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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS Title: Sustainable rangeland management, economic growth, and a cautious role for the SRM

Authors
item Czech, B - VIRGINIA TECH
item Heitschmidt, R - RETIRED USA ARS
item Brown, J - USDA NRCS JORNADA
item Hild, A - UNIV OF WYOMING

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: July 21, 2008
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
Citation: Czech, B., Heitschmidt, R., Brown, J., Hild, A. 2008. Sustainable rangeland management, economic growth, and a cautious role for the SRM. Rangelands. 30:33-37.

Interpretive Summary: As national and global economies grow, pressure on natural resources increase. The conflict between economic growth and ecological sustainability is an important subject for resource management professionals to help clarify for society. Natural resource management professionals should increase the emphasis on credible analysis and interpretation of the effects of economic growth on natural resources.

Technical Abstract: Interest in the art and science of rangeland management increased dramatically during the 20th century and it was out of this interest that the profession of rangeland management was born. As public interest in rangeland management grew, so did the number, breadth, and depth of rangeland management issues. Consequently, the profession has responded to these new challenges and opportunities by encompassing a wider array of rangeland management issues, such as biological diversity, noxious and invasive weeds, protection of rangeland and open space values, and endangered species. The evolution of resource management policy and practice reveals a general concern with ecosystem health and sustainability, which in turn reflects an overall concern in academia and public life about ecological and economic sustainability. The optimum size and growth rate of an economy may only be ascertained in the context of a staggering array of ecological and cultural factors. One of these factors is the relationship between economic growth and the environment, in our case, rangeland ecosystems. A critical role for the profession of rangeland management is to describe the basic trade-off between economic growth and sustainable rangeland management and to communicate clearly with people interested in that relationship.

Last Modified: 10/25/2014
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