Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 19
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achieving social and economic goals (Heitschmidt and Taylor, 1991). In the recent past we have
largely restrained the movements of domestic animals and in the process inadvertently trained
herbivores to become sedentary, largely with the use of fences in continuous and conventional
rotational grazing systems, and with the suppression of fire and large predators (Provenza,
2003a). Responsible rangeland stocking rate should match forage availability in both wet and
dry years by allowing for adequate plant residual biomass to enable rapid regrowth following
grazing, and by having buffer areas available (Teague et al., 2004). "Since the range has been
domesticated, forage availability and thus production, has become dependent on stocking rates,
rest, and rainfall" (Texas Parks and Wildlife, 2007).
Grazing management is defined as the manipulation of livestock to accomplish a desired
result. Watson et al. (1996) claim that effective vegetation management will enable managers to
"condition the resource". This will allow for maximum advantage to be made of favorable
rangeland events, possibly even increasing the frequency at which favorable events occur, by
lowering response thresholds of the system. In Rangeland ecosystems, vegetation management
will typically involve grazing. Hormay (1956) asserted that there are only four factors that can
be manipulated to influence desired management goals on rangelands with grazing: stocking
rate, season of grazing, livestock distribution, and frequency of grazing. These factors are
generally acknowledged by many range managers and scientists alike (Briske et al., 2008; Laca,
There are many types of grazing systems which utilize some component of the four
grazing management factors listed above. However all grazing systems involve continuous use
of a pasture or rotation of livestock. There are multiple strategies, with the use of rotational
grazing, one of the most notable being intensive grazing (Holechek et al., 1989; Hanselka et al.,
2009). When discussing specialized grazing systems it is important to understand the terms
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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/m1/30/: accessed August 21, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .