The University of Arizona

Letter to the Editor

Matthew K. Barnes, Timothy J. Steffens, Jim Thrope


The article “Cross-Fencing on Private US Rangelands: Financial Costs and Producer Risks” (April 2011), arguing that cross-fencing may not be cost effective1 is interesting, but problematic. Although it is true that cross-fencing with no expected resource benefits would be neither cost effective nor a public good, the assumptions of the article are not generally supported in our experience, and the article’s implications may unjustifiably undermine support for this widespread conservation practice utilized by USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) technical and financial assistance programs as part of a prescribed grazing strategy addressing resource concerns. To preclude any impres- sion that the article’s implications are widely applicable and prevail among the rangeland management profession, we briefly present arguments in support of cross-fencing to facil- itate planned grazing for rangeland health and associated ecosystem services. 

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