"What restoration forces you to do," William Jordan III tells contributing editor George Vukelich, "is to study the ecological community more closely, to learn your history, your botany, your biology." Jordan, the UW Arboretum's supervisor of administration, says these principles are rooted in the works of pioneers like John Curtis, who spent 20 years compiling a mammoth field called The Vegetation of Wisconsin, used to reestablish the research refuge's ecosystems. "These were vast communities when the settlers first saw them," Jordan observes. "Millions of acres and millions of animals. One of the quintessential American landscapes, one of the characteristic American landscapes. Walt Whitman said of the prairies: 'This is America!' The prairie schooners were ships sailing the seas of grass - that's just gone!"