Title: Historic and Contemporary Land Use in Southwestern Grassland Ecosystems
Author: Raish, Carol
Source: In: Finch, Deborah M., Editor. 2004. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-135-vol. 1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 86-119
Description: This chapter encompasses the lands of the Southwest as defined by Region 3 of the USDA Forest Service (USFS): Arizona, New Mexico, and portions of western Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle. I examine human use and modification of the grasslands/rangelands of this region, with an emphasis on those areas managed by the Forest Service. Because the majority of publications serving as sources for this chapter use both "rangelands" and "grasslands" when referring to a variety of different grassland and rangeland vegetation types, this section does not distinguish between the terms. An exhaustive examination of all human uses and related topics and issues in Southwestern rangelands is well beyond the scope of this discussion; thus, a selective review of historical and contemporary topics is presented. The section begins with a review of continuous regional land use and modification from pre- Euro-American settlement (that is, American Indian times) to the present to serve as a background for understanding current land uses and land-use-related problems and issues. I then examine contemporary rangeland condition and the major human uses and activities affecting these lands, focusing on domestic livestock grazing, mineral extraction, and recreation. I conclude the chapter with a brief discussion of continuing and future trends in Southwestern rangelands and rangeland management.
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Keywords: grasslands, ecological assessment, Southwestern United States, ecosystem conditions, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Oklahoma
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Raish, Carol 2004. Historic and Contemporary Land Use in Southwestern Grassland Ecosystems. In: Finch, Deborah M., Editor. 2004. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Volume 1. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-135-vol. 1. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 86-119
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