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Title: Rangeland degradation and restoration in the "desert seas": social and economic drivers of ecological change between the Sky Islands

Author: Sayre, Nathan F.;

Date: 2005

Source: In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Edminster, Carleton B., comps. Connecting mountain islands and desert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Proc. RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 349-352

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: The relative importance of different factors in driving ecological change in the valleys of southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico has been debated for decades. Clearly, both anthropogenic and natural drivers have played roles: the focus should be on their interactions over time. I suggest that historically, debt and government policies interacted with periodic drought to cause degradation related to livestock. More recently, however, different interactions have emerged. Climate dominates over livestock because stocking rates have declined to relatively low levels, and the distribution of homes and conservation resources now determines where fire and other tools are employed for rangeland remediation.

Keywords: grasslands, deserts, rangelands, degradation, debt, policy, drought, livestock, grazing, climate, fire, restoration, remediation, Sky Islands, Arizona

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Sayre, Nathan F. 2005. Rangeland degradation and restoration in the "desert seas": social and economic drivers of ecological change between the Sky Islands. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Gebow, Brooke S.; Eskew, Lane G.; Edminster, Carleton B., comps. Connecting mountain islands and desert seas: biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II. Proc. RMRS-P-36. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station: 349-352

 


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