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Revolutionary theory about stopping desertification

Discussion in 'Resource Conservation - Water, Air, Earth, Etc.' started by Joel_BC, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. Apr 3, 2013
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    I guess that would be the only way... they go through, eat what's available, leave their offerings and move on. Sounds like a plan!
     
  2. Apr 3, 2013
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    Any one ever read any Louis L'amour? For those that may not be familiar w/him, he wrote westerns. And, in a couple of them, he had some of his characters talking about the vast herds of buffalo that used to roam over the plains. Some of them were saying that the land supported a ton of buffalo, so they saw no problem w/having a lot of cattle. But there was always someone that pointed out that the buffalo didn't stay in one spot for long, but were constantly on the move.
     
  3. Apr 3, 2013
    Joel_BC

    Joel_BC Super Self-Sufficient

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    You hit the nail on the head, Deb.
     
  4. Apr 3, 2013
    ~gd

    ~gd Lovin' The Homestead

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    Well You didn't watch very carefully because that question was asked and answered. Basically he claimed that the trick was to keep the herd moving they will eat what they can find and move along to the next food. Mean while they are turning the dry grass etc to mulch and leaving fertilizer and urine behind to start the cycle again. Frankly I think it is a bunch of BS except where there are wet and dry seasons. Remember He admitted he was wrong before and now he has the ONLY answer?~gd
     
  5. Apr 3, 2013
    ~gd

    ~gd Lovin' The Homestead

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    Except for the fact that the Bison would remain in one spot as long as the grazing was good When it it started to go bad they would then be on the move. Then it was move or die. I don't know if you remember 'The Old Ram' an Australian member who was running a small herd of sheep on a large spread of land. He would keep the herd together and move it to a fresh pasture when he thought it was grazed out. His place was a green spot in the Outback which covers a lot of Australia.
    Here in the USA the same is done with cattle in the high plains East of the rockies. The land is desert like. the cattle are grazed and then trucked to feed lots where they are held to be fattened and lose some of their muscle tone [makes them tough] before they are processed.
    The question that wasn't answered is what do they do for water because you can't have herds without water, like humans they can live a lot longer without food than without water. ~gd
     
  6. Apr 3, 2013
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    Well, ~gd, I did go back and re-watch it - just in case I didn't watch it carefully enough the first time.

    And, sure enough at about 9 1/2 minutes into it he certainly did refer to moving herds keeping the land healthy...but my take on it was that at that time he was referring to already healthy land.

    What I was asking about was what he intended the herds to eat when the land was already dessertified. He mentioned planned grazing several times without ever elaborating on it.

    Here's my point: If movement is the key they would have to move those critters through there at a dead gallop on the way to a rack full of hay and a water tank (like you noted) because there was no discernible feed or water in the pictures that were posted.

    And later, at 13:24 he said that 10,000 years of 'pasturists' created the dessertification problem by bunching and moving their animals. Kind of contradicted his own theory...

    I will say that I think his idea has promise, but it does and will require intensive management - somewhat akin to rotational grazing. Dung, urine and the aeration of land by hooves are all good things, but under the conditions he showed I think the animals would need supplemental food and water - that's all I was pointing out. Too little food and a whole lot of movement make for skinny critters.
     
  7. Apr 3, 2013
    moolie

    moolie Almost Self-Reliant

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    Interesting talk. I don't personally believe that humans have a true picture of how ecosystems and climate actually change over time, or how to "fix" it, but that's just me.

    I read a series of books about the Cariboo-Chilcotin region of BC a few years ago that were written by Richmond P Hobson Jr.--he was an American who moved to the area in the early 1930s to start up a large cattle ranch with a friend. During the course of his time ranching, he noted that the area that had started out as vast grasslands became dense forest over his lifetime. I believe he felt it was a natural process, but he was just an observer. Certainly his observations run a bit counter to modern theories about climate change, as do the prevailing beliefs during my childhood in the 1970s when we were all told that the earth was entering another Ice Age.

