Reflections from nearly a century of rangeland research in the Jornada Basin

TitleReflections from nearly a century of rangeland research in the Jornada Basin
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsHavstad K
Conference NameWildland Shrub Symposium
Date PublishedMay 23-25, 1995
Keywordsdrought, Jornada Basin, misuse, rangeland research
AbstractThe 80-year record of rangeland research at the Jornada Experimental Range (JER) is representative of the history of the rangeland science discipline. The initial impetus from research was the rapid and obvious degradation of rangeland resources from misuse and drought from the late 1800’s to the early part of the twentieth century. Original researchers designed pasture-scale studies to develop guidelines for seasonal stocking rates and methodologies for distributing grazing use. By the 1940’s, observations on vegetation dynamics, particularly the encroachment of woody species, drove development of research efforts in range improvement techniques. By the 1970’s, with rangeland management compromised by an increasingly regulated environment and a broadening of resource interests, the appropriateness of research on grazing management and forage improvement technologies was diminished. For the past 20 years rangeland research has been redirected to include more fundamental ecological investigations. The utility of the research had been questioned by various clientele. It is important that we translate this knowledge into usable technologies for monitoring existing conditions, remediation of degraded conditions,and adapting to new management conditions.