Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Politics of ScaleA History of Rangeland Science$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Nathan F. Sayre

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226083117

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226083391.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

To Manage or Manipulate

To Manage or Manipulate

Natural versus Artificial Improvement of Depleted Rangelands

Chapter:
(p.133) Five To Manage or Manipulate
Source:
The Politics of Scale
Author(s):

Nathan F. Sayre

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226083391.003.0006

Chapter 5 examines efforts to counter the real or perceived “invasion” of brush and shrubs by artificial means when “natural” improvement by succession failed to occur. From the earliest government research in the 1890s, conducted by the Division of Agrostology, scientists had investigated killing shrubs and seeding rangelands with native and imported grasses. But western rangelands were too big, relative to the amount of profit they could produce, to justify the expense of intensive treatments, and cheaper methods repeatedly failed. After World War II, however, artificial improvement found new life as a way of defusing the tension between agencies and ranchers over stocking rates. Seeds were tested and mass-produced, especially for several non-native species; heavy equipment and tractor attachments were developed and deployed; and newly available herbicides were applied, often from airplanes. Huge areas of sagebrush rangelands in the Great Basin were forcibly converted to grasses. But non-native grasses such as Lehmann lovegrass became invasive species in their own right, and mesquites in the Southwest persisted. By the 1970s, public outcry over the use of toxic chemicals combined with rising oil prices to dampen the dream of manipulating rangelands artificially, although other methods of restoration continue to be pursued.

Keywords:   Division of Agrostology, herbicides, Lehmann lovegrass, reseeding, revegetation, shrub control, wheatgrass

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.