• Saddle rock in Winter

    Scotts Bluff

    National Monument Nebraska

Prairies and Grasslands

shortgrass-prairie

Shortgrass Prairie

NPS photo

The presidential proclamation which established Scotts Bluff National Monument in 1919 also established the Monument's original boundaries. This preserved some of the best native prairie in the region, prairie relatively untouched by human disturbance.

Natural prairie grasses are the predominant vegetation cover of the Monument's more level areas. Approximately 40% of the 3,003 acre Monument is mixed-grass prairie. The prairie is dominated by blackroot sedge, and needleandthread grass, both cool season species. Together these two species are the dominant ground cover (82%). Other common native grasses of the prairie include western wheatgrass, junegrass, blue grama, prairie sandreed, and side-oats grama. Prairie vegetation is not only grasses. Forbs and shrubs also comprise the prairie vegetation. The most common forbs of the Monument include golden pea, scarlet globemallow (copper mallow), prairie coneflower, and dotted blazing star (dotted gayfeather). The most common shrubs include prairie rose, winterfat, western snowberry and fragrant sumac.

Did You Know?

Returning Astorians

The first white men to see Scotts Bluff were seven men from the Robert Stuart Party on Christmas Day 1812. The Stuart party was on their way from Astoria, OR to St. Louis, MO.