Grazing Versus Ecosystem Conservation: Managed Grazing Techniques Must be Implemented

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Grazing Versus Ecosystem Conservation: Managed Grazing Techniques Must be Implemented One of the major issues confronting western America is that of environmental conservation and protection versus agricultural essentials and needs. This issue includes the environmentalists' fight against herbicides and pesticides, reservoirs for irrigation water, and livestock grazing on public land. The controversy that this essay confronts will be that of the desire to use public land for livestock grazing versus the importance of preserving the rangeland ecosystem. Importance is found on each side of this controversy by various groups of people. What will there be for tomorrow's generation if the ecosystems of public lands are not preserved?…show more content…
Ecosystems were damaged by erosion, once again due to the lack of vegetation resulting from overgrazing. These damages turned the general public against grazing on rangelands, mainly out of fear that all of the public lands could turn out like this. In order to prevent this from happening again, rangeland management plans were introduced at the first of the twentieth century; however, these weren't well developed until the 1930's, and so overgrazing continued up to this time. By then, the knowledge and research was sufficient that the government was educated enough to instill numerous conservation strategies, including managed grazing plans. These plans, enforced by the government, stopped year-round grazing, limited the numbers of cattle permitted on the rangelands, and consequentially, halted overgrazing However, by that time many rangeland ecosystems were past the point of no return (Vavra 2341). Today many conservationists believe that a resting period, a time where all cattle are removed from damaged areas, will allow them to return to their optimum state. However, experience and research shows that a decrease or halt of the grazing in a region alone will not bring back what was destroyed in the nineteenth century, and this can be seen by the miniscule amount of improvement seen in areas that have had no grazing since 1930. (CAST "Grazing" 1). In fact,

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