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Visions upon the Land: Man and Nature on the Western Range Hardcover – August 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Island Press; 1st edition (August 1, 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155963183X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1559631839
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,158,828 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lowe On Books on April 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Karl Hess earned his college degrees, including a Ph.D., in ecology, economics and history. He worked in North Africa on a range rehabilitation project for two years, then spent 5 years working for the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. He also taught graduate courses in public land policy at New Mexico State University. He brings learning, experience, and expertise to the subject of the western range and its management. But more importantly, he brings a deep respect for the men and women who settled the West, and for their descendants who are now being squeezed out of their heritage by their own government. The issues of western range management are complex; Karl Hess explains how rangelands have been mismanaged in the past, and how they are being mismanaged today by those charged with restoring them to a healthy condition, specifically the BLM and the U.S. Forest Service. Visions Upon the Land traces the history of the arid West -- that part of the country west of the 100th meridian -- from the Civil War through the rapid expansion of the 1870's and 1880's, and up to the reforms of the 1930's, particularly the Taylor Grazing Act of 1934. Left to themselves, cattlemen take good care of rangelands, Hess believes. Common sense tells them not to overgraze. There are numerous examples of ranchers' wise stewardship of the land, including the large ranches in Pahrump Valley before WWII. However, two things happened that the cattlemen could not control. One was the introduction of sheep onto the common range, the other was the arrival of settlers under the Homestead Act. Severe overgrazing was the tragic result of too many people and too many animals on too little land.Read more ›
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By A Customer on January 20, 1999
Format: Hardcover
While i found the middle of the book somewhat slow (he used too much detail to reinforce his main points), the ending chapters are great. He makes a convincing case for local control over the range by people with a vested interest in the land, and against large scale technocratic solutions.
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