Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Herbivores will save us...

After saving the skull and extracting a few bits from what was left of the old girl, I buried the rest of her remains where she was found.  She spent her last days barely a quarter mile from my house.  Benita was truly a gift to me.  From day one I fell in love with Texas Longhorns.  I was called to this spot on earth and she directed my path.  I gave her a fitting burial because,
"A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast:"

Many people (especially those who are new to the desert) don't understand the importance of livestock to a dying landscape.  Brewster County made the huge mistake of voting out free range back in the early 80's based on misguided information and no doubt a political agenda - the votes cast were less than 400 to decide the fate of 6,193 square miles of land.   History has shown us that overgrazing by thousands of cattle can do great damage to grasslands.  But a managed herd or a small herd that leisurely ranges and grazes actually brings new live to a dying desert.  The land can only come back to life with the help of herbivores.  It simply will not come back on it's own.  The areas where my longhorn buddies used to frequent out here have benefited from their persistence to feed and fertilize.  Hopefully, Ben and Bud will help bring the land around TFL back to life to help prove this point.  53,61,58,0,W,0 

11 comments:

Teresa Elliott said...

Good post.

remmij said...

Benita @ rest - her earthly remains couldn't be in a more suitable place. She may have wondered many times what took you so long to show up, but then you appeared at just the right time. You clearly are on a righteous path.

C.M. Mayo said...

Thanks for sharing that TED Talk video, it is a jaw-dropper.

Bruce S said...

May she rest in peace and my you have peace as well. You are a good man, John.

pamit said...

Good youtube talk by Allan Savory; thanks for that. Did you notice he said "fossil fuels cause climate change"? --Pam in the desert that is Colorado

Carlos said...

There are plenty of native/wild herbivores that would increase the amount of vegetation out there in the Terlingua area. Prior to the introduction of non-native species ie domesticated cattle, sheep, goats and equines, that area was considered grassland and not desert. It became a desert within a few centuries after the Europeans brought in the livestock and let the destroy the balance that was there before their arrival. It'll take centuries of careful management to re-establish the habitat to all its former glory.

Cindy Talbot said...

Tears still come when Benita is mentioned. She was a gift to you and you were a gift to her. The rest of us just had the pleasure of watching.

John Wells said...

John:
Thanks for the Allan Savory talk on TED. I sent this off to friends & family and received many thank yous. Don't be shy in publishing it again & again.
We might get down your way next month.
JBW

ezrablu said...

This post takes me back to your first days and your old friend Goldie. Our blessings come in many forms. RIP Benita.

David Hooper said...

Great post today John. A bit of the past, a bit of the future and an introduction to the work of C.M. Mayo. Home run!

Allen Hare said...

I miss Benita. So glad we all got to know her a little bit through you. A bit of grace and calm in a stormy world.