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A range manager oversees a large plot of open land on which livestock graze. His job is to ensure the land produces an adequate amount of food for the domestic animals without compromising the well-being of the area’s wildlife. This delicate balance normally requires constant monitoring of the parcel to identify and rectify any imbalances.
To properly manage and maintain the land, a range manager is normally required to research the history of the plot. In order to successfully manage and shield the grazing areas and natural resources, he is generally expected to study the land’s usage history. If his research finds irregularities in its care that may compromise the wildlife or impair the growth of feed, steps are normally taken to bring it up to acceptable standards.
New threats to the range’s health and productivity may develop. If rodents or pests invade the land, steps to stop them are generally taken by the range manager. He is also normally expected to spot any poisonous plants or weeds that may affect the feed production and take action to eradicate the problem. If the range is in a high-risk area for fire damage, the manager normally researches ways to keep the land and foliage irrigated enough to be safe as well.
Regularly testing and analyzing the soil is customarily a common and frequent duty of a range manager. If the acidity or alkalinity is imbalanced, he is typically expected to correct it through additives. Overgrazing or weather conditions may require the range manager to build corrals or fences to redefine grazing areas so the soil can rejuvenate itself. He may also have to construct systems to impede soil erosion or build reservoirs to capture additional water for the livestock that may be eroding the soil through runoff.
Changes in the environment or in the nutritional needs of the livestock or wildlife often require the range manager to replace current forage plants. He may need to substitute them with sturdier varieties or ones more appealing to the animals’ tastes. In making these changes, the range manager is typically required to determine if the number of grazing animals needs to be adjusted or if there have been significant changes in the wild animal population.
Qualifications for a job as a range manager normally includes a bachelor’s or master’s degree in conservation science, environmental science, land management or range management. Knowledge of agriculture, wildlife habitats or grazing livestock is preferred. Experience in farming or raising livestock is desirable.
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