Effect of Rancher’s Management Philosophy, Grazing Practices, and Personal Characteristics on Sustainability Indices for North Central Texas Rangeland Page: 48
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stewardship, and social responsibility (FAO, 1991; Heitschmidt et al., 2004; Maczko et al.,
2004). Therefore, landowner decisions concerning a sustainable agriculture should then enhance
the environment and the farmer's economic situation and benefit the regional society (Sullivan,
2001). In agreement with this principle Larry Butler (2002) wrote, "A workable economic
solution must be a sound ecological solution and an acceptable cultural solution. Any solution
that fails this test will be short lived."
Sustainable agriculture is linked to one's value system (Clark and Wiese, 1993) and thus
is a matter of much debate, (MacRae et al., 1993). Ecologic, economic, and social interactions
are intertwined and drive rangeland management decisions. Long term ecological sustainability
is necessary for long-term economic viability and economic and social sustainability are tied to
social perceptions (Heidschmidt et al., 2004).
The Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable (SRR) acknowledges the fact that the
environmental, social, and economic attributes of rangeland are all connected by goods and
services provided by normal ecological function. Sustainability of rangelands implies
availability of a full suite of goods and services for future generations, which requires that we
ensure the proper functioning of core ecosystem processes. The linkage of management actions
and policy decisions to effects on ecological processes and functions is of critical importance
(West and Herrick, 2003).
According to Bartlett et al. (2003) the SRR participants concluded that the sustainability
puzzle has 64 pieces, or indicators, that can be assembled to describe progress toward sustainable
rangeland management. These indicators are categorized under five overarching criteria:
1. Conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources on rangelands: Human
civilization declines over the past 7000 years can be contributed to soil erosion
(Lowdermilk, 1953). This is because soils provide a medium for water capture, retention,
and release (Whisenant, 1999). Soil and water also support primary production processes
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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/m1/59/: accessed February 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .