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Old 23rd May 2014, 07:05 AM   #81
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
.... to modify it for the Desert Tortoise you would do a similar adjustment that was seen for the grassland birds in Wisconsin, but instead of those nesting times, you would instead be using the activity and reproduction times associated with the desert tortoise to modify your timing. They are only active 5% of the time, spending 95% of the time in their burrows in a state similar to hibernation. So that gives you plenty of time to adjust. But that 5% is quite critical.
That 5% of above ground activity is spread out over much more than 5% of the year. They are active from mid-March (roughly) through mid-November (roughly), with peak activity levels from mid-April through mid-June and again from mid-September through mid-October. They are crepuscular, so they are underground all night, then emerge around dawn for a few hours, then back underground until early evening when they come out again for a few hours before heading back underground for the night. So, even during peak activity season, a tortoise might still be underground 2/3 to 3/4 of the time.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 08:39 AM   #82
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
As a general rule of thumb you would start with ~ 55% of forage removal as a base for determining availability. However, that would be one of those things you monitor and adjust. Certain things you may need to take more to prevent fire and/or because they are invasives you want to suppress, and certain other species you may want to take less. But that's your starting point and it won't be optimal. But from there your monitoring and adjustments of the plan will tend to bring you closer to optimal. Nothing's perfect, but it will be improving.
It seems that HM is considerably more labor intensive than other schemes. I'd be worried the extra cost would eat up the promised gains. How would you address such fears?

Quote:
Because more forage produced by better management means more available for both wildlife and grazing.
So you keep saying but that doesn't answer the question. Reportedly, the range was being over-grazed. Even if the amount of forage is increased, why would it be necessarily enough for more than 150 heads of cattle?

Quote:
HM won't magically create more rain. What it will do however is more effectively use that water. It will still remain dry arid conditions (except the riparian areas will become more wet and water will flow longer), but with more forage for the tortoise, and more protective cover to help prevent predation of the young and better soil structure for their burrows.
How was established that compacting the soil will be beneficial? Intuitively it would seem like compacted soil would make burrowing more difficult. Presumably you know of experiments showing that this is not true?
With what you say about plant cover, it sounds like you say that the landscape will become more grassland-like. Now, given that the tortoises do not spread into grassland, it seems odd that this would be beneficial.

Most importantly, since research suggest that livestock has a direct negative impact on the tortoises, how can we be sure that effects you claim will overcompensate for that?

Quote:
They don't. That requires man's intervention to force them to overgraze invasives and undesirable woody growth susceptible to fires, while not overgrazing the restored desirable native species returning. There are several principles that can be used, like for example; the "second bite" principle, and timing the impact to promote reseeding of desirables while timing impact to interrupt reseeding of invasives.
Basically using cattle instead of herbicide. Makes a lot of sense.
It seems, though, like this would require very close monitoring of the cattle. Is that even economically feasible?

Quote:
Not adaptive. Too restrictive. Could be more, but I'd have to study that more, and quite frankly not interested. I have spent way more time on this than I should have already. I have my own research too after all.
My understanding was that the restrictions would be imposed dynamically, each year based upon the range condition. To me, it sounded very much like what you proposed. Except of course, that it would be a yearly thing rather than the continuous real-time monitoring you propose.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 09:07 AM   #83
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Originally Posted by crescent View Post
That 5% of above ground activity is spread out over much more than 5% of the year. They are active from mid-March (roughly) through mid-November (roughly), with peak activity levels from mid-April through mid-June and again from mid-September through mid-October. They are crepuscular, so they are underground all night, then emerge around dawn for a few hours, then back underground until early evening when they come out again for a few hours before heading back underground for the night. So, even during peak activity season, a tortoise might still be underground 2/3 to 3/4 of the time.
Exactly and that's where holism is required. In spite of claims otherwise, that's why it is called holistic management. You would need to include specialists on the Tortoise. Also need specialists in soil science. Specialists in range management is a given. (Of course in our culture you need lawyers and accountants and other non-science specialists too.) Many different specialties apply. Typically a Phd scientist on say a tortoise would be somewhat limited in the knowledge of soil science. They may know what soils are most beneficial to the tortoise, but unlikely they have little idea how to change the soil structure to that ideal. Similarly even the soil scientist may not know how to change that soil structure with livestock. There are several fields that require specialized knowledge. It's impossible for one rancher to be expert in all those fields. Agricultural sciences, ecological sciences, even climatologists, each are highly specialized and knowledgeable, but it is a complex biological system, everything is connected. Even though the scientific and non-scientific fields are studied in a reductionist manner, the practical application of that knowledge needs holistic science...and in this case....holistic management.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:14 AM   #84
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Exactly and that's where holism is required. In spite of claims otherwise, that's why it is called holistic management. You would need to include specialists on the Tortoise. Also need specialists in soil science. Specialists in range management is a given. (Of course in our culture you need lawyers and accountants and other non-science specialists too.) Many different specialties apply. Typically a Phd scientist on say a tortoise would be somewhat limited in the knowledge of soil science. They may know what soils are most beneficial to the tortoise, but unlikely they have little idea how to change the soil structure to that ideal. Similarly even the soil scientist may not know how to change that soil structure with livestock. There are several fields that require specialized knowledge. It's impossible for one rancher to be expert in all those fields. Agricultural sciences, ecological sciences, even climatologists, each are highly specialized and knowledgeable, but it is a complex biological system, everything is connected. Even though the scientific and non-scientific fields are studied in a reductionist manner, the practical application of that knowledge needs holistic science...and in this case....holistic management.
I see how this works, we get all these specialists together to work out a plan and while they're busy arguing the last tortoise dies, problem solved.

