Indicators of Southwestern range conditions. Page: 1
INDICATORS OF SOUTHWESTERN RANGE
By M. W. TALBOT', senior forest ecologist, Californlia For est and Range Experimlent
Station, Forest Service
The necessity and difficulty of range Why ranges deteriorate_-- - 24
evaluation ------------------- Important points considered by exWhat
range indicators are and what perienc(ed range ju(lges-- - 29
they indicate--------------- History of past and present
Signs of a deteriorating range_ 4 use--_______ _ -------- 2!)
Earmarks of past range (dam- Kind of range------------ 29
age-____________________ - Season and time of exa;inilaIndications
of satisfactory use_ 14 tion __---------_ - _ ------- 31
What is excess forae?-------- 17 Key areas_____---- ------ 31
Simplified usage of common Tips on estimating grazing cagorazingr
terms ____ _ 21 pacity ---- ------------ 32
THE NECESSITY AND DIFFICULTY OF RANGE EVALUATION
THE STORY of range use and misuse, dating back manly years, is
1 written on the range itself. Sometimes this record is clear and
unm-istakable; but more often it is framed in characters-like the clay
tablets of the ancients-dimly uncertain and in code. Fragments of
the key to this code have been found; but some are misleadilln, anld a
few are still missing. Until the pattern is more nearly complete,
decipherment of the indicators will continue to be difficult. And yet,
range judging must go on as an inescapable process il the use of
grazing resources by a big industry.
This range resource in the Southwest is of vital economic inpoIrtance.
Available grazing lands in Arizona and New Mexico total over
135 million acres-nearly 90 percent of the total land area of these
States. Moreover, these lands are not merely forage factories. Mally
of them have other important values, including watershed protection,
timber, wildlife, and recreation.
The problem is further complicated, directly or indirectly, by natural
land features. Grazing grounds are found at elevations of from
1,000 to 13,000 feet. Relief varies from nearly flat plains and mesas
to steel) rocky mountains (figs. 1, 2, 3). Character of ground surface,
1Revision of a handbook entitled "How To Judlge Southwestern Range Conditions,"
issued in 1924 by F. C. W. Pooler, regional forester, to forest officers of the
Southwestern Region. Through incorporation of more recent findings, the material
lias now been brought up to date jointly witli the assistance of tlie Southwestern
National Forest Region and the Southwestern Forest and l Range Experimient
Station. Acknowledgment is especially due D. A. Shoema:ker 1and W. G.
Koogler of the region, and C. K. Cooperrider and B. A. Hendricks of tile station.
2 Formerly grazing examiner, Southwestern Region.
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Talbot, M. W. (Murrell Williams), b. 1889. Indicators of Southwestern range conditions., book, December 1957; Washington D.C.. (https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc5875/m1/3/?q=%22livestock%22: accessed May 22, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.