Legacy of Charles Travis Turney: The Jornada Experimental Range

TitleLegacy of Charles Travis Turney: The Jornada Experimental Range
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsHavstad K
JournalArcheological Society of New Mexico Annual Volumes
Date Published1996
Accession NumberJRN00209
AbstractThe Jornada Experimental Range (JER) in south-central New Mexico has served as a field research laboratory since its establishment in 1912. The varied scientific activities on the range throughout this century have led to important discoveries about desert ecosystems that have been the basis for principles of land management that have application around the globe. This region is probably the most extensively studied desert on earth, and on-site research activities continue to flourish as we approach the next millennium. From microscopic-scale studies of soil microorganisms to synoptic-scale assessments of vegetation patterns detected from satellite-based sensors, JER is addressing a multitude of research needs relevant to natural resource management issues. One phenomenon that we have continually observed in our studies over the years is that small events can have cascading effects on ecosystem structures and functions. A period of drought, an innocuous ntroduction of an alien species, unmanaged grazing, or dispersal of seed into a new area are examples of events that can have far-reaching effects in subsequent decades. Like these biological events, the inception of JER was based on a relatively small event that has then cascaded into the legacy of scientific discovery that is the Jornada range today. In 1904, Harvey Ringer, a man not particularly interested in the cattle businsess, sold 16 ha of land in the south-central portion of the 3,000 km2 Jornada Plain to a man from Texas, Mr. C. T. Turney.