Defossť, G.E. and R. Robberecht. 1987. Patagonia: Range Management at the end of the world. Rangelands 9:106-109.



Introduction. Cold, disagreeable winters, arid steppes with fierce winds at all seasons -- mixed with a bit of mystery, romance, and adventure -- is the image that arises in the minds of people when the word "Patagonia" is brought up. While many similarities in climate and vegetation exist between the semiarid lands of Patagonia and those of the western United States, as well as similarities in the early settlement of these regions, several key differences have led to contrasting philosophies in the management of their respective rangelands. In Argentine Patagonia, livestock breeding for high quality meat and wool to satisfy the demanding markets of Europe was foremost, and care for the land was secondary. In contrast, management of western United States rangelands has tended to emphasize appreciation of both livestock and vegetation. The cultural and ethnic backgrounds of the early settlers and the concentration of wealth, educational institutions, and political power in the Argentine capital, Buenos Aires, have played a major role in the development of Patagonia. This article examines some of the historical and cultural factors that have led to the development of these two divergent land-use philosophies and their effect on range management practices in the United States and Patagonia.