ETA: Holistic management looks like movable goalposts are a feature not a bug.

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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:26 AM   #85
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Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
It seems that HM is considerably more labor intensive than other schemes. I'd be worried the extra cost would eat up the promised gains. How would you address such fears?
It can be more labor intensive, absolutely. Anybody thinking they can get into ranching (or any agriculture for that matter) and do it right, and not work their butt off is very naive. Labor costs most certainly are a factor in any management plan. HMPG is no exception.


Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
So you keep saying but that doesn't answer the question. Reportedly, the range was being over-grazed. Even if the amount of forage is increased, why would it be necessarily enough for more than 150 heads of cattle?
I think your stumbling block is this: Overgrazing doesn't increase the forage the animals eat. It actually reduces it. If it is being over-grazed then the flora is being stressed and not growing, thus not producing as much forage, thus supporting fewer cattle. So if highly stressed over-grazed land can support say 300 cattle, then that same land grazed properly can support at least 400-500, maybe more. Even 1 cow can over-graze where 100 wouldn't. It is a factor of time and timing not numbers of cattle. Think of it this way. plant a seed. In a week or so it sprouts with a single leaf. Graze it then and it produces what? A microscopic tiny amount of forage? And then because it is grazed so young it dies, never to regenerate? But maybe that seed if allowed to grow a few months might produce 5 pounds of forage. Graze it then and you could take 2-3 pounds of that growth without harming the plant, as long as after grazing the plant is allowed to recover, and the grazing left behind manure and urine to fertilize the new growth. So it is all about times and timing, not numbers of cattle. But numbers do affect some things. More numbers of cattle leave more manure. So if you time it right and are able to get more cattle, then more manure, and more vigorous regrowth. Time it wrong and you kill the plants and dead plants don't feed anything, cows nor wildlife. No forage means no animals, means no manure, means slow recovery. So you can take your feedback curve in a positive direction and increasing grazing, or you can take your feedback curve in a negative direction with reduced grazing. Whenever you see a "solution" to over-grazing being reducing the numbers of cattle, then you know they are on that negative feedback curve and don't understand how to generate the positive feedback curve.


Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
How was established that compacting the soil will be beneficial? Intuitively it would seem like compacted soil would make burrowing more difficult. Presumably you know of experiments showing that this is not true?
"Compaction" is too general a term here. Deep compaction is not good. But compression around the seeds can help dormant seeds to sprout (when water and nitrogen is present too). Animal impact can break the crust, compress the seed sprouting zone, and still not compress the deep zone all simultaneously. But it needs to be timed right and the cattle need removed after. What I was referring to in the first comment was the beneficial effects of soil structure seen in the rhizosphere.


Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
With what you say about plant cover, it sounds like you say that the landscape will become more grassland-like. Now, given that the tortoises do not spread into grassland, it seems odd that this would be beneficial.
I wasn't talking about the sod producing grasslands found in areas with more moisture. I was talking about non-sod forming desert bunch grasses and forbs. Tortoise do great in that type of ecosystem. It is nearly ideal.

Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
Most importantly, since research suggest that livestock has a direct negative impact on the tortoises, how can we be sure that effects you claim will overcompensate for that?
Actually the research is inconclusive, if the truth be told. But I'll admit that in some cases grazing can be detrimental. Other cases a positive affect. So that's where proactive monitoring is critical, a major part of every holistic managed grazing plan. Without the monitoring and adaptive parts, it will likely fail sooner or later.


Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
Basically using cattle instead of herbicide. Makes a lot of sense.
It seems, though, like this would require very close monitoring of the cattle. Is that even economically feasible?
Herbicide isn't free either. Cattle can be sold at a profit. The line between profit and loss is narrow though. That obviously needs carefully considered when making the plan. It can be done and it has been done, but not always easy. It might take some creative thinking and human ingenuity to pull it off. There are actually business models where animals are rented to both public and private concerns to provide biological invasives control. That might be one way to approach it. It also might be possible to generate enough profit just from the sale of beef. Maybe some combination of the above. And yes, VERY close monitoring is required.


Originally Posted by GnaGnaMan View Post
My understanding was that the restrictions would be imposed dynamically, each year based upon the range condition. To me, it sounded very much like what you proposed. Except of course, that it would be a yearly thing rather than the continuous real-time monitoring you propose.
Yes, that's correct. And of course the restrictions were arbitrary and ill advised, unless made in some context of exactly what type of grazing would be done. The restrictions are very likely spot on perfect in the context of continuous grazing, but wouldn't even be realistic in HMPG.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 10:46 AM   #86
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Originally Posted by tsig View Post

ETA: Holistic management looks like movable goalposts are a feature not a bug.
The goals are fixed, the path to the goals is what moves. And yes, that is a feature.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 12:02 PM   #87
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
But on a US scale or a world wide scale, any scale large enough to actually have any effect on AGW. Certainly not. Not even close. In the US we are still loosing soil at 10 times the rate it can be replenished and carbon levels in the soil are at all time lows. What was once vast areas of land with SOC levels 10% or more 3 feet or more deep is now 3 inches at 1% or less in many cases. It really is a crisis.
Evidence?
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Old 23rd May 2014, 01:50 PM   #88
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
The goals are fixed, the path to the goals is what moves. And yes, that is a feature.
WOW. So it isn't a plan at all, its a hail mary. Do whatever you have to and when it doesn't work blame the personalities involved but keep claiming that HM is the best plan that isn't a plan.

This of course is what make HM untestable and infinitely "claimable." (is claimable a word? If not I am coining it.)
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Old 23rd May 2014, 02:07 PM   #89
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
WOW. So it isn't a plan at all, its a hail mary. Do whatever you have to and when it doesn't work blame the personalities involved but keep claiming that HM is the best plan that isn't a plan.

This of course is what make HM untestable and infinitely "claimable." (is claimable a word? If not I am coining it.)
Yep.

Alternatively put - "If you don't get it right it's because you got it wrong", with no indication of a system for getting it right.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 02:58 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
WOW. So it isn't a plan at all, its a hail mary. Do whatever you have to and when it doesn't work blame the personalities involved but keep claiming that HM is the best plan that isn't a plan.

This of course is what make HM untestable and infinitely "claimable." (is claimable a word? If not I am coining it.)
Originally Posted by GlennB View Post
Yep.

Alternatively put - "If you don't get it right it's because you got it wrong", with no indication of a system for getting it right.
Which leads us back to the original observation that "holistic" = nonsense.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 04:31 PM   #91
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What kind of mental midget does it take to claim a plan that adapts to constantly changing variables is not a plan? Or that if those changing variables are based on differing fields of science and a systems thinking approach to understand its function is taken instead of just the sum of its individual parts, it isn't holism? Do you guys have even the slightest critical thinking capability at all? Do you even know what critical thinking is at all? Surely you guys are just trolling me to get some reaction? Right? You couldn't possibly be that clueless and be posting on a science forum? Right? Or not? Because if you guys are just playing some kind of idiotic trolling game just tell me please. I can bow out as gracefully as the next guy and leave you to troll the woo based homeopathy guys instead.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 05:45 PM   #92
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
What kind of mental midget does it take to claim a plan that adapts to constantly changing variables is not a plan? Or that if those changing variables are based on differing fields of science and a systems thinking approach to understand its function is taken instead of just the sum of its individual parts, it isn't holism? Do you guys have even the slightest critical thinking capability at all? Do you even know what critical thinking is at all? Surely you guys are just trolling me to get some reaction? Right? You couldn't possibly be that clueless and be posting on a science forum? Right? Or not? Because if you guys are just playing some kind of idiotic trolling game just tell me please. I can bow out as gracefully as the next guy and leave you to troll the woo based homeopathy guys instead.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 05:48 PM   #93
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What's with the personal attacks?

A scientifically sound process can be reproduced by following the set principles of the process. Want to change water from a solid to a liquid? Excite the atoms by applying heat! Want to reverse the process? Slow those atoms down! This can be done by anyone. The results are always the same. If holistic management is the name for "doing whatever needs to be done to grow grass depending on any and all variables" then it isn't a process or plan at all. It is just a catch all name for using land.

Step 1 - say you are doing holistic land management
Step 2 - do what ever you want
Step 3 - if successful then HM works. Otherwise you failed HM not the other way around.

