A long standing question in range management concerns the relative importance of the stocking rate versus the length of time during which animals graze a particular rangeland. We address this question by analyzing the problem faced by a private rancher who wishes to minimize the long run expected net unit cost (LRENC) from range operations by choosing either the stock rate or the length of time during which his animals graze his rangeland. We construct a renewal-theoretic model and show that, in general, this rancher's LRENC with an optimally chosen stocking rate is lower than his LRENC with an optimally chosen grazing cycle length. From a management perspective, this means that correct stocking of the range is more important than the length of time during which animals graze the range. In addition, our research shows how to address questions concerning the desirability of temporal versus non-temporal controls in managing natural resources such as fisheries and hunting grounds.

Publication Date



This is the pre-print of a paper published by Springer. The final publication is available at link.springer.com via https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1012647003818

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2001

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Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

Department of Economics (CLA)


RIT – Main Campus