The rangelands of Iran are classified three
classes according to vegetation cover.
|I)Herbs dominant summer grazing
These rangelands totaling 14 mil. ha. occur in the cooler high altitude regions of the country.
they are grazed during the summer months and the vegetation cover is in general a combination of
soft herbs and grass species.
These rangelands are in fairly good condition
II) Shrub dominant winter grazing areas:
These rangelands comprise about 60 mil.ha. occur at low elevations in the warmer regions of
the country. they are grazed during winter.
Due to overgrazing its condition is just fair.
III) Desert grazing areas:
These grazing areas comprise about 16 mil. ha. and occur in the desert regions of the
Because of harsh climatic factors and over grazing the rangelands of this region are
generally in poor and unsatisfactory condition.
IMPORTANCE AND BENEFITS OF
Range vegetation cover has many benefits including the following:
1) Conservation of soil and protection from erosion.
2) Maintaining the drological balance
and purifying the environment.
4) Provision of wildlife habitats
5) Providing forage and fodder for villager's and nomad's livestock.
6) Through the grazing animals providing a part of the protein requirements of the country.
7) Producing medicinal herbs and other products for human use.
It is not unrealistic to claim that the supply of agricultural and
livestock products in Iran is inextricably linked with the maintenance od viable rangelands. the
fragility and importance of the rangelands is emphasised by the fact that the formation of a 1
cm. layer of soil takes from 100 to 800 years.
STATUS OF RANGELANDS OF THE COUNTRY:
Currently the rangelands of the country produce about 10 million tonnes tonnes of grazable
dry matter per year which is sufficient for feeding 50 million animal units for 100 days. By
implementation of suitable range rehabilitation programmes and the adoption range and fodder
production can be increased by at least 35 mil. tones of usable dry matter per year which is
almost equivalent to the traditional flock and herd feed requirements.
The difference between the actual and the
potential production is due to past policies lack of coordination, incorrect utilization,
and destruction of rangelands by cultivation and conversion of these to the low yielding
RANGE MAMAGMENT AND LAND TENURE
|As mentioned before the majority
of the rangelands of the country are not in good condition, therefore further deterioration of
these rangelands could cause a serious threat to the productivity of the country. To implement
the gangland management practices which are already proven, will require fundamental changes to
land tenure. the main role, for implementing the practices, has to be given to the livestock
owners and laundress.
It means longterm lease of the rangelands
to the nomads, livestock owenrs and others who are holding the grazing permission and are
willing to implement the approved range management plans under the supervision of the Range
Department of the Forest & Range organization.
Cadastral survey and delineation
This means identifying the person who has the legal right to utilize a specified gangland
and defining the boundaries of that land.
Their rights will be settled and assured for all puropses. the grazing license holders will
be expected to in vest and participate in range rehabilitation programmes. Grazing licenses
will be issued by FRO.
Preparation of range management plans
After completion ot the cadastral survey and delineation process the next step will be
preparation of range management plans for those who are holding grazing licenses. It is
intended that not only the range and climatic conditions which influence productivity will
be considered, but also the aims of the land users. that is, the programmes will be
developed with full participation by the land users.
In addition to the above mentioned factors
the preparation of a sound and feasible range management plant, will take into account all
possible related points to achieve the best possible level of production in the particular
range site. This may incited the implementation and adoption of suitable range
rehabilitation and pasture establishment programmes which has already been designated and
included in the plan document. These range management plan documents will have to be
assessed and approved by the Range Department of the Forest and Range Organization..
Formulation of a contract between the
F.R.O an the land user
|After preparation of mutually
satisfactory management plans the government will lease the land to the landuser for 30 years
and draw up an official agreement/contract between the government agency and the land user (the
Range Offices and the plan administrators).
Although the ownership of the land will, however, remain with the Government, the lease deed
will be transferable from the land user to his heirs.
The counteract will remain valid till
evidence of an infringement. the observance of the terms of reference of the plan and the
contract provisions are essential for both the Government and the land user.
At present the responsibility for planning
and formulating policies for the rangelands in the country is legally delegated to the Range
Department of the Forest and Range organization.
The skillful and experienced experts from the
Range Department together with the expeienced provincial based officers, formulate the
gangland management policies. these are based on the existing socioeconomic and
environmental conditions and on internationally gained expire ce. The Range Department is
also responsible for the lollow up implementation of these approved policies.
Rangeland users will undertake range
rehabilitation activities only when they are assured that either the land belongs to them or
they have the right to use it for an indefinite period.
We believe that without the contribution and
participation of livestock owners, nomads, and herdsmen the efforts to implement the range
rehabilitation programmes will be relatively ineffective.
Since the improvement of rangelands, in most
cases, require a long span of time along with a large investments, therefore the majority of
grazers either can not afford of do not have a tendency to invest in such condition.But with
partial governmental support and technical advice and know of the range experts, the
improvement in shorter span can be tolerate with larger benefits for the future. Accordingly
leases/graziers who are willing to take-up range improvement will do so due to result
oriented achievements. For better relations, these people will be provided with urgent need
in respect of temporary feeds and etc. for their livestock at subsidized rates and the same
will be part of the requirements.
Direct seeding and hoeing/sowing of
quality range species
The plant density of the palatable and valuable range species has decreased, consequently
the range condition has declined. Therefore sowing the seeds of adaptable range species will
be an integral part of many range progress.
On the flat plains and areas with very low
slopes direct seeding with tillage is an appropriate method.
On steeper slopes and mountainous rangelands,
minimal disturbance of the soil surface is important, hence seeds are drilled or hoeing
& sowing methods are used.
Degraded rangelands with low vegetation cover have high surface run off. this results in
soil erosion and salutation of the rivers, dams, cheekdams and etc... It may also result in
floods causing loss of human life, plantations, livestock and crops. this run off could have
been well utilized for the development of plantation and forage, if there had been adequate
surface cover with appropriate engineering treatments e.g. contour furrows, ditches, and
pitting along with seeding.
Water facilities for livestock
Supplying potable water to livestock is important to reduce mortality rates and increase the
production In addition it results in a more even distribution of livestock on the rangeland
and hence reduces overall grazing pressure.
Improvement of water supplies is carried out
by constructing water storage tanks, improving springs, providing troughs, drilling shallow
wells and the installation of wind mills.
Restpration of pasture on degraded
Over a long period of time, shifting cultivation within the rangelands has exacerbated
soil erosion by decreasing the perennial component of the vegetation this has occurred
without obtaining viable crop yields and forcing the farmes to abandon the area. the
degraded and abandoned area. duet to lack of vegetation cover, is exposed to erosion causing
irreversible loss to national economy.
In some areas of low rainfall, there may by very poor germination of direct sown range
seeds. It is therefore advisable to raise the appropriate seedlings for the rangelands in a
nursery and to transplant them prior to the seasonal rains.