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catbirdseat

Revegetation at Sunrise Camp

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Norman_Clyde said:

Speaking of devegetation of alpine meadows: there are former meadows in the high Sierra where sheep were allowed to denude the grasses for only a few seasons in the late 1800's, that are still dust bowls over 100 years later.

 

The same thing happened to much of Iceland; the Vikings who settled the island brought goats, who grazed down the grass; the dirt blew away, and what was rugged meadows is down miles of bare rock.

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Sheep and goats are especially bad as grazers go, because they pull up plants by the roots. Cattle and horses nip off the grass, but don't pull it up, so it can grow back. Greece was once completely forested. They cut all the oak trees down to build ships. Then they grew wheat. Eventually the soil deteriorated and they couldn't grow grain anymore. Then they grazed cattle. The forage became too poor for cattle. Finally they grazed goats. The goats left the land as the rocky semi-desert you see today. Same thing happened in the Middle East and in North Africa, for example, Carthage.

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Then the Greeks grew olives but Brutus came an took Olive Oil away. Then the Greeks grew democracy, and that didn't work either. smirk.gif

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Similar story on Easter Island. Now that's a cautionary tale if there ever was one. (article)

 

So what's the moral here? That human stupidity is universal?

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