Three Rivers Region

Started by dedgren, December 20, 2006, 07:57:49 PM

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Closer, closer...

From the testbed, so they are not finished lots by any means.  But I do like that texture- more on that in a bit.


D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


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The texture is spot on, I think! :thumbsup:

Maybe you should have a few similar versions of it to avoid repetative patterns appearing from larger zooms. But, it does look really, really good as is.

BlackwaterEmil's inn
Berethor ♦ beskhu3epnm ♦ blade2k5 ♦ dmscopio ♦ dedgren
♦ Emilin ♦ Ennedi ♦ Heblem ♦ jplumbley ♦ moganite ♦ M4346 ♦
papab2000 ♦ Shadow Assassin ♦ Tarkus ♦ wouanagaine


Call me Robin, please.


David, You spend alot of time on this project. Why don't you take some time off and go fishing at any of 3RR's priemere lakes and rivers. JKB
beam me up.... please!
I am the lurker that hides in all the corners and you can't get me out. You may try, but you can't.Please call me Jon or Jonathan.


Effective, simple and beautiful! &apls


    These are coming along really well.    Very impressive.     There are quite a few of these just across the river (The Mississippi) and a bit south of here.      Down around Savanna, Ill.    Can't wait to see what happens with these.   If we could just figure out how to make em growable.    ::)


They say that the memory is the second thing that goes....
...dang , I wish I could remember the first.
WooHoo made Councilman - 05 FEB 07 Yipee made Mayor - 13 MAR 07 Hip Hip Hooray made Governor - 04 AUG 07 Rock On made Senator - 15 MAR 09


Those look real good to me too!

Nice work.


Looking better and better! excellent work!  :thumbsup: &apls


Magnificent! Outstanding! And other superlatives as well!

The textures look great, David. Can't wait to see more progress, my friend!



Ah yes, those new grass textures improve the look 10 fold.

By the way, Broken Arrow lake? Is there a lost nuke in it :P

EDITAwww, c'mon, Owen... You're giving away the story. -DE

Oops :P


David yup that is all i got to say on them wonderful and most amazing crops!!!
Oooooooh aint this the broken arrow lol

Don't forget the SC4D Podcast is back and live on Saturdays @ 12 noon CST!! -- The Podcast soon to Return Here Linkie


Looking good, David. I'm going back to patiently waiting now...:D



I noticed you posted this a bit back on page 125:

However I had a solution since the last full NAM release (Jan '07?) Can't remember the exact date but this was done only hours after the NAM release.

I think my way has a nicer curve to it... yet there are trade-offs as well...

And the fields are wicked awesome. I always wanted these.
The most astounding and unique aspect of the human race is our fervent application of our ingenuity to kill each other, thus completely defying the near-universally proven fact that the ultimate goal of a member of a species is to ensure the survival of the species.



Looks good so far!!! Can't wait til they're done!



Great photos. 3RR is so scenic. I want to move there, haha ;D


Just two weeks ago our Canadian neighbor Kitsune made comment number 2,500 here on 3RR [linkie]. We've noted our friend's environmental sensibilities, which are quite in keeping with the quite odd coincidence...

...oh, probably not...

...that 3RR's public-private environmental institute, which has its offices in Pineshore at Three Rivers Region University, is the Kitsune Center for the Environment.  I'm sure you'll be hearing much more about this organization and its programs in the months ahead- for now here is one of its publications, which are made widely available in the region to promote awareness of 3RR's many sensitive natural areas.

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[tabular type=9][row] [data colspan=2]

The Prairies of Three Rivers Region

Three Rivers Region (3RR), located in north-central North America along the border between the United States and Canada, comprises 1,600 square miles/4,096 square kilometres. The overlap of three ecozones, grasslands, northern boreal forest and eastern deciduous forest, occurs in the park. These ecozones produce a unique and diverse assemblage of plants and animals.

Broad Prairie northeast of Walnut Grove

Ecosystem Development History

As the last glacier slowly retreated across 3RR approximately 11,000 years ago, grasses and wildflowers became the dominant vegetation. A unique and very diverse ecosystem formed over the next several thousand years, shaped by extremes of weather such as intense summer heat and winter cold, drought and floods as well as fire and grazing. A rich network of dry uplands, moist flood plain and wet meadows were colonized by a variety of flora and fauna. Pollen analysis of lake-bottom sediments from various lakes in the region shows three distinct eras in vegetation development in this region since the end of the last glaciation.