Calling people mental midgets because you can't define your claim isn't going to change the facts that are plain for all to read.
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Old 23rd May 2014, 06:27 PM   #94
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Originally Posted by Biscuit View Post
What's with the personal attacks?

A scientifically sound process can be reproduced by following the set principles of the process. Want to change water from a solid to a liquid? Excite the atoms by applying heat! Want to reverse the process? Slow those atoms down! This can be done by anyone. The results are always the same. If holistic management is the name for "doing whatever needs to be done to grow grass depending on any and all variables" then it isn't a process or plan at all. It is just a catch all name for using land.

Step 1 - say you are doing holistic land management
Step 2 - do what ever you want
Step 3 - if successful then HM works. Otherwise you failed HM not the other way around.

Calling people mental midgets because you can't define your claim isn't going to change the facts that are plain for all to read.
Who are you quoting? Yourself? A strawman someone else made? And where did you find this 3 step planning process? Make it up yourself? Copied that strawman off someone else?

You can either think the mental midget applies to you or not as you see fit. I guess that would depend on if you are making this up yourself or getting it from elsewhere. But I can assure you no where in the holistic management process can you find those 3 steps. As far as me defining it? I have. Maybe you are not smart enough to understand, but that's on you. Even the most primitive of cultures and illiterates have had no problem consistently figuring it out, and gotten consistently positive results in the field from using it. If you can't...well...if the shoe fits ...
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Old 24th May 2014, 04:22 AM   #95
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
When rainfall is measured in ones of inches per year, there is no useful retention near the surface possible, which is why desert plants are so spread out, with very wide (or very deep) root systems, with water retention biological processes, and why crust is so important. Destroy or disrupt that crust, and the biosystem dies. Grazing has a tendency to do just that.
A beautifully simple summary.
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Old 24th May 2014, 05:18 AM   #96
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It looks like many here took their guitars and started to improvise.
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Old 24th May 2014, 05:49 AM   #97
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Originally Posted by aleCcowaN View Post
It looks like many here took their guitars and started to improvise.
???
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Old 24th May 2014, 07:31 AM   #98
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Who are you quoting? Yourself? A strawman someone else made? And where did you find this 3 step planning process? Make it up yourself? Copied that strawman off someone else?

You can either think the mental midget applies to you or not as you see fit. I guess that would depend on if you are making this up yourself or getting it from elsewhere. But I can assure you no where in the holistic management process can you find those 3 steps. As far as me defining it? I have. Maybe you are not smart enough to understand, but that's on you. Even the most primitive of cultures and illiterates have had no problem consistently figuring it out, and gotten consistently positive results in the field from using it. If you can't...well...if the shoe fits ...
No where in HM can you find any steps. That's the problem. I was being sarcastic with my 3 step process.

If you weren't calling me and everyone who disagrees with you mental midgets then the intent of your posts is as vague as HM is in its process. At this point you are just being rude and I have no idea why. If your claim had weight you could rest on that but obviously acting like dick and insulting peoples intelligence is your only argument. Welcome to my ignore list.
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Old 24th May 2014, 08:14 AM   #99
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Right biscuit. I get that you were purposely being sarcastic. That you are not actually as dumb as your post makes it seem. That was purposeful. I understood that all along. I would react better though if you would just be honest instead of purposely and sarcastically posting obtuse remarks. It makes it incredibly difficult to have a meaningful discussion when you and others start doing that. I would understand if for some reason HM caused some harm. But it doesn't cause harm. It is a way to improve land, ecosystems, and the lives of people in the community, not harm them.
GnaGnaMan asked some good questions and I did my best to walk him through it. It doesn't even matter if GnaGnaMan is convinced. At least it is being discussed in an intelligent manner and he is questioning in a manner consistent with critical thinking.
Your posts are not. Even though that was on purpose and you actually meant to post that way, it still doesn't change the fact that what you said is NOT intelligent and does not add anything at all to the subject. It was just a way to ridicule something you don't understand, instead of making an honest attempt to understand it like GnaGnaMan has.
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Old 24th May 2014, 08:17 AM   #100
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"If your claim had weight you could rest on that but obviously acting like dick and insulting peoples intelligence is your only argument. Welcome to my ignore list. "


^That's just about where I am now after reading the last few posts.

Holistic Management = whatever management works to achieve your objectives. If what you're doing doesn't work, then it isn't HM. If that doesn't make sense to you then you're not intelligent.

