Grazing and burning, essays from Bill Whitney

Every so often, I get strong feelings of aversion to cattle grazing.  One reason is because I see many denuded pastures and rangelands due to the limited knowledge a particular cattle rancher has in regards to grazing, ecology, and native grasses.  A lot of people do what I call “hobby grazing” (or complacent grazing), they […]

Annual Broomweed

Here in the Cross Timbers of North Central Texas, the native forb Annual Broomweed (Amphiachyris dracunculoides) increases dramatically every 3 or 4 years, especially during drought periods. (Currently, we need 25″ of precipitation to “get out of the drought”.)  Broomweed is usually found in pastures and prairies that are heavily grazed and never rested, overgrazed in […]

Juniper, “the plant we love to hate”

A lot of people in this region of the country have some commonly stated misconceptions about Juniper species, colloquially referred to as “cedar”, though there are no true cedar (Cedrus spp.) native to North America. The first misconception is usually along the lines of, “Juniper sucks water from the soil and is a water hog.” […]

The unbearable ubiquitousness of mowing

Mowing (noun) – that droning sound that disturbs what little peace and quiet is left in this fragmented world. Without a doubt, mowing, next to indiscriminate pesticide use, is one of the most over-used land management practices.  And much of it is done without any thought at all as to the changes it instantly imparts […]