Historically, Trans-Pecos Texas consisted of large expanses of desert grasslands interspersed with succulents and shrubs. These unique and vibrant rangelands supported a wide variety of wildlife, and provided important grazing land for livestock operations. However, in recent history drought, climatic change, overgrazing by livestock, and suppression of grassland fires have changed these historic ecosystems. In many places, grasslands have been overtaken by shrub species, which results in decreased forage availability for both livestock and wildlife, and increased soil erosion. Additionally, commercial interests and development have had impacts on native plant species.
The good news is that west Texas landowners are concerned about restoring and protecting the native rangelands of this area, and we at Borderlands Research Institute are committed to helping landowners achieve this by providing research based solutions. Our rangeland restoration research is varied, but focuses on providing specific information that will allow landowners to make informed management decisions. Some of our research areas include:
Evaluating chemical and mechanical methods of grassland restoration
Studying and monitoring of west Texas endangered plant species
Analyzing the impact of wild-harvesting native plant species.