Abandoned Homesteads

"Only to the white man was nature a 'wilderness' and only to him was the land 'infested' with 'wild' animals and 'savage' people. To us it was home. Earth was beautiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery." - Chief Standing River of the Lakota - From Dream Wolf by Paul Goble.


Abandoned building in the Oglala Grasslands
Abandoned Homestead in the savage grassland wilderness.

The photo is from my Foto Safari in 2017 to the Oglala Grasslands in Nebraska. While I was driving through the Grasslands, I saw several homes and ranches left abandoned. We spoke with some locals that said most were left behind due to the lack of available water. Benjamin Prepelka, a writer and photographer from Scenic USA, points out the "Oglala National Grassland is one of 20 recovering national grasslands scattered across the Great Plains." They are recovering from the poor farming and grazing practices from the Homestead Act of 1862.


During the Dust Bowl and Great Depression, an estimated 2.5 million people abandoned small farms. In 1935 Congress enacted the Soil Conservation Act to buy abandoned farms and encouraged alternative practices to stop soil loss. Congress authorized additional purchases of abandoned homesteads in 1937 and transferred them to the USDA. The final transfer was in 1954 from USDA to US Forest Service. (From the History of the National Grasslands)


I wonder what the Grasslands were like before all that.


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Settings - ISO 100, f/6.3, 1/640

Equipment - Nikon D610, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 G2

The photo is a composite photo edited for social media.


Check out more of my work and buy prints at www.fotodono.com.

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