Working together to restore desert rangelands

TitleWorking together to restore desert rangelands
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsFredrickson E.L., Herrick JE, Havstad K, Winder J.
Conference NameInternational Conference, Society for Ecological Restoration
Date PublishedJune 17-22, 1996
Conference LocationNew Brunswick, NJ
ARIS Log Number072622
AbstractWe have formed a partnership with local ranchers, environmental groups and government agencies to develop restoration technologies for desertified arid lands. The USDA Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, is a 78,266-hectare desert laboratory located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. During the last 100 years, much of this area has undergone a transition from desert grasslands to desertified shrublands, a trend that is occurring in most of the world's arid lands. In addition to research examining basic ecosystem function, we have set aside 8,259 hectares to be managed by ranchers working with local environmental organizations. Presently, this group is using knowledge of desert ecosystems to create low-cost, restoration technologies for arid lands. Current projects are designed to promote natural restoration processes and include: (1) targeted application or organic waste to enhance soil stability and productivity, (2) placement of watering points that provide a seed source while attracting seed-dispersing wildlife, (3) creation of predator habitat to reduce herbivore pressure during vegetation establishment.