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, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 30 June 2022

Till the Cows Come Home

Till the Cows Come Home

Overseas Failures and Critiques of Range Science

(p.186) Seven Till the Cows Come Home
The Politics of Scale

Nathan F. Sayre

University of Chicago Press

By the late 1970s, it was clear that virtually all pastoral development projects were abject failures. Chapter 7 shows how these failures, combined with a growing body of rangeland research overseas, finally dislodged Clementsian succession as the theoretical foundation of range science. European social scientists defended the economic rationality of subsistence pastoralists and challenged the thesis that communal land tenure led inevitably to overgrazing and environmental destruction. Australian ecologists began to study their rangelands and noticed that US range science couldn’t explain what they were seeing. Through the International Biological Program, ecologists from Europe, Africa, Australia and the Middle East encountered US rangelands and range science, exchanged ideas, and went back to their own rangelands in search of alternatives. Systems ecology and modeling provided them with ideas and tools that could account for the anomalies long observed on the Santa Rita and Jornada experimental ranges. By 1990, ideas from all these groups and places had come together into a “non-equilibrium” theory of rangeland ecology that is now seen as superior to Clementsian succession in most settings, especially where rainfall is limiting and highly variable. Whether the new theory will succeed where the old one failed, however, remains to be seen.

Keywords:   Clementsianism, International Biological Program, non-equilibrium ecology, pastoralism, pastoralists

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.