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Old 24th May 2014, 09:36 AM   #101
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
When rainfall is measured in ones of inches per year, there is no useful retention near the surface possible, which is why desert plants are so spread out, with very wide (or very deep) root systems, with water retention biological processes, and why crust is so important. Destroy or disrupt that crust, and the biosystem dies. Grazing has a tendency to do just that.
That's actually a perfect example of a place where reductionism fails and holism is needed. Taking a narrow reductionist view what you just wrote is true mostly. And an expert in crusts will be happy to show research and evidence of that. The part where it fails is in claiming there is no possible alternative or that the biosystem automatically dies. Better stated is that it will change. That change could be positive or negative depending on a whole host of variables including fields of science that the person studying crusts would not be aware of.

Crusts do provide some armor to the surface. But there are other ways more beneficial to the ecosystem, like having the water locked in living organisms. A cell wall of a biological life form will lock a significant amount of moisture. If that organism is near the surface, then the net effect is that moisture is also near the surface. The capacity of dry land to hold water near the surface then is largely dependent on the living biomass found there. So making a blanket statement like that, as if crusts are the only possible way to protect the land, is actually false. The armor can be in living organism. It can also be in protective mulch and biomass undergoing biological decay. It is true the land does need a protective cover or the biosystem dies, but that cover doesn't always have to be the crust.

A crust is very limited in the biology it can support. Other types of protective layers that are carbon based can support much more. The reason for this is that humus can hold the equivalent of 80–90% of its weight in moisture, and therefore increases the soil's capacity to withstand drought conditions. Also the living biology that evolved in desert has developed ways to hold water and withstand drought conditions as well. Combine the two and instead of being additive they have a multiplying effect, because it is that biology that creates the humus. The process of biological decay that makes the humus cycles nutrients that feed the biology, creating more biomass. That is also why it all ties back to climate science. Because that increased biomass is carbon based and humus is carbon based, and CO2 in the atmosphere is a primary driver of AGW. Photosynthesis is a way to remove it from the atmosphere. But it will oxidize and return to the atmosphere unless it is somehow locked in the soil and the biology living in the soil.

It may sound circular, because it is. It is cyclical in nature. Grazing incorrectly will increase the oxidation side of the cycle, grazing correctly will increase the sequestration side. It is all about timing. Break the crust at the wrong time and it is harmful, creating sand dunes and dust storms and oxidizing any carbon that was present. Break it and replace it with a biological armor instead, and it is healing.

People want evidence. OK here is evidence from the Karoo region of South Africa. Single digit annual rainfall, desert conditions. Side by side comparison.
HM in Karoo
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Old 24th May 2014, 09:56 AM   #102
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What you are describing is a revision of the environment to introduce essentially invaders. The primary task of the US public management sector (BLM, USFS etc) is to manage for the native species, not to optimize for non-native and invasive species.
Desert plants do quite well on their own with water management, which includes desert crust, among other things. Non-native grasses and large herbivores make that management much more difficult
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Old 24th May 2014, 10:08 AM   #103
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
What you are describing is a revision of the environment to introduce essentially invaders. The primary task of the US public management sector (BLM, USFS etc) is to manage for the native species, not to optimize for non-native and invasive species.
Desert plants do quite well on their own with water management, which includes desert crust, among other things. Non-native grasses and large herbivores make that management much more difficult
The primary reason invasives are a problem is because poor management has killed off the natives, leaving the niches open and easily invaded. But where native desert grasses and forbs are present and the healthy ecosystem functioning, invasives have a much more difficult time taking over.

ETA: The really cool thing is that native wildlife that feeds on those native grasses and forbs begin to return. So you have the possibility seeing a return of wildlife too, now that they have food to eat. That happened in Texas. In fact, some things had been extinct in Texas for so long that people had actually even forgotten they were native to Texas! Like Elk for example. The Government was actually trying to exterminate the invasive Texas elk! Completely forgot that Elk are native to Texas! Same basic conditions. Single digit rainfall, desert land. And for evidence....

Returning native elk on holistic managed West Texas Ranch

Here is another on the Holistic managed Circle Ranch.

Texas Elk
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Old 24th May 2014, 12:20 PM   #104
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Like Elk for example. The Government was actually trying to exterminate the invasive Texas elk! Completely forgot that Elk are native to Texas! Same basic conditions. Single digit rainfall, desert land. And for evidence....
How on earth do a couple of photos of elk constitute "evidence" for your ridiculous claim above?
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Old 24th May 2014, 02:07 PM   #105
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
How on earth do a couple of photos of elk constitute "evidence" for your ridiculous claim above?
Well it's evidence of elk returning on Texas holistic managed land! You want evidence of something else? You want evidence that the Texas legislature in 1997 declared Elk a non-game (exotic) animal? Or perhaps you want evidence Texas Parks and Wildlife Department tried to shoot out all Elk on property they managed? (A practice they stopped when the protests from ranchers brought to light the policy was wrong) What do you mean? I just posted pictures of Elk on Holistic managed land in Texas as evidence the Elk began to return there. What's ridiculous about the claim Elk are in Texas again? Or maybe you need evidence of Elk being native to Texas?
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Old 24th May 2014, 04:50 PM   #106
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Talk about moving goal posts!

