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Types Of Rangeland, Range Management

Rangeland is uncultivated land that is suitable for grazing and browsing animals. Rangeland is one of the major types of land in the world. (Other types are: forest, desert, farmland, pasture, and urban/industrial.) Rangelands are the principal source of forage for livestock, and they also provide habitat for a great variety of native plants and animals. Rangelands are also used by people for recreational purposes. Some plant species of rangelands are used in landscaping, and as sources of industrial chemicals, pharmaceuticals, and charcoal.

Generally, rangeland is not fertilized, seeded, irrigated, or harvested with machines. Rangelands differ in this respect from pasturelands, which require periodic cultivation to maintain introduced (non-native) species of forage plants. Pasturelands may also need irrigation or fertilization, and they are usually fenced. Rangelands were originally open, natural spaces, but much of their area has now been fenced to accommodate human uses, particularly livestock grazing. In addition, livestock grazing often utilizes rotation systems that require partitioning.

Rangelands were distinguished at the turn of the century by their native vegetation. Today, however, many rangelands support stands of introduced forage species that do not require cultivation.

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