The tallgrass prairie ecosystem is dominated by native grasses that are often 3- 6 feet tall. The prairie contains an immense variety of grasses and wildflowers, but the most dominant species defining the prairie are big bluestem, Indian grass and switch grass. The prairie landscape is mostly treeless. Due to the deep, rich, fertile soil that supports this expanse of grass, the prairie was easily transformed into crop land as it was settled. From a historic range of about 25 million acres in Minnesota and Iowa alone, only about 300,000 acres of the original tallgrass prairie remains today. The refuge strives to protect, conserve and restore as much of our native prairie as possible.