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In the december 1987 issue of Planning magazine, Deborah Popper, a geography graduate student at Rutgers University, and Frank Popper, chair of the Rutgers urban studies department, published an article proposing that the U.S. Great Plains be transformed into the world's largest historic preservation region. The Poppers suggested that the vast area be called the Buffalo Commons, and that the federal government would inherit the task of bringing the region back to its 19th-century condition. The Poppers proposed that an extensive area of the Great Plains be taken out of the private property category as part of roughly 20 million acres of native grassland. Initially, landowners in the Great Plains spoke out harshly against the Popper's ideas. There was the belief among residents that their ...

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