AskDefine | Define rangeland

Dictionary Definition

rangeland n : lan suitable for grazing livestock

Extensive Definition

Rangeland refers to expansive, mostly unimproved lands on which a significant proportion of the natural vegetation is native grasses, grass-like plants, forbs, and shrubs. Rangeland also consists of areas seeded to native or adapted introduced species that are managed like native vegetation. Rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundra, alpine communities, coastal marshes, and wet meadows. Rangeland is generally arid, semi-arid, sub-humid or otherwise unsuitable for cultivation.
In the United States, around 399 million acres (1,610,000 km²) of rangeland are privately owned. The Bureau of Land Management manages about 167 million acres (676,000 km²) of publicly owned rangeland, with the United States Forest Service managing approximately 95 million acres (380,000 km²) more. Ranchers may lease portions of this public rangeland and pay a fee based on the number and type of livestock and the period for which they are on the land. Many western states have open range laws. In these states, all land, both public and private, is designated as open range unless it is within city limits. In open range, it becomes the responsibility of the land owner to keep unwanted livestock off their land and the livestock owner is not liable for any damage caused by the livestock.
In Kenya, Rangelands make up for 75% of the land surface area,and are largely inhabited by nomadic pastrolists who are largely dependent on livestock. This movement often brings along an incursion of different diseases with the common one being the rinderpest virus in the Kenyan wildlife population from the Somalian ecosystem.
Rangeland is a prominent feature of rural Canada. A provincial jurisdiction, administration and policy regarding range use varies across the country. Like many Commonwealth countries, public tenures on crown land for the purpose of range activities is common in geographically compatible areas. Reconciling the economic needs of ranchers and the need for environmental conservation is one of the primary themes in modern range discourse.
In Australia, pastoral leases may be held over crown land and beef cattle or sheep grazed on large holdings called Sheep stations or Cattle stations.
The Society for Range Management ( is an international organization of natural resource scientists, researchers, educators, land management agency officials, and public and private land managers devoted to the conservation and sustainable stewardship of the world's diverse rangelands. The Society is open to anyone engaged in or interested in any aspect of the study, management, or use of rangelands, and publishes both a scientific journal, Rangeland Ecology and Management, and Rangelands, a journal of practical applied ecology, perspective and contemporary rangelands issues.
rangeland in Catalan: Devesa
rangeland in German: Dehesa
rangeland in Spanish: Dehesa
rangeland in Extremaduran: Hesa
rangeland in Icelandic: Afréttur
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