Holistic Management: A New Framework for Decision Making

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Island Press, 1999 - Nature - 616 pages
Increasingly sophisticated technology and an ever-expand-ing base of knowledge have not been enough to allow humans to halt the worldwide progression of environmental degradation. Extensive fieldwork in both Africa and the United States convinced Allan Savory that neither the forces of nature nor commonly blamed culprits -- overpopulation, poor farming practices, lack of financial support -- were causing the decline of once-healthy ecosystems. He also noted that once land has become degraded, leaving it alone seldom helps revitalize it. Savory eventually came to realize that on the most fundamental level, environmental problems are caused by human management decisions, and only through wholesale changes in the way decisions are made can functioning ecosystems be restored. In response to that startling discovery, Savory began to develop a revolutionary new approach to decision-making and management. Known initially as Holistic Resource Management, and now as simply Holistic Management, it considers humans, their economies, and the environment as inseparable. It includes a common-sense decision-making framework that requires no specialized knowledge or elaborate technology to utilize, and is applicable in any environment or management situation. At the heart of the approach lies a simple testing process that enables people to make decisions that simultaneously consider economic, social, and environmental realities, both short- and long-term.Holistic Management is a newly revised and updated edition of Holistic Resource Management (Island Press, 1988), which was the first book-length treatment of Savory's decision-making framework and how it could be applied. A decade of trial-and-error implementation has strengthened and clarified the book's ideas, and has expanded the scope of the process to include all manner of decisions and management situations, not just those that relate to land and resource management.Holistic Management has been practiced by thousands of people around the world to profitably restore and promote the health of their land through practices that mimic nature, and by many others who have sought a more rewarding personal or family life. This book is an essential handbook for anyone involved with land management and stewardship -- ranchers, farmers, resource managers, and others -- and a valuable guide for all those seeking to make better decisions within their organizations or in any aspect of their personal lives.

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Cattle that grazed according to Savory’s method needed expensive supplemental feed, became stressed and fatigued, and lost enough weight to compromise the profitability of their meat. And even though Savory’s Grazing Trials took place during a period of freakishly high rainfall, with rates exceeding the average by 24 percent overall, the authors contend that Savory’s method “failed to produce the marked improvement in grass cover claimed from its application.” The authors of the overview concluded exactly what mainstream ecologists have been concluding for 40 years: “No grazing system has yet shown the capacity to overcome the long-term effects of overstocking and/or drought on vegetation productivity.”
http://www.suindependent.com/news/id_8641/OPINION:-The-day-that-cows-save-the-world.html
http://snapbuzz.org/holistic-management-misinformation-on-the-science-of-grazed-ecosystems/
http://mikehudak.com/Articles/HM_Memo_131113.html
http://www.thewildlifenews.com/2013/11/12/allan-savory-myth-and-reality/
http://www.slate.com/articles/life/food/2013/04/allan_savory_s_ted_talk_is_wrong_and_the_benefits_of_holistic_grazing_have.html
http://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2013/03/17/adam-merberg-on-grazing-and-allan-savory-and-ted/
http://www.hindawi.com/journals/ijbd/2014/163431/
 

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Absolutely brilliant book.

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About the author (1999)

Allan Savory is cofounder and president of the Savory Institute. Born in Zimbabwe and educated as an ecologist with degrees in zoology and botany, Savory has hadnbsp;a decades-long career in African and Middle Eastern government and politics, private consultancy, and teaching. His work in resource management started in the mid-1960s in an effort to find workable solutions ordinary people could implement to restore degraded lands. He and his wife, Jody Butterfield continue those efforts today, reaching a global audience through the efforts of the Savory Institute.nbsp;

Jody Butterfield cofounded the Savory Institute with her husband Allan Savory and collaborates with him on books, articles, and papers on holistic management approaches to restoring health to the world's degraded grasslands. She is director of special projects at the Savory Institute.

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