    I currently live on the Rocky Mountain foothills edge of what used to be the short grass prairie, and know a little about the bison herds and their migration patterns prior to the arrival of Europeans. The bison traveled in a wide circular migratory pattern throughout the short grass prairie of the US and Canada, followed by the groups of hunter-gatherer native people who relied on those animals. This pattern remained unchanging for thousands of years, based on the verbal history of those people groups and the evidence at human sites such as the Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump (a UNESCO World Heritage Site just south of where I live). If the pattern didn't change for those thousands of years, my personal assumption is that the ecosystem and climate also didn't change during that time.

    Since the arrival of Europeans, the introduction of non-native crops and animals (cattle and sheep) to the area, the short grass prairie has changed--not much of it remains. I've visited bits of it, and it is beautiful, but doesn't function in the old way anymore because the cycle of life has been broken by huge grain farms and large tracts of cattle ranches, so it doesn't contain all of the old plant species anymore. Humans have permanently changed what was, and there's no viable way to get it back.

    Non hunter-gatherers rely on changing the landscape (by farming and ranching, by damming and bridging, by building roads and communities, by overfishing and overhunting--in so very many more ways) in order to adapt it to their needs, and this process of change forever alters the land and its natural processes. The land only repairs itself when left to its own devices--as evidenced by the aftermath of events such as Chernobyl. We've done horrible things to the earth (Hiroshima & Nakasaki atomic bombs, Seveso chemical plant disaster, Bikini Island and other nuclear test sites) that we have no way to clean up and we can only hope the earth can repair itself over time.

    These are just some of the reasons why I personally believe that people really don't know anything or know what they are doing at all when it comes to the earth and its ecosystems and climate patterns. In the case of Allan Savory and the theories he postulates in this video talk, his life experience is short (compared to the history of the earth, and even the human impact on the areas where he grew up in Africa) and he himself acknowledges that he has made grave errors in the past.

    We as humans just don't have enough history on this planet to understand all the cycles the earth has gone through over time. And I think we'd be pretty arrogant to say that we have the "right" answers to how to change things for the better. Or that we even know what is "better" than what we currently have now.

    I personally think we'd all (as humans) be best off to tread lightly on the earth and not be so greedy for its resources--kinda the whole "self sufficient" mindset that this particular forum is all about, or my own family's version "living life in a sustainable fashion" :)
     
  8. Apr 3, 2013
    Denim Deb

    Denim Deb More Precious than Rubies

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    To go along w/what Moolie said, part of the problem, as I see it, is when man has introduced a non-native species to control a "problem". Sometimes it's one that he's created, other times it because of what he sees as a problem. And, in some cases, it's been an accident, or done just because.

    For example, the European starling is not a native bird. It was introduced into the US because someone wanted all the birds in Shakespeare's plays to be in the New World. And, in places, it out competes the native birds for nesting space.

    Multiflora rose was introduced as a rose root stock for hybrids, and also used to control erosion, as a food source for wild life and as a living fence. It's now been labeled as a noxious weed in many states.

    The Japanese beetle came in accidentally w/some iris bulbs. It's very destructive, and hard to get rid of.

    The gypsy moth was accidentally introduced when it escaped after being imported. The plan had been to cross it w/another moth to make a lesser grade of silk. This is another insect pest that's hard to get rid of.

    These are just a few of the problems that man has created. Then, once there is a problem, man tries to "fix" it by bringing in something else. At times, I'm reminded of the song, There was an old lady.
     
  9. Apr 3, 2013
    Wannabefree

    Wannabefree Little Miss Sunshine

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    hey, don't forget kudzu!!! :lol:
     
  10. Apr 4, 2013
    frustratedearthmother

    frustratedearthmother Sustainability Master

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    And the dreaded Brown Marmorated Stink Bug - from China.... I'm getting geard up to fight them off of my tomatoes again this year..grrrr!
     

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