The following literature review summarizes the effects of livestock grazing on riparian habitat and aquatic and terrestrial wildlife. I have utilized articles that are present in the Supervisors Office. This is certainly not a complete summary. You may have certain articles that are desirable for inclusion.
The intent of this project is to present suitable references to more accurately assess the environmental effects of livestock grazing on other resources. Many of the articles have many references cited. Some of the statements beneath a citation may actually be that author reporting about work. I usually did not state (Anderson, 1993) as quoted in ... I have selected statements that are applicable to the wildlife, fisheries or riparian resource. You, or anyone else might have selected other statements. In fact, the "evaluation or summary reports" cited, often report contradictory research findings. That would be expected with research on different ecosystems and various grazing systems and riparian conditions. This is my attempt to assist the district folks involved in evaluating range management activities. This could stimulate interest or debate, and that's fine as long as we work to achieve resource stewardship via a fully disclosed environmental document.
Several articles are noteworthy: #11, Kauffman and Krueger; #7, Clary and Webster; #33, Platts; #14, Kovalchik and Elmore; #60, Bock, Saab, Rich and Dobkin; and #20, Skovlin. If you would like to contribute articles and summaries I will update this report if you include the information on DG and a copy of the article.
The report categories are RIPARIAN, FISHERIES, WILDLIFE - MAMMALS AND BIRDS, FENCE AND TROUGH, BIODIVERSITY, GENERAL and OTHER, with an update at the end. Some articles contain information for more than one of the above categories. I did not list the articles more than once though.
1. Berry, C.R., Jr. 1979. Impact of sagebrush management on riparian and stream habitat. Utah Coop Fishery Research Unit. Report for USDA-FS, Intermountain Region?
Many sources cited. Grazing may reduce vegetation cover and increase soil erosion, bank instability, stream temperature, stream bottom siltation and water turbidity. Creating secondary effects on fisheries by reducing cover, and decreasing plant and invertebrate material. Minor effects: bacterial contamination; organic water enrichment; increased peak flows; physical disturbance of spawning areas and fish behavioral changes. Riparian buffer zones reduce treatment's impact on aquatic life.
2. Boggs, K. and T. Weaver. 1992. Response of riparian shrubs to declining water availability. Pp. 48-51, in Proc. - Symposium on Ecology and Management of riparian shrub communities. Gen. Tech Rep. INT 289, USDA-FS.
Ungrazed - mature cottonwood understory is diverse and has a dense stand of dogwood, serviceberry, chokecherry, willow. Moderate grazed - increase in snowberry and wood rose, decline in others. Heavy grazed - palatable shrubs lacking and dominance of wood rose and snowberry and possibly a change to grasses and a drier site.
3. Boldt, C.E., D.W. Uresk, and K.E. Sevenson. 1978. Riparian woodlands in jeopardy on northern high plains. Pp. 184-189, in, National Symposium on Strategies for Protection and Management of Floodplain Wetlands and other Riparian Ecosystems, Atlanta, Georgia.
Deciduous tree shrub type of woody draws threatened by multiple impacts, which cattle damage is the most visible and detrimental. Solutions: fence, partial cutting of tree (resprouts), underplanting.
4. Buckhouse, J.C., J.M. Skovlin and R.W. Knight. 1981. Stream bank erosion and ungulate grazing relationships. J. Range Manage. 34(4):339-340.
It appears high runoff and occasional ice flows are significant factors in bank cutting on this stream (Starkey Exp. For. & Range).
5. Chaney, E., W. Elmore and W.S. Platts. 1990. Livestock grazing on western riparian areas. US Environmental Protection Agency document.
75-80% of western wildlife species are dependent or use riparian areas. Restored riparian area should have diverse vegetation to, stabilize stream banks and shade the stream; provide high water table and subsurface storage; increase summer stream flow, cooler water in summer and less icing in winter; improve yearlong habitat for fish and other aquatic organisms; improve wildlife habitat and increase quantity/quality of forage.
Riparian pastures should include most of a stream since habitat improvements within the exclosure were negated by poor upstream watershed conditions. Multiple pastures and rest-rotation allow riparian areas to be protected.
Unauthorized grazing is a problem if the permittee is not a cooperator. Herding was successful at keeping cattle out of drainage but not out of the riparian area once they were in the drainage. Reducing both livestock numbers and the grazing season were not sufficient to achieve riparian management objectives (riparian fencing aided). Improved riparian vegetation brought in beaver which raised the water table and expanded the riparian area.
Most promising riparian strategies: separate pasture; temporary fencing or herding out of or permanent exclosure; controlling grazing timing; add more rest; limit grazing intensity and change from cattle to sheep. The longer it takes to implement improved strategies on deteriorated areas, the higher the cost in foregone watershed values (forage, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat).
6. Clary, W.P. and D.E. Medin. 1990. Differences in vegetation biomass and structure due to cattle grazing in a northern Nevada riparian ecosystem. Res. Pap. INT-427. USDA-FS. 8 pages.
