Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 39
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derived from a study conducted by Heitschmidt et al. (1990) in Texas. Specialized systems
economically outperformed continuous grazing.
The effects of any given grazing system on the attainment of economic goals, is complex
and difficult to assess. The complexity arises because there is essentially an infinite number of
grazing systems and their effects on economic goals vary as a function of current numbers and
configuration of pastures, labor constraints, managerial ability and personal preference (Conner,
1991). It is known that by using grazing management to better control where and when livestock
graze, the manager can achieve modest ecological impacts by shortening the grazing period. At
the same time he can favor animal production by improving distribution and increasing exposure
to forage resources over the landscape, and by preventing exposure to heavily used areas with
depleted forage. The degree of such control over timing of occupancy of any part of the ranch,
and the potential for production benefits is a function of the number of paddocks at the manager's
disposal for an individual rotation cycle (Teague et al., 2004).
Societal Considerations for Private Rangeland
The ecological aspects of a grazed ecosystem are functionally constant regardless of the
socio-cultural aspects of the human population interacting with it. Thus, regardless of how
sophisticated his society, manipulation of temporal and spatial distribution and kinds and
numbers of grazing animals are the only means by which man to can manage grazing land to
achieve his desired goals (Conner, 1991).
Perceived benefits of a particular ecosystem will vary from person to person or from time to
time based on individual and social values (Maczko and Hidinger, 2008). In general the
public's perception of the actual act of ranching is negative. The public recognizes pasture
degradation when driving down the highway and concludes that the livestock in the pasture have
contributed to the demise of the landscape (Knight et al., 2002). On the other hand, it is a
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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/m1/50/: accessed August 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .