This paper provides a historical perspective of the influence of cheatgrass invasion on western rangelands (1930-1950). This was a period of awakening interest by range scientists. Range managers, the livestock industry, and scientists have always bad a love-bate relationship with cheatgrass. It provides the bulk of the forage on many ranges, yet it is the symbol of environmental degradation. Trying to cope with the endless ramifications of cheatgrass invasion, dominance, persistence, and potential community decline keep forcing scientists to critically evaluate the ecological principles upon which range management is based.