Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 43
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of knowing that your decisions are improving the environment and the community you live in. It
provides people with a means to make decisions that more accurately mirror the way nature
functions (in wholes), and thereby ensure that our civilization is truly sustainable over time"
This management style addresses the fact that everything is interconnected; altering one
part of an ecosystem will necessarily alter something else, possibly unintentionally. Benefits of
holistic resource management in ranching include increased likely-hood of continued ecological
function, increased profitability and improved way of life. Holistic principles involve a great
deal of time in planning. Ranch managers are using practices like high density, rapid rotation
grazing and multiple species grazing. Fertilizers and herbicides are not generally used. Choosing
grazing systems and management practices that mimic nature will reduce pollution, erosion, and
consumption of nonrenewable resources (Hanselka, 2007).
In practice much planning is necessary to establish a predetermined goal for the land in
question. The goal will always rest on four fundamental foundation blocks or ecological
concepts. These are: 1) succession of plants, animals and soils together as one entity; 2) water
cycle in the ecosystem; 3) mineral cycle in the ecosystem, and; 4) energy flow through the
ecosystem (Savory, 1983). Ranching is a biological process, not an industrial process. The
objective is to promote life and turn it into dollars (Davis, 1996).
Holistic management is a movement that strives to merge environmentalism with
anthropocentric use. If this movement can be truly viewed as an effort to mimic the natural
processes, such as those of animal migration with rotational grazing, the movement could
actually make environmentalists into ranching advocates. The complexity of this system has
resulted in various incorrect perceptions of how it behaves, both by managers themselves, and by
those who make and enforce policy in the rangelands. "Developing an understanding of the
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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/m1/54/: accessed January 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .