Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 1, 2008
Publication Date: April 1, 2008
Citation: Havstad, K.M. 2008. Essays of a peripheral mind: Authentic frontier gibberish. Rangelands. 30(2):39-40. Technical Abstract: The most interesting and intriguing general hypotheses currently being tested within the rangeland science profession are hypotheses related to 1) threshold-resilience (i.e., models which attempt to more explicitly characterize rangeland dynamics through detailing coupled impacts of disturbance to both vegetation and soils), 2) scaling i.e., effects of disturbance which recognize that both time and space can have differential and confounding effects on system response to those disturbances), and 3) indicators (i.e., the detection of components of ecological properties that are related to key community or landscape processes that can be used in assessment and monitoring. The broad objectives of the above 3 mentioned general hypotheses are actually now new. For example, for decades we have tried to understand effects of livestock grazing at pasture, allotment and ranch scales, and have worked to develop techniques to assess and monitor rangelands. What is important about the newer hypotheses is that they reflect efforts to reinterpret the familiar, to continue to discover the hidden realities of these systems, to advance efforts to connect observations to explanations.