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
What's ridiculous about the claim Elk are in Texas again?
Here was your original statement. Do the bolded parts mean the same thing to you?

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Like Elk for example. The Government was actually trying to exterminate the invasive Texas elk! Completely forgot that Elk are native to Texas!
Good heavens, you could be a bigfooter with a move like that, not to mention your unqualified "The Government". Rhetoric like that befits people wearing tin foil hats.

Now let's break down the most likely scenario assuming these facts you claimed are true:

1) The Texas Legislature voted to list elk in Texas as exotic game in 1997.
2) The TPWD had a plan to eradicate elk on their land.

Your explanation is that wildlife biologists "forgot" that elk were native to Texas. Seriously? That's your explanation? How about something more plausible, like this:

Elk were/are widely ranched in Texas, and biologists were concerned about genetic mixing between the intensively bred "high fence" ranched elk and the free-ranging animals (themselves descended from Rocky Mountain elk [Cervus canadensis nelsoni] brought in to replace the former native and now extinct subspecies C. c. merriami.)
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Old 24th May 2014, 05:01 PM   #107
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Don't be silly. Gubmint biologists and scientists always forgit stuff that's documented in the literature because they hate holistic stuff and don't want it to succeed.
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Old 24th May 2014, 06:56 PM   #108
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Originally Posted by The Shrike View Post
Talk about moving goal posts!



Here was your original statement. Do the bolded parts mean the same thing to you?



Good heavens, you could be a bigfooter with a move like that, not to mention your unqualified "The Government". Rhetoric like that befits people wearing tin foil hats.

Now let's break down the most likely scenario assuming these facts you claimed are true:

1) The Texas Legislature voted to list elk in Texas as exotic game in 1997.
2) The TPWD had a plan to eradicate elk on their land.

Your explanation is that wildlife biologists "forgot" that elk were native to Texas. Seriously? That's your explanation? How about something more plausible, like this:

Elk were/are widely ranched in Texas, and biologists were concerned about genetic mixing between the intensively bred "high fence" ranched elk and the free-ranging animals (themselves descended from Rocky Mountain elk [Cervus canadensis nelsoni] brought in to replace the former native and now extinct subspecies C. c. merriami.)
They are concerned about mixing the genetics, so the solution is to extirpate the free ranging herds? Really?
So it is your contention that they knew Elk were native to Texas all along, but declared it an invasive species and attempted to exterminate it from public ranges because it wasn't genetically pure? That way the only Elk left in Texas would be intensively bred "high fence" ranched elk?

Nice theory, but to buy that theory I would have to believe they lied on purpose to include the Elk with the Aoudad extermination project. That they actually knew Elk used to be common in all parts of Texas and not just the tiny (now extinct) Merriami population in the mountains in the corner of the state. That they would lie to purposely use government resources to exterminate a known native species seems a very outlandish conspiracy theory to me. I just can't believe it.

Incompetence in Government is pretty easy to find, but a conspiracy at that level? Hard to believe.
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Old 25th May 2014, 04:54 AM   #109
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First, thanks for not owning up to your unscrupulous discussion tactics in which I caught you red-handed. When people stay in character it's easier for us mental midgets to make sense of the world.

