Trends in carrying capacity and vegetation on an arid Southwestern range

TitleTrends in carrying capacity and vegetation on an arid Southwestern range
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1961
AuthorsPaulsen, Jr. H.A., Ares F.N.
JournalJournal of Range Management
Date PublishedMarch 1, 1961
Keywordscarrying capacity, cattle ranches, Southwestern range, vegetaton trends
AbstractCattle ranchers of the Southwest are confronted with an ever-changing forage resource. This means they must make continual adjustments in their ranch operations. It is not easy to sell all or part of a herd that has been developed through years of selective breeding and care. However, pressure to do so often faces the Southwestern rancher. In addition, there are insidious changes in the range vegetation that are not apparent except where they have been carefully documented by objective, long-term records. Some of these fluctuations and changes that have taken place on one range area are described herein. Pertinent records have been kept at the Jornada Experimental Range in south-central New Mexico about 60 miles north of the international boundary. They include livestock numbers, cover, production of forage and nonforage plants, precipitation, wind velocity, evaporation and maximum and minimum temperatures. Range lands similar to the Jornada occupy 26 million acres, mainly in southern New Mexico and western Texas. These comprise the range areas known as the black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda Torr.) and tobosa [Hilaria mutica (Buckl.) Benth.] grasslands and associated shrub ranges.