Indicators of Southwestern range conditions. Page: 3
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INDICATORS OF SOUTHWESTERN RANGE CONDITIONS 3
soil, type of vegetation, aspect, degree of slope, and climate-all affect
forage production and use. Areas of high elevation cannot be grazed
more than 3 months; many at lower elevations are used throughout the
year. There is tremendous variation in seasonal distribution of precipitation
as well as in the annual amount, which seems to rise and fall
in irregular cycles of years; while periodic droughts make difficult the
evaluation of other factors that tend to cause decline in forage production.
Many more simple, usable measures of the principal forage types
and plants than are available are needed. Further study is imperative.
Although much progress has been made in recent years, yet with the
growing interest in range management and the interwoven public
FIGURE 3.-Rough, rugged grazing grounds. From the standpoint of topography
alone, land of the character shown in the background must be grazed least of all
if a satisfactory cover of vegetation is to be maintained.
values inherent in range lands, greater uniformity in judging-in finding
out the meaning of the "signs on the ground"-is essential. After
improvement-or decline-has reached an advanced stage, the condition
is usually unmistakable and the importance of indicators is
correspondingly less. The range manager must be able to detect
the first stages of very gradual processes which may be trending toward
range improvement or range decline.
Of especial importance, therefore, in adequate management of
southwestern grazing lands, are usable criteria of range conditionthe
various less obvious things taken into account consciously or
intuitively by experienced examiners-along with the basic principles
of range judging. It is with these indicators that this bulletin is
WHAT RANGE INDICATORS ARE AND WHAT THEY INDICATE
Range indicators are the clues to range happenings. All that can
be used as guides to recognition of the real state of affairs-nonuse,
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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/m1/5/?q=%22livestock%22: accessed June 17, 2019), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, https://digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.