Next, you are confused about the elk in Texas. If we take as true your statement that the TPWD had an eradication program for elk on their lands, then I am suggesting that the program was most likely targeted at herds comprised of individuals escaped or released from high-fenced ranches. The point would be to keep native elk from mixing with what would essentially be domesticated stock. If, as you also contend, that this plan was endorsed by the state legislature, then it was public knowledge and there is no conspiracy. Capice?
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Old 25th May 2014, 05:26 AM   #110
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Shrike,
I have no problem with your posts. Even when we disagree, I don't think you are trolling. I was angry about certain other people who were using ridicule and sarcasm as a tactic instead of critical thinking.
The whole point of the little side bar from Texas was that when land management improves, even land management based on livestock, wildlife also benefits. Sometimes the benefits are so large that unexpected things happen that haven't been seen in living memory.
In Africa on Savory's land he donated as an educational project, streams and rivers started flowing year round that had always dried up every dry season. That brought back biosystems and wildlife that hadn't ever been seen, like wetland reeds and resident Egyptian Geese, species of fish and birds that eat fish. A cascade of effects the would have been impossible to imagine at the beginning of the project. In Texas it helped bring back free ranging Elk and bighorn sheep that had been absent for years. I predict that in Nevada it could have similar benefit to the ecosystems, like restoring a Joshua Tree Savanna that hasn't been seen except in tiny remnants in living memory. Sure Joshua trees are still there and the desert grasses and forbs are still scattered around. But the functioning system taken as a whole? Been gone so long, people are beginning to even question it ever existed at all. But restore that with good management and I predict a huge increase in Tortoise, desert bighorn and mule deer populations, maybe even a return of Pronghorns in numbers? Return of Beaver? Certain birds? Hard to predict exactly which wildlife would benefit the most. But wildlife does need to eat, even desert wildlife. So land management with livestock that increases the forage available will benefit wildlife too.
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Old 25th May 2014, 10:16 AM   #111
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Hunting in Texas is big business, since there is so little public land. Landowners charge big bucks, to the point where elk meat would cost the equivalent of around$50per pound if bought outright.
The legislation RBF talks about was brought about by the high-fence ranchers to keep their lucrative business going. Exotic species can be hunted year round, game animals cannot. The breeders and game ranchers won, under the umbrella of bighorn and elk competing for water in the desert Guadalupe area. Since the Bighorns were meing managed for comeback after the major die-offs due to unregulated hunting and succumbing to diseases brought in by domestic sheep and other domestic herd animals.It has nothing to do with grazing, holistic or otherwise. It has to do with money.
The game ranchers did not want DFG managing their herds, and telling them when they could allow hinting.
It was purely a money talks situation.
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Old 25th May 2014, 11:07 AM   #112
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
Hunting in Texas is big business, since there is so little public land. Landowners charge big bucks, to the point where elk meat would cost the equivalent of around$50per pound if bought outright.
The legislation RBF talks about was brought about by the high-fence ranchers to keep their lucrative business going. Exotic species can be hunted year round, game animals cannot. The breeders and game ranchers won, under the umbrella of bighorn and elk competing for water in the desert Guadalupe area. Since the Bighorns were being managed for comeback after the major die-offs due to unregulated hunting and succumbing to diseases brought in by domestic sheep and other domestic herd animals.It has nothing to do with grazing, holistic or otherwise. It has to do with money.
The game ranchers did not want DFG managing their herds, and telling them when they could allow hinting.
It was purely a money talks situation.
Actually, that's a conspiracy theory I find quite plausible, every part of it makes complete sense. Poorly managed livestock can spread disease to wildlife and I do remember reading years ago that certain "free range" sheep were infecting Big Horns. It also makes sense that high fence game ranches would want to sell Elk Hunting Packages without restriction. It's even plausible that somehow they could influence some DFG personnel into helping by convincing them that competition between Elk and Bighorns would slow Big Horn recovery. That type of incorrect reductionist thinking became quite prevalent in the 90's in many government management agencies. So no free ranging elk because the DFG helped exterminate them would mean hunters only option would be the high fence ranches. That shoving money at the issue could sway legislature goes without saying. That legislature wouldn't know that Elk actually are native, while the people pushing the legislature cynically did know, is possible. Everything you just said is probably true. Thanks for the post.
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Old 25th May 2014, 12:18 PM   #113
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There is no attempt at "extermination" of free range elk. There just is no closed season on them. The ranchers and guides make a killing. I did mention that there. Is very little public land in Texas? So where does holistic grazing come into play?
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Old 25th May 2014, 03:08 PM   #114
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Originally Posted by rwguinn View Post
The legislation RBF talks about was brought about by the high-fence ranchers to keep their lucrative business going.
Ha ha - I had it backwards! Every time I worry that I might be getting too cynical all I have to do is look to Texas and it's obvious that I'm not cynical enough.
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Old 25th May 2014, 09:17 PM   #115
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
...In the US we are still loosing soil at 10 times the rate it can be replenished and carbon levels in the soil are at all time lows...
I can see why you think compaction by grazing animals is beneficial.
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Old 26th May 2014, 06:30 AM   #116
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
I can see why you think compaction by grazing animals is beneficial.
Actually, we're still waiting for a link for that claim. It was conveniently ignored.
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Old 26th May 2014, 06:52 AM   #117
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Originally Posted by EHocking View Post
I can see why you think compaction by grazing animals is beneficial.
It can be beneficial and it can be harmful. It depends. When it is done right the benefit is primarily in seed germination.

But again, you can't make blanket statements that animal impact is always good or always bad. You have to know what you are doing.
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Old 26th May 2014, 06:11 PM   #118
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Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
This is a good time to teach you how to use critical thinking skills to pick apart a biased propaganda blog.
No one seems to have addressed these "critical thinking skills" that you used so here goes, Red Baron Farms .
Firstly calling any blog "a biased propaganda blog" without evidence is evidence of a lack of critical thinking skills.

