The great herd on the Arkansas [River] through which I passed ……. was, from my own observation, not less than 25 miles wide, and from reports of hunters and others it was about five days in passing a given point, or not less than 50 miles deep. From the top of Pawnee Rock I could see from 6 to 10 miles in almost every direction. This whole vast space was covered with buffalo, looking at a distance like one compact mass, the visual angle not permitting the ground to be seen. I have seen such a sight a great number of times, but never on so large a scale. -from “The Extermination of the American Bison” written by William T Hornaday in 1889.
The term ‘mob grazing’ means keeping large numbers of cattle on a small area of land and moving them frequently. The land then enjoys long periods of rest before the cattle return. It is mimicking how huge herds of wandering bison or wildebeest or caribou used to move through an area, trampling and grazing all around them before they departed, literally, for pastures new, leaving the grasses to grow, mature and reproduce once more. [Read more…]