The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968 Page: 45
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Range Deterioration in West Texas
the best informed undertook to describe the habitat and the charac-
teristics of certain varieties that were especially mentioned. In ten min-
utes he had been frequently interrupted, in a pleasant way, by the others,
his statements questioned, and his conclusions laughed at. Others under-
took to explain, but they, too, failed to impress the meeting with the
opinion that they understood the subject under consideration. At last
one stockman offered a resolution which was adopted without a dis-
senting voice and with a shout. It was in words as follows: "Resolved,
That none of us know, or care to know, anything about grasses, native
or otherwise, outside the fact that for the present there are lots of
them, the best on record, and we are after getting the most out of
them while they last.""'
It was this attitude that raped the range in thirty years. And it was
this same attitude that continued to reduce the productivity of one of
the best range areas in the world. When Don Biggers wrote his history
of the cattle industry in West Texas near the turn of the century,
he titled it History That Will Never Be Repeated: A Brief Review
of the Cattle Business and the Periods of Prosperity and Eras of Dis-
aster and Depression Through Which It Passed Since 1876. Bentley's
experience, and those of modern day range management technicians
have proved him wrong. Historically, the story of the western range
has been one of overstocking during good years, starvation during poor
ones, and a constant decrease in carrying capacity.
The fact that these cycles have been, and are being repeated on the
western range should be of concern to ranchers, businessmen, and
scientists today. Modern range management principles can help break
the recurring cycles and prevent further deterioration. However, there
is still a tendency to get the most out of the grass during the good
years without concern for the long range effect of the practice.
"Bentley, Cattle Ranges of the Southwest, 12-13.
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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 71, July 1967 - April, 1968, periodical, 1968; Austin, Texas. (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth117145/m1/63/: accessed January 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Texas State Historical Association.