12,000 to 10,000 Years Before Present (BP) - Spruce Forest Invasion
As the land was exposed northward, spruce-dominated forests advanced from the south quickly to colonize stable glacial deposits. These forests also included birch, poplar and ash trees, with shrubs such as juniper, willow and hazelnut along with numerous grasses, ragweed and numerous other herbs. Gradually more deciduous trees, including oak and elm, appeared as the ice receded and the climate moderated.
The vegetation formed the foundation, and the rich variety of associated wildlife helped complete the complex picture of post-glacial ecology. Insects, fish, and mammals quickly assumed their places in the evolving landscape. Large mammals such as the moose and woolly mammoth brought bands of human hunters into the region at this time as well.

10,000 to 3,000 Years BP - Grassland Expansion
While ice had only recently retreated from the northern extremes of Three Rivers Region, a warmer, drier climate, and a related increase in fire activity transformed areas south of the Northern Range into a sea of prairies with countless islands of deciduous trees and shrubs. Grassland wildlife such as elk, pronghorn antelope and the now-extinct long-horned bison provided rich hunting grounds for the Aboriginal North Americans.
Fire has played an integral part in the development and evolution of past and present ecosystems of 3RR. Lightning fires and extensive burning by Aboriginal hunters were among the principal agents of change and renewal on the post-glacial landscape. Fire and climate strongly influenced replacement of the spruce forests and expansion of the grasslands to their ultimate northern limit into Manitoba, Canada near The Pas, during this period.

3,000 Years BP to Present - Aspen Parkland and Mixed Forest
Cooler and wetter conditions led to the expansion of aspen parkland onto upland areas, the migration of deciduous forest communities along the rivers and streams and the gradual return of mixed conifer-deciduous forest toward its present situation. Through the endless, dynamic interactions between the processes of climate, vegetation succession and fire, the complex landscape patterns continue to evolve, never to be exactly repeated. Only in the broadest terms can we predict future patterns.

The Rough Fescue Tallgrass Prairie

Rough Fescue grasslands are found interspersed with groves of trembling aspen, in the transition zone between drier mixed-grass prairie in Minnesota to the south and the cooler, moister boreal forests of Ontario and Manitoba to the north.  Currently, these prairie areas represent about 20 percent of the region's total land area.

Plains Rough Fescue
Plains Rough Fescue (Festuca hallii) is the distinctive characteristic species in the fescue grasslands of Three Rivers Region. Plains rough fescue is an erect, perennial blue-green bunchgrass that produces short rhizomes. Leaf blades are stiff and have a characteristic 'rough' feel.

festuca hallii

Vegetative growth begins in mid to late April, with a maximum biomass achieved by the second week of of July. Flowering and seed production show considerable year to year variation. Seed production begins in mid-June, and seeds are released by the end of that month.

The rough fescue grassland is a complex and colourful community of over 150 species of grasses, wildflowers and shrubs. Perennial forbs are an important component of the plains rough fescue grasslands. Common species include yarrow, goldenrods, asters, three flowered avens and sages.

Grasslands west of Wheaton

Woody perennials found in fescue grasslands include saskatoon and shrubby cinquefoil. Shrubs generally occupy less than 10% of these grasslands, however under favourable conditions and in the absence of fire, beaked hazelnut, trembling aspen and white spruce may invade fescue grasslands.

Plains rough fescue grasslands are generally found on black and dark brown soils. These soils generally have a fine sandy clay-loam texture. Soil pH ranges from 6.6 to 7.3.

Natural Processes

In the past, Three Rivers Region land managers did not understand the beneficial effects that fire could have on an ecosystem. Fire suppression policies implemented at the turn of the century have greatly reduced the extent and frequency of burning within the region. Gradually it became known that fire was a natural and much needed process of the grasslands.

Controlled burn south of Wolf Lake, 1999

Historically, wildfires were common in the uncultivated prairies of north-central North America, often burning into 3RR. Scientists have now agreed, in order to preserve the open prairie, that the region had to find a way to reintroduce fire in a way that best imitates the natural situation. An increase in fire activity will stabilize the total area covered by grasslands. Fire can retard the spread of alien plant species, protecting the native vegetation communities, and reduce litter accumulation. Land managers in 3RR intend to use the natural process of fire, through a prescribed burning program, to ensure that the region's fire-dependent vegetation communities will last forever. Controlled experiments are being undertaken in the rough fescue grasslands to develop ecologically sound management recommendations. Fire is not the single solution to native grassland maintenance, but controlled burning is one management technique that can help preserve a healthy prairie ecosystem.

Fescue grasslands are thought to have developed under conditions of limited grazing during the late spring to summer period. Historically, bison grazed primarily in the open mixed-grass prairie during the summer months, but spent the winter in the more sheltered aspen parkland and rough fescue grasslands. As a result, grazing of rough fescue by bison occurred mainly during the winter. Presently in Three Rivers Region, there is a captive bison herd held at the Iona fescue grassland enclosure.

