Range Land of America and Some Research on its Management

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CONFERENCE: Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures

Utah State University Faculty Honor Lectures

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Stoddart, Laurence A.
The Faculty Association, Utah State Agricultural College
Range Land; Range Management; Ecology; Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Environmental Sciences
lecture / presentation description
Although grazing of livestock has been a practice and a profession of man almost from his beginning only recently has range management reached anything approaching a pre~ cise science. Although ' trials and errors over the years brought to light much practical methodology for assuring high production from grazing land, still it remained for the plant physiologist and ecologist to find the whys and wherefores, and to advance new methods and new thoughts which promise to increase productivity still further and at the same time maintain the great range resource.The peculiar land situation that marked America in her forma~ tive years had much to do with the philosophy of early livestock growers. To understand this philosophy, we must remember the free~ dem and the vastness of frontier America. Graziers owned little or no land and their movements were known to few and questioned by none. The plentiful forage is evidenced now by words of early ad~ venturers. as Fremont's " ... tremendous areas of luxuriant grass-an inexhaustible supply"; Lewis and Clark's "These western ranges have a luxuriant grass cover and will supply enough feed for all the cows in all the world"; and Bradley's " .. . good, fine grasses grow evenly all over the country-I believe that all the flocks and herds in the world could find ample pasturage [here]." Herdsmen rested se~ cure in the knowledge that over the next ridge was more feed free to the first comer.