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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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News Tip

In light of all the recent news coming out of Israel, we thought editors might be interested in one of our professors, Rex Pieper, who recently visited Palestine regarding rangeland issues. Information about his trip follows. He can be contacted at 646-4435.


Rex Pieper, professor of animal and range sciences at New Mexico State University, recently spent six weeks in Palestine. He was evaluating and making rangeland recommendations to improve productivity and sustainability of lands that have been grazed heavily by sheep and goats.

Pieper represented the Volunteers for Overseas Cooperative Assistance (VOCA), a non-profit organization designed to assist developing countries with agricultural projects. VOCA furnishes travel and living expenses for volunteers.

"In 1967, the West Bank and Gaza came under Israeli control and some of the rangeland was restricted from use by herders and farmers. Due to recent negotiations, the land and control will be turned over to the Palestinian National Authority," Pieper said.

Pieper was asked to do two things while in Palestine. "One was to provide suggestions and prepare a report on a proposed grazing demonstration," he said. Pieper explains that about 100 acres of land near Hebron on the West Bank is being set aside for rangeland demonstrations.

"The second was to report and make suggestions for future development and management of rangelands in Palestine," he said. one of their big problems, Pieper explained, is that there are few people trained in range management. "They have well developed technology in transplanting trees and shrubs and that can be expanded to other range areas," he said.

VOCA would like Pieper to return to Palestine in two years to provide suggestions to modify and improve the work he has helped initiate.