project sponsored by the Captain Planet Foundation, high-school students in are restoring oyster beds in New York Harbor with a hatchery and artificial reefs that allow oysters to grow, reproduce and colonize new ground, leading eventually to the return of a self-sustaining oyster population. The chronicle of Dryden’s grassroots campaign to ban fracking inside the town’s boundaries, a decision upheld by New York’s highest court (produced with Earthjustice). Making and enforcing policies about hydraulic fracturing are often steeped in politics, but scientists are studying the impact of this drilling process on air, water, and human health – without all the shouting.
On a rafting adventure down the Etivluk River in Alaska’s National Petroleum Reserve, a group of conservationists see first-hand why this immense landscape deserves protection as wilderness, despite its misleading name. Development, invasive species and fire are degrading Western sagebrush habitat that is critical for the greater sage-grouse and other wildlife. A coal-fired power plant Nevada produces coal ash that blows across the Moapa Indian Reservation, causing sickness and misery for the people who live there (co-produced with Earthjustice). To assist in conserving the vast range of California’s mountain lions, researchers use biology and computer science to better understand the movements of the majestic cats, resulting in benefits for humans as well.