Water, food and cover close together produce high animal population numbers and species diversity. Livestock spend 5-30 times longer than expected on a riparian area. Herbaceous vegetation can recover within several growing seasons and woody vegetation within 5-10 years if grazing stress is removed from a deteriorated riparian area (Platts and Nelson, 1984 and Skovlin). Other sites may take decades. Non-willow shrub biomass (current, rose & snowberry) was higher in grazed area. Large difference in willow-standing crop - the non-grazed area was higher). More compacted soils on the grazed areas. Higher forb species under grazing. Under very heavy grazing (90%) a total lack of saplings foretells the eventual loss of aspen under this kind of grazing.
7. Clary, W.P. and B.F. Webster. 1989. Managing grazing of riparian areas in the Intermountain Region. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-263. USDA-FS, Ogden, UT.
Utilization levels are the most important grazing consideration. Spring, fall and summer grazing seasons, in that order, are the most preferred in riparian area management. Grazing conflicts were usually not severe in type A channels or in most type B stream channels. Grazing management recommendations must provide for regrowth of riparian plants after use to maintain plant vigor and stream bank protection. The following utilization guides are based on good to high ecological status pastures: Limit herbaceous use to about 65% for a spring pasture with livestock removed by July 15; Herbaceous use during summer should not exceed 40-50%; Limit fall use to about 30%, which should meet the 4-6" stubble height; Season long should be limited by riparian or other special use pastures; Special situations may require 6" or greater stubble heights.
Techniques to control use and distribution include riparian pastures, alternate water sources, driveways out of riparian areas, herding, salting. But use rates need to be carefully controlled and avoid mid-late summer grazing if possible.
Generally, defoliation reduces the plant's capacity to grow. Reduction of use from heavy to moderate increased herbage production 35%. Reducing use from moderate to light increased production 28%. Litter accumulation over time seems to retard wet meadow herbage production. Some riparian area grazing could be beneficial. Light to moderate browsing appears to have little adverse effect and may stimulate growth of woody plants. 10-12 years was not sufficient for riparian willow community recovery after severe livestock use. Acceptable wildlife habitat may occur after 5 years though. Degraded areas may require rest from 1-15 years or longer. It appears if 4" of herbaceous stubble is left, little or no use of willows occurs.
Site protection - 35-45% use on excellent condition meadows, 20- 30% on poor condition meadows. Suggestions from literature state 3-4" of stubble maintains plant vigor, stream bank protection and aids in bank rebuilding; willow use begins at 45% on herbaceous plants; use on non highly palatable shrubs generally does not occur if a 4" stubble remains; and 6" stubble height typified an excellent, good or improving riparian condition.
8. Conroy, S.D. and T.J. Svejcar. 1991. Willow planting success as influenced by site factors and cattle grazing in northeastern California. J. Range Manage. 44(1):59-63.
Despite defoliation of willow cuttings in the grazed pastures (2 year study in early and late summer) there was no significant effect on willow survival or growth compared to no grazing. There was a relationship between water table depth, soil moisture and willow planting survival. Once the water table declined so that Artemisia can survive, willow planting success is minimal. +60% survival was achieved by planting into Carex nebrascensis or bare ground in the stream channel.
9. Eckert, R.E., Jr. 1975. Improvement of mountain meadows in NV. USDI-BLM Research Report Form 1220-5.
Discussion of methods used to improve mountain meadows for livestock, wildlife and stability. Small meadow areas should be fenced and managed for wildlife but complete livestock protection is undesirable since some controlled grazing is beneficial for grasses. Protect transplants for at least three years.
10. Elmore, W. and R.L. Beschta. 1987. Riparian Areas: Perceptions in management. Rangelands 9(6):260-265.
Some watershed problems may have occurred initially by fur trappers removing beaver and lack of dam maintenance, water release and down cutting. Changes in riparian area due to grazing may be subtle, but cumulative over a long time. Many people have never seen a healthy range riparian system.
Willows, sedges, rushes have strong root systems and hold streams together. Woody species provide local channel stability and resistance to channel erosion. Aggrading channel and rising water table stores more wet season water, slows the water's release and may allow yearlong flows.
Livestock exclusion may be appropriate to begin stream recovery. Livestock and riparian systems can coexist if season and intensity of use is controlled. These streams improved in 8-16 years with exclusion and/or some grazing.
11. Kauffman, J.B. and W.C. Krueger. 1984. Livestock impacts on riparian plant communities and stream-side management implications, a review. J. Range Manage. 37(5):430-437.
Valuable article and many references quoted, also many contradictory results.
Public grazing management strategies that recognize all resource values must be designed to maintain or restore the integrity of riparian communities. Riparian Values: Habitat within drier surrounding area; Minor component of overall area; More productive; Greater diversity. Management agencies have not adequately considered grazing influences on other uses and users of riparian ecosystems. Proper stewardship is money in the bank.
- Importance of Riparian Stream Ecosystems:
Instream - riparian vegetation produces bulk of energy; dissipates energy, stabilize banks, provides large woody material; shade
Wildlife - greatest number of species depend upon this most productive habitat for water, food, cover, migration routes, micro climates, nesting.
- Livestock Riparian Relationships:
Impacts on instream ecology - short term - elevated fecal coliform, higher sediment, increased runoff and higher water temperatures, heavy grazing and trampling by cattle caused excessive erosