News FocusUkraine

Renewing the Post-Soviet Steppe

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Science  04 Jun 2010:
Vol. 328, Issue 5983, pp. 1225
DOI: 10.1126/science.328.5983.1225

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A $3 million effort, funded by the European Union, seeks to find ways of regrowing some of the vast grasslands, or steppe, that Soviet agricultural planners destroyed while capturing economic benefits from it. That research has now spawned a small but ambitious commercial venture—a Dutch-Ukrainian company that plans to fatten beef cattle on thousands of hectares of restored grasslands. Yet bringing back Ukraine's steppe faces obstacles, including competing conservation interests and widespread public disinterest.