Defossť, G.E. and R. Robberecht. 1995. Future ecological and socio-economic strategies for the rangeland of Chubut Province, Patagonia, Argentina. 1995 International Rangeland Development Symposium Proceedings, pp 27-38.
Abstract. Chubut is one of the five Patagonian provinces
of Argentina. Since the beginning of this century, range management
has involved extensive sheep herding for wool and meat production.
Although range deterioration was evident by the late 1940s, it
was not until the late 1980s that coordinated programs were developed
to halt deterioration and seek alternatives in rangelands use.
Improved grazing systems and other rangeland management techniques
are now common. However, small ranch size and low wool prices
make many ranches in central Chubut economically nonviable and
unable to support ecologically sustainable development. Consolidation
of the small ranches into larger and more efficient operations
appears to be inevitable. Large ranches should be encouraged
to shift their emphasis from wool to meat production. Also, sheep
meat should be promoted with a special certification seal of Patagonia.
Larger ranches in western rangelands and riparian areas might
also incorporate other economic activities, such as tourism, wildlife
and agroforestry. In situations where rangelands are not economically
or ecologically suitable for sheep production, cooperative efforts
by conservation and government organizations should create a system
of ecological reserves for the conservation of native ecosystems
for the enjoyment of future generations.