U.S. Forest Service Grazing and Rangelands

A History

978-1-58544-083-2 Paperback
6 x 9 x 0 in
288 pp. Illus.
Pub Date: 06/01/2000


The early luxury of free forage on unclaimed western public domain allowed the building of fortunes in cattle and sheep and offered opportunities to successive waves of settlement. But the western public lands could not last. The range became overgrazed, overstocked, overcrowded. Animals were lost, much range was irreversible damaged, and even violence occurred as cowmen, sheepmen, and settlers competed for the best forage.

Congress intervened by designating the U.S. Forest Service as the pioneer grazing control agency. The Forest Service's controls represent not only attempts to protect a resource but also a social experiment designed to prevent the monopolization of rangelands by large outfits and to encourage small enterprises.

The Forest Service has become the undisputed leader in bringing order, rationality, and economic use to the range resources under government supervision. The problems and continuing challenges of the task emerge in these pages.

Environmental History Series

Published by Texas A&M University Press