Few persons realize the importance, necessity and far reaching results of proper range management. There was a time on the Western ranges when 2 or 3 acres of grass land would support a cow or horse. At the present time, 20 to 30 acres per head are needed on the same area. Had the stockman of those days applied some of the principles his neighboring farmers were applying, perhaps unknowingly, he would have maintained the productivity of the range and would have benefited the present generation in lower beef prices. However, let it be said in defense of the cattleman of that day, he was only human. Perhaps anyone seeing the wonderful and abundant forage which covered the West, would have been prompted with the same "get-rich-quick" motives and have exploited the range to its capacity and over and then left the future to care for itself. Years after the ranges were overstocked, state legislatures passed various laws concerning the grazing of stock on public ranges and finally, with the creation of National Forests, many ranges came under the more rational systems now being used by the Forest Service. In a way, it is safe to say that the methods of handling stock are still in their infancy and are still extensive although some of them are called "intensive."
Hensel, R. L.
"Carrying Capacity of Ranges in Western United States,"
Ames Forester: Vol. 5
, Article 8.
Available at: https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/amesforester/vol5/iss1/8