Profile of good stewardship: the Rafter F Cattle Company (2001)

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Summary:  Arid and semiarid rangelands (receiving less than 10 or 20 inches of rain per year, on average, respectively) defy some of the central assumptions of classical ecology and conventional range management. They are highly variable over time and space, making fixed measurements of carrying capacity or “the right” stocking rate questionable. And they do not necessarily revert to a single, “climax” vegetation community when released from grazing. In recent decades, scientists have begun to develop models to explain and explore these complex dynamics. There is a need to update the tools and concepts of range management to reflect the improved scientific understanding emerging from this work.