Ranching West of the 100th Meridian: Culture, Ecology, and Economics / Edition 1

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<p>Recommended by The Nature Conservancy magazine.<p>Ranching West of the 100th Meridian offers a literary and thought-provoking look at ranching and its role in the changing West. The book's lyrical and deeply felt narratives, combined with fresh information and analysis, offer a poignant and enlightening consideration of ranchers' ecological commitments to the land, their cultural commitments to American society, and the economic role ranching plays in sustainable food production and the protection of biodiversity.<p>The book begins with writings that bring to life the culture of ranching, including the fading reality of families living and working together on their land generation after generation. The middle section offers an understanding of the ecology of ranching, from issues of overgrazing and watershed damage to the concept that grazing animals can actually help restore degraded land. The final section addresses the economics of ranching in the face of declining commodity prices and rising land values brought by the increasing suburbanization of the West. Among the contributors are Paul Starrs, Linda Hasselstrom, Bob Budd, Drummond Hadley, Mark Brunson, Wayne Elmore, Allan Savory, Luther Propst, and Bill Weeks.<p>Livestock ranching in the West has been attacked from all sides - by environmentalists who see cattle as a scourge upon the land, by fiscal conservatives who consider the leasing of grazing rights to be a massive federal handout program, and by developers who covet intact ranches for subdivisions and shopping centers. The authors acknowledge that, if done wrong, ranching clearly has the capacity to hurt the land. But if done right, it has the power to restore ecological integrity to Western lands that have been too-long neglected. Ranching West of the 100th Meridian makes a unique and impassioned contribution to the ongoing debate on the future of the New West.
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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
Arguing that, if done right, ranching has the power to restore ecological integrity to American western lands, the editors of this book present essays, anecdotes, and a few poems that address the state of the rancher and suggest ways to improve the practice of ranching in view of today's realities. Essayists attack what they perceive as the two enemies of ranching, the developers of suburban subdivisions and Wal-Marts, as well as over-zealous environmentalists who "see cows as the source of all evil." The essayists also address the failures of ranchers themselves, suggesting at various times that ranchers must get used to a marginal economic existence, must interact more with urban environments and peoples, and must steward the ecosystems of their lands with greater care. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781559638272
  • Publisher: Island Press
  • Publication date: 1/28/2002
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 280
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Table of Contents

Pt. 1 Introduction
Rafael Quijada, Sierra Madre, Sonora Mexico 1
1 Ranching: An Old Way of Life in the New West 3
2 Lay of the Land: Ranch Land and Ranching 25
Pt. 2 The Culture of Ranching
Alma de mi Alma 35
3 Colors and Words 37
4 No Place Like Home 47
5 An Intimate Look at the Heart of the Radical Center 59
6 End of the Trail: Ranching Transformation on the Pacific Slope 77
7 Perceptions of Ranching: Public Views, Personal Reflections 91
Pt. 3 The Ecology of Ranching
The Work 109
8 Shades of Gray 111
9 The Ecology of Ranching 123
10 Cows and Creeks: Can They Get Along? 145
11 Re-Creating the West ... One Decision at a Time 155
Pt. 4 The Economics of Ranching
Our Land in the Belly of the Beast 173
12 Blue Birds and Black Cows 175
13 Making a Living in the Age of Wal-Mart 183
14 Economic Survival of Western Ranching: Searching for Answers 195
15 Saving the Family Ranch: New Directions 203
16 Cloudy Sky over the Range: Whose Home and Why it Matters 219
Pt. 5 Epilogue
Going to Buy Heifers: The Death of Jesse Parker 235
17 Why This Book Matters 237
List of Contributors 243
Index 251
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