Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 30
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helped urban land area quadruple from roughly 15 million acres in 1945 to an estimated 60
million acres in 2002 (Lubowski et al., 2006).
In areas on the fringe of urbanization, non-traditional overgrazing issues are arising.
Many suburbanites have moved to the country, seeking a more rural home site. When people
purchase land, they often desire a ranchette, a place where they can maintain a few livestock, for
the sheer enjoyment of having them. This recent trend has added a different twist to the old
problem. Often owners of ranchettes may fail to manage the vegetation on their land due to
status and lack of land management education. Ranchette subdivisions may increase overgrazing
impacts locally in areas where livestock are kept as pets or status ornaments on small holdings
(Dudley, 1997). The problem is advanced further because economics may not be an issue, and
supplemental feed costs may be of no concern to the landowner. Land around cities, national
parks, attractive scenery, and good climate are experiencing faster rural growth rates than urban
growth. This can be explained by an increase in land fragmentation. Ranchettes can cause
serious ecological changes (Sayre, 2005).
It is evident that agriculture is the first front in a conflict between man and the
environment, between natural succession and technologically enhanced land usage. Mankind
has continuously sought to provide for himself a more comfortable existence. In doing so,
history has shown that he has often overlooked his impact on the world in his quest to change
and improve his plight in life. " Before agriculture was midwifed in the Middle East, humans
were in the wilderness. We had no concept of "wilderness" because everything was wilderness
and we were a part of it. But with irrigation ditches, crop surpluses, and permanent villages, we
became apart from the natural world..." (Foreman, 1991).
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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/m1/41/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .