Front cover image for Welfare ranching : the subsidized destruction of the American West

Welfare ranching : the subsidized destruction of the American West

"Welfare Ranching: The Subsidized Destruction of the American West tells the story of a vast region, sparsely populated by people but tragically battered by an activity many of us have mistakenly believed is benign. In fact, the production of livestock is incompatible with the ecological health of much of the lands in the West. Aridity is chief among the factors limiting compatible uses of western landscapes. Over decades, the placement of exotic, water-hogging, ill-adapted livestock on western lands has changed diverse native plant communities into monocultures of weeds: turned perennially flowing creeks into dry stream beds: relegated large predators such as wolves and grizzly bears to only the most remote wilderness areas: and forced many wildlife species to the edge of extinction." "This book shows the real West, not the one seen in postcards or imagined from romantic movies and novels. With photographs and essays, it shows not only the most shocking cases of overgrazing, but also the subtle changes that signal ecological disruption on a massive scale. Welfare Ranching explains the cultural and historical causes of the wasting of the West and offers a vision of the renewal that is possible if citizens are willing to demand that their government shift land management priorities to serving the public and natural good, rather than facilitating private gain. Ultimately, this book points the way to the greatest opportunity yet remaining for ecological restoration and wildlife protection in this country."--Jacket
Print Book, English, ©2002
Island Press, Washington, D.C., ©2002