The View from Bald Hill: Thirty Years in an Arizona by Carl E. Bock

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By Carl E. Bock

In 1540 Francisco Vasquez de Coronado brought the 1st household cattle to the yankee Southwest. Over the following 4 centuries, farm animals, horses, and sheep have created an incredible ecological scan on those arid grasslands, altering them in methods we will by no means recognize with walk in the park. The Appleton-Whittell examine Ranch within the excessive barren region of southeastern Arizona is an 8,000-acre sanctuary the place grazing has been banned given that 1968. during this lively account of thirty years of analysis on the ranch, Carl and Jane Bock summarize the result of their fieldwork, which used to be geared toward knowing the dynamics of grasslands within the absence of farm animals. The View from Bald Hill presents an intimate examine the average historical past of this distinctive website and illuminates many concerns bearing on the security and recovery of our nation's grasslands.

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Additional info for The View from Bald Hill: Thirty Years in an Arizona Grassland (Organisms and Environments)

Sample text

Sod-grasses and shorter bunchgrasses predominated in the western Great Plains, where bison once were abundant and where historic livestock grazing has changed things relatively little. The Sonoita Plain today supports a mixture of sod-grasses and bunchgrasses of varying heights. Our cross-fence data from the Research Ranch show that these grasses have responded to grazing as would be predicted based on their growth form and height (see Fig. ). Only two of the ten most common species are sod-grasses   5 Ungrazed cover/grazed cover Ein 4 Bba 3 Bcu 2 Lph Ars Bgr 1 Bhi Bch Hbe 0 0 10 Ber 20 30 40 Minimum height (cm) 50 60 70  .

Percent canopy cover of ten grass species in  grazed versus  ungrazed quadrats on and adjacent to the Research Ranch in . Grasses are ranked (from top to bottom) by increasingly positive responsiveness to absence of grazing. Bars are means with standard errors. (Redrawn from C. E. Bock and J. H. Bock ) species individually (Fig. ). , it was more common in grazed areas). As the graph shows, six of the ten species responded positively to livestock exclusion; one, hairy grama, showed no difference; and three—black grama and sprucetop grama in addition to curly mesquite—were more common in grazed areas.

Some few livestock doubtless grazed on the Sonoita Plain and perhaps even on Bald Hill between  and , during which time the region was variously influenced and occupied by Spaniards, Mexicans, and Native Americans. Cattle arrived to stay in , when most of the area became part of the San Ignacio del Babocomari land grant. Livestock became the dominant regional ecological force they remain to this day with the arrival of Anglo-American ranchers and the establishment of nearby Fort Huachuca, in .

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