The University of Arizona

Achievements in management and utilization of privately-owned rangelands.

C.E. Owensby


Historically, there have been several seminal achievements in management and utilization of privately-owned rangelands. The most important of the early achievements were domestication of livestock, fencing, haying, and the transfer of federal lands to private ownership. Later, federal programs to stimulate range research and extension were the springboard for the modern range research complex. The Morrill Acts established the land-grant institutions with agricultural research as one of the founding principles. The Hatch Act later provided funding for agricultural research, and the Smith-Lever Act funding for the extension of that research to the agricultural industry. Recent trends have been away from funding applied research and towards funding for basic research defined by the political scientific bureaucracy. Those achievements that I consider of major influence in management and utilization of rangelands include: defining stocking rate-animal performance relationships, refining prescribed burning techniques, formulation of selective-translocated herbicides, developing plant varieties and seeding methods for reseeding, matching forage quality with nutritional requirements of livestock, basic research on morphologic and physiologic characteristics of range plants, and information dispersal through extension and federal agencies for better management of rangelands. The future is uncertain, and unless we can reverse the trend away from applied to wholly basic research funding, we will have fewer achievements in managements of privately-owned rangeland.



government research;history;land ownership;agricultural research;stocking rate;prescribed burning;overgrazing;range management;forage

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