Mangas, New Mexico is extremely rural. The local economy depends almost solely on ranching. Due to aridity, 640 acres for every three cows is needed. However, due to the recent introduction of elk herds into the immediate area, current ranching practices strain, becoming even more unsustainable. Every evening hundreds of elk graze nearly every piece of grass in Mr. Bacas water and un-watered fields. Due to their sheer size and number it is impossible to keep the herds out. The Bacas have ranched this area for many decades but now bankruptcy impends especially with increasing fuel costs for importing supplemental feed. Consequentially, ranchers, due to their herds' increasing nutrient deficiencies and sear starvation, are forced to use increasing numbers of antibiotics and growth hormones in order to cut their losses.
This is a all to common story. From my friends, the Bacas in New Mexico, to the thousands of acres of leveled Brazilian rain forest, traditional ranching practices continue to grow further environmentally destructive and grossly inefficient.