Interacting effects of landownership, land use, and endangered species on conservation of southwestern U.S. rangelands

TitleInteracting effects of landownership, land use, and endangered species on conservation of southwestern U.S. rangelands
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsSayre N.F.
JournalConservation Biology
Volume19
Issue3
Start Page783
Pagination783-792
Date PublishedJune 2005
ARIS Log Number149113
Keywordscollaborative management, Endangered Species Act, fire, livestock grazing, riparian areas, threatened species
AbstractThe contemporary southwestern United States is characterized by fire-adapted ecosystems; large numbers of federally listed threatened and endangered species; a patchwork of federal, state, and private landownership; and a long history of livestock grazing as the predominant land use. I compared eight sites in southern Arizona and New Mexico to assess the interacting effects of these characteristics on conservation practices and outcomes. There was widespread interest and private-sector leadership in restoring fire to southwestern rangelands, and there is a shortage of predictive scientific knowledge about the effects of fire and livestock grazing on threatened and endangered species. It was easier to restore fire to lands that were either privately owned or not grazed, in part because of obstacles created by threatened and endangered species on grazed public lands. Collaborative management facilitated conservation practices and outcomes, and periodic removal of livestock may be necessary for conservation, but permanent livestock exclusion may be counterproductive because of interactions with land-use and landownership patterns.
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