“Subdivisions versus Agriculture”: From False Assumptions Come False Alternatives

“Subdivisions versus Agriculture”: From False Assumptions Come False Alternatives A number of articles and opinions on livestock grazing in North America and its impact on biodiversity have appeared in Conservation Biology over the last 2 years. These discussions have a tendency to delineate the issue as a simple choice for conservationists between the lesser of two evils. Wuerthner (1994) c o u c h e d the argument as a discussion of w h i c h would destroy more biodiversity, rural subdivisions or livestock grazing and other forms of agriculture. He believes that subdivisions are less destructive. Knight et al. (1995) argued that livestock production and farming are less damaging to biodiversity than subdivisions. Curtin (1995) seemed to split the difference, preferring "low tech farming methods such as rotational grazing" to the "mechanization of agriculture and the relentless urbanization of the landscape." Implied in this dichotomy is the "ranching versus agribusiness and urbanization" argument, in w h i c h it is thought that wildiands and open space will be best conserved by family farmers and not urbanites and their commercial interests. In the latest contribution to this discussion, Brown and McDonald (1995) continue with this line of reasoning, defming the issue as pastoralism versus subdivisions, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Conservation Biology Wiley

“Subdivisions versus Agriculture”: From False Assumptions Come False Alternatives

Conservation Biology, Volume 10 (5) – Oct 1, 1996

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1996 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0888-8892
eISSN
1523-1739
D.O.I.
10.1046/j.1523-1739.1996.10051473.x
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

A number of articles and opinions on livestock grazing in North America and its impact on biodiversity have appeared in Conservation Biology over the last 2 years. These discussions have a tendency to delineate the issue as a simple choice for conservationists between the lesser of two evils. Wuerthner (1994) c o u c h e d the argument as a discussion of w h i c h would destroy more biodiversity, rural subdivisions or livestock grazing and other forms of agriculture. He believes that subdivisions are less destructive. Knight et al. (1995) argued that livestock production and farming are less damaging to biodiversity than subdivisions. Curtin (1995) seemed to split the difference, preferring "low tech farming methods such as rotational grazing" to the "mechanization of agriculture and the relentless urbanization of the landscape." Implied in this dichotomy is the "ranching versus agribusiness and urbanization" argument, in w h i c h it is thought that wildiands and open space will be best conserved by family farmers and not urbanites and their commercial interests. In the latest contribution to this discussion, Brown and McDonald (1995) continue with this line of reasoning, defming the issue as pastoralism versus subdivisions,

Journal

Conservation BiologyWiley

Published: Oct 1, 1996

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