Skip to Main Content

The Center for Native Grasslands Management

Title: Ecological effects of ranching: A six-point critique
Year: 2003
Author(s): Freilich, J. E., Emlen, J. M., Duda, J. J., Freeman, D. C., Cafaro, P. J.
Source Title: Bioscience
Source Type: Journal
pages: 759-765
Original Publication: http://  
Abstract: Ranching is the dominant land use in much of the American West. Although a copious literature has examined the effects of various grazing practices on native ecosystems, we present here the idea that ranching has important impacts on the land independent of those caused by grazing itself. If biological conservation is to be successful on the western grasslands and shrublands, ranchers must be central to any plan. Focusing on the Great Plains of the United States, and on Wyoming in particular, we raise six points of concern that must be addressed before we can hope to restore or maintain native ecosystems on the range.