Teacher's Notes for Issues & Investigations Features
Below is an excerpt from Environmental Issue 1.5 of the Teacher's Notes. Answers to the student exercises are not shown.
|Environmental Issue 1.5: Land-Use - The Grazing Debate
Students should have completed Section 1.1, "Ecology - A Study of Relationships," from page 2. If students will be studying streams, you may want to wait until students have visited a stream. If possible, take a walk to a stream and introduce the students to riparian habitats. The riparian zone is introduced in Section 4.1, "Aquatic Environments," from page 284.
After students have read the background information on the issue, divide the class into groups and assign roles. Students should discuss the issue within their group and prepare a written statement. They may identify additional information that they need to know about the issue, such as the carrying capacity of Sawtooth National Forest. They could ask a forest ranger to find out by doing research. Ask one student from each group to present the statement to the entire class.
Once the statements have been presented, reassign roles. One person in each group assumes the role of a senator representing a specific state. Other students in the groups will serve as advisors to the senator. Select some states where “grazing rights” is an important issue and other states where this issue is less important. The grazing rights issue is an important issue in these states: Wyoming, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Colorado, Idaho, Texas and Florida.
Allow the senators time to discuss the issue with their advisors and decide what amendments, if any, should be attached to the Taylor Grazing Act. The senators must evaluate the impact of the Taylor Grazing Act and any proposed amendments. Proposed amendments are presented to the class (the Senate).
Evaluation of the impacts of each amendment may be completed as a class-directed activity or within groups. Amendments may have both positive and negative impacts within one category. For example, an amendment may have a positive long-term economic impact, but a negative short-term economic impact. Students must be able to explain why they described an impact as positive or negative. Some possible amendments and associated impacts are listed in the chart below. Students may suggest additional amendments.