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Ranching and Climate
Ranching is a culturally, historically, ecologically, and politically important livelihood in the Southwest. With more than two-thirds of the land area in Arizona classified as rangeland, any change in the ability of ranchers to continue their range activities could have considerable implications for the rate and direction of land use change, the balance of ecological and economic resource needs, the pace of urban development, and trends in water consumption and conservation.
To understand how ranching is impacted by climate variability and change, this research: a) compiles a profile of Arizona’s ranchers, with an emphasis on socioeconomic characteristics in the southeastern portion of the state; b) identifies the physical, social, and political-economic factors that make the livelihoods of ranchers vulnerable to climatic variability; and c) determines whether or not ranchers can mitigate their vulnerability with improved access to information on climate.