Windmills on the National Grasslands
To some, a windmill may be seen as a machine, but for those that live on the open plains a windmill is seen as a life tool. A windmill converts the energy of the wind to rotational motion that pumps fresh water from underground. They are recognized as a sign of settlement and livestock production. Across the grasslands, windmills are a mark of historical and cultural significance. Today, much larger windmills bring attention to the vastness of the landscape and also provide a source of energy.
Windmills, stock tanks, and pipelines are types of water improvements permitted by the Forest Service. Some National Grasslands have numerous windmills while others have only a handful. Stock ponds and pipeline development provide better quality and reliance of water flow reducing the need for windmills.