Originally Posted by lynnvinc
Sounds like you have an ideal life close to nature. Not ideal. I also have my "day job"
I had a reading in my Environmental Anthropology class by Michael Dove, who is a specialist on grasslands. He doesn't consider them to be degraded areas of inutility (compared to forests), but sees forests and grasslands in a dynamic process, and both have traditionally been managed by peoples there. Here's a site I found to go along with that reading: http://www.marietta.edu/~biol/102/grasslnd.html
Also I saw a film years ago about "mule logging," which some ranchers/farmers who have good hardwood forests use so as not to harm the baby trees, and actually find it more profitable. They have the loggers go in there and cut down some mature trees, then they chain the log to a mule, who pulls it out to where the hauling truck is. I think they had some contrapion to hoist up the log onto the truck bed, also using mule power.
Both grasslands and woodlands can be degraded, though many wouldn't know they were just by looking.
It is my firm belief that the best environmentalists are, in fact, farmers and ranchers. Few others really have any idea what makes things thrive and what discourages them. Few would know what a persimmon tree looks like in the wintertime. Fewer still would know the difference between, say, often-toxic Johnson grass and Tall Fescue.