Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 3
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Understanding the complex interactions that occur between grazing management and each of
these three elements will ultimately lead to conclusions concerning the sustainability of
Perception is the process of attaining an understanding of information and is a result of
interplays between past experiences and personal interpretation (Pomerantz, 2003). While
experimental studies are vital, management's perception of benefits associated with grazing
systems are even more crucial for successful implementation of sustainable ranch management
practices; only ranch-level, adaptable grazing system management is capable of addressing all of
the variables associated with sustainability of mid to tall-grass prairie ecosystems.
Overgrazing, drought, erosion, and other human and naturally induced stressors have
caused severe degradation in the past. In many areas, rangeland remnants are all that remain of
vast sections of mid to tall-grass prairies. These remnants are very much at risk of damage due to
the mismanagement of livestock and increasing human population. Costa and Reham (2005)
have shown that the traditional decisions to retain livestock, even at the expense of the
environment, may be as philosophic as they are economic. Deliberate, high-stocking rate
decisions appear paradoxical, even irrational given the state of knowledge regarding the
consequences of overgrazing. The phenomenon appears to be linked with objectives of livestock
managers. Indications are that producers view cattle ownership as a means to ensure they are
able to continue land ownership, as a source of security and liquidity, and as a way of life worthy
of passing to the next generation.
Sustainable resource management has evolved as the logical extension of the application
of sustainable development principles to land management (Shields and Bartlett, 2002).
Implementation of sustainable grazing practices is of value to protect vital natural resources such
as rivers, streams and aquifers as well as to increase productivity of agricultural practices without
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Becker, Wayne. Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland, dissertation, December 2011; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc103289/m1/14/: accessed April 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .