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Old 09-20-2016, 10:21 AM
 
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The Great Plains states are basically the Dakotas, Nebraska, Kansas.

The term "prairie" seems to be applied further east in states like Iowa and Illinois (i.e. the corn belt).

Incidentally in Canada the Prairie provinces are the Canadian extension of the Great Plains.
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Old 09-20-2016, 01:36 PM
 
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The Great Plains are a geological feature. Prairie is an ecosystem. Prairies covered most of the Great Plains (which includes not only the states you mentioned, but vasts swaths of Colorado, Montana, Wymoning, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico) at the time of white settlement. Further complicating the issue is that prairie is the natural ecosystem of Iowa, Illinois, and about half of Missouri and Minnesota but is only really extant now, in any significant quanitity, in parts of Great Plains.
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