True statement:
Quote:
(To put that claim in perspective, note that the Earth’s oceans and plants currently absorb only half of the 7 billion metric tons of carbon that human activities release into the atmosphere each year.)
Oceans and plants also absorb carbon from other sources that is released into atmosphere. The estimated total absorption by vegetation alone of all of the carbon in the atmosphere (human and other sources) is ~ 123 PgC/yr.

The point is that it is the 7 billion metric tons of carbon that human activities release into the atmosphere each year that is driving global warming. So we have to double the absorption by plants (and maybe oceans) to that value to stop global warming.

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
No, Not necessarily more meat animals.
So some people at the TED talk praise Savory’s speech and you think that quotes from them are comments from the blog author?
Quote:
Savory’s speech quickly attracted praise ...
The takeaway was clear: If you’re interested in saving the planet, sharpen your steak knives.
It seems logical that more grassland = more grazing animals = more meat. After all farmers are unlikely to raise cattle for charity!

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Completely false.
I would say partially true - the author is talking about Savory’s claims which should include claims before that "holism" label was added.

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Oh, you mean...snipped irrelevant text....
No it means that
Quote:
It’s no wonder that one ecologist—who was otherwise sympathetic toward Savory—flatly stated after the TED talk, “Savory’s method won’t scale.”
as in this other blog entry
Alan Savory, Freeman Dyson and Soil Sequestration

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Extreme example of ignorance.
Extreme example of fact:
Quote:
Cows live up to 20 years of age, but in most grass-fed systems, they are removed when they reach slaughter weight at 15 months. Cheating the nutrient cycle at the heart of land regeneration by removing the manure-makers and grass hedgers when only 10 percent of their ecological “value” has been exploited undermines the entire idea of efficiency that Savory spent his TED talk promoting.
Cows are removed from grasslands when they have generated only 10 percent of their ecological “value”.
But a bad conclusion because they are replaced by more cows!

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
No. Not grassland.
No. Not grassland- the subject of the quote is deserts, Red Baron Farms !
This is a continuation from
Quote:
Further weakening Savory’s argument for the wholesale application of holistic management to the world’s deserts is his distorted view of desert ecology. ...
Basically Savory did not distinguish between degraded land and thriving desert ecologies in his speech.

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
Correct.
This is Savory blaming the failures to reproduce his methods not on any "development phase" but on management:
Quote:
In 1990, Savory admitted that attempts to reproduce his methods had led to “15 years of frustrating and eratic [sic] results.” But he refused to accept the possibility that his hypothesis was flawed. Instead, Savory said those erratic results “were not attributable to the basic concept being wrong but were always due to management.”
If a method is valid then results from it will support it - even when it is not fully developed.
This is not Edison's light bulb that either worked or did not work.
This is more like solar panels that always worked but at started with low efficiency.

Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
And there is the clincher.
And there is the sentence:
Quote:
There’s no such thing as a beef-eating environmentalist.
The wide scale destruction of forests in South America to raise cattle means that an dedicated environmentalist would not eat beef.
If Savor's idea includes world wide destruction of desert ecologies then it is just as bad for the environment.

Abandoning critical thinking skills to attack the author on some imagined basis is not good. It would be better to point out who he is:
Quote:
James E. McWilliams is the author of Just Food: Where Locavores Get It Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly and a professor of history at Texas State University.
A historian is not the best person to blog about a TED talk on agriculture!

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Old 26th May 2014, 06:22 PM   #119
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More about that talk: TED Talk Teaches Us to Disparage the Desert
Quote:
Allan Savory takes it further than that: He wants to eradicate deserts just because they exist.
The points the author brings up are:
* "The notion that bare, unvegetated soil in the American desert is an evil to be avoided flies in the face of everything we know about desert soil science."
* "The idea that grasses must be eaten by livestock to perform a valuable ecological function is similarly absurd."
* "Savory's contention that the "algal crust" he shows developing on arid land soil is "the cancer of desertification" is unscientific in the extreme."

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Old 26th May 2014, 08:21 PM   #120
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Originally Posted by The Central Scrutinizer View Post
Actually, we're still waiting for a link for that claim. It was conveniently ignored.
Originally Posted by Red Baron Farms View Post
It can be beneficial and it can be harmful. It depends. When it is done right the benefit is primarily in seed germination.

But again, you can't make blanket statements that animal impact is always good or always bad. You have to know what you are doing.
Actually, I was just poking fun at the spelling mistake in your post . . .
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