Improving sustainability of arid rangelands

TitleImproving sustainability of arid rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1999
AuthorsHavstad K
JournalNew Mexico Journal of Science
Date PublishedNovember 1, 1999
ARIS Log Number104645
AbstractDeserts are climatically defined and arid regions within deserts are usually identified using a combination of average precipitation, evaporation, and temperature features. More generally though, arid regions are defined as areas receiving less than 250 mm of annual precipitation on a long-term average. In New Mexico, 10% of the state is classified as arid, ,but this region supports 77% of its population and nearly 30% of its agricultural lands. However, the arid zone is classified primarily as rangeland. Improving the sustainability of these arid rangelands will require employing technologies that exploit or augment natural processes and that are effective at relatively small, affordable spatial scales. Many of these technologies have been identified but the need exists to revise their application to comply with these two requirements. Implementing adaptive management within this arid zone will require flexibility, active collaborations among users, stewards and public interests, and increased efforts in monitoring effects of management on ecological conditions of arid lands.