SONORA — Dr. Charles “Butch” Taylor, superintendent of the Texas A&M Research Station at Sonora, reports that it got so dry during the summer of 2000 that a large number of cedar trees died. He’s never seen that happen in his 30-year tenure on the station. The area also suffered a major grass dieoff.
One certain indicator of the importance of prairies to early settlers in eastern Texas was their practice, observed even in the earliest years of colonization, of regularly setting fire to the grasslands. This practice, perhaps inherited from the Indians, supposedly destroyed weeds and dead grass, so as to make room for the new grass.
Scientists with Texas A&M AgriLife Research at San Angelo and Sonora are capitalizing on the dietary habits of goats and are trying to create a Super Juniper Eating Goat (SJEG). Juniper is one of the most problematic brush species in Texas and perhaps the entire U.S.