3RR Bison Reserve, Iona

Iona was first chosen for a captive herd site in 1931, and the 374 acre/150 hectare Regional Bison Reserve established there has since held a population of approximately 20-30 bison. Bison from the herd are cross-sectioned every few years to minimize inbreeding and overgrazing. The herd is transferred from southern to northern grassland enclosures between summer and winter months to allow fescue grasslands areas to recover from grazing. This transfer also mimics the traditional movement of bison herds from plains to Aspen parkland. Another important grazer of natural fescue grasslands is the elk. Rumen content analysis of elk in 3RR reveals that fescue grasslands are grazed mainly in the early spring and winter months.
Three Rivers Region land managers were late in prohibiting (in 1970) widespread open range cattle grazing on the region's prairies. Cattle grazing was originally encouraged as a way of reducing forest fire hazard by removing excess litter. Cattle grazing led to the deterioration of many of the native fescue prairies within the park, as cattle tend to overgraze in summer months. (Fescue grass is poorly adapted to this). Much of the private land in the region was long ago cleared for farming; today the remaining prairie, which has by and large remained in public hands, is seen as part of the larger ecosystem and cultural landscapes that surrounds it.

Hay bales north of Geneva

Alien Plants
Through modern transportation and agricultural systems alien plant species have spread throughout North America, including Three Rivers Region. These plants' seeds have entered the park by a variety of means including livestock and wildlife, trail maintenance equipment and visitors' bikes and hiking boots. Trails in the region's grasslands are subject to soil exposure and serve as corridors for the invasion of alien plant species. Leafy spurge, smooth brome and caragana are some of the alien plants invading 3RR's remaining prairie. Without intervention, native vegetation may be displaced, threatening biodiversity and disrupting natural processes.
For example, once smooth brome is established, it can displace native species, converting the area into an alien-dominated grassland of low diversity. Fire is not effective in controlling smooth brome but fire suppression is not an acceptable alternative, since unburned fescue prairie is also invaded by smooth brome. There is a need to carefully monitor the status of alien invasive plant species in the region's grasslands, and to develop and implement an effective and appropriate management program.


These grasslands, North America's easternmost remnants of the great tallgrass prairies that once stretched westward to the Rocky Mountains, remain important contributors to the biological diversity of Three Rivers Region as a whole. While drier sites, and especially the Broad Prairie south of the Wind River, are resistant to invasion by trees and shrubs, deprived of the natural fire cycle for almost 100 years many grasslands were lost to shrub and forest communities of the aspen parkland and later arriving oak, elm and maple forests.  Conversion of former prairielands to farms and fields further greatly reduced these areas.
Although several wildlife species have all but disappeared from 3RR's prairies in the past (such as the grizzly bear and bison), the varied and productive landscape still supports diverse and complex communities of flora and fauna, including some rare and endangered species (such as the dakota skipper and the small white lady's slipper). The size of those grasslands that remain in the region, coupled with the heightened awareness of their importance developed over the past 50 years, allows many, but not all, normal ecological processes to function to a great degree, while the surrounding agricultural lands retain remnants of their original habitat sufficient to harbor some wildlife and native vegetation. The rough fescue grassland communities are of great regional significance. Less than 20% of Three Rivers Region, about 300 square miles/about 800 square kilometers in all, contains remnants of rough fescue prairie. Had these grassland areas been lost, it would have resulted in a serious loss of biological diversity in the region.

* * *

Kitsune, my friend, we only know you by your nic and avatar, but they are both welcome sights any day here in 3RR.  Thanks once again to you and all the other regulars, without whom my life would be so much the poorer.  We'll move on to other honors, but each one has a special place in my thoughts, and yours now becomes the latest.

D. Edgren

Please call me David...

Three Rivers Region- A collaborative development of the SC4 community
The 3RR Quick Finder [linkie]

I aten't dead.  —  R.I.P. Granny Weatherwax

Skype: davidredgren


Hi, David ....
I must have some time for reading, translating and understanding Your update ...
But first - map and bisons are fantastic !!!  &apls &apls &apls
And You must have Winchester Gun or some green grass for this fine animals !!!
My mind about grass only ....
Best Regards ....


another big dollop of awesome, made for fascinating reading.
NAM + CAM + RAM + SAM, that's how I roll....



You're like an encyclopædia, David! A very interesting read about the 3RR environment, my friend.

Of particular interest that I found was the wildfire section. I remembered hearing how wildfires were part of the natural environmental processes of areas, and now having read your explanation, it makes more sense to me. I've been awake for 20 minutes and I'm already learning things!

Magnificent update, my friend! And congratulations to Kitsune for his 3RR honoring!