Grazing beef cattle and sheep in the pine barrens of the Southeast dates back to Colonial times. The traditional open range system consisted of un-managed cows and un-managed pine trees. Costs were low but so were returns. Stocking rates were frequently in the 40 acres-to-a-cow range.
Between 1950 and 1970 most of the woodland open range was closed and perimeter fences were required by law to keep stock off the highways. In many instances, the costs of these perimeter fences were considered too great an investment for the low stocking rates common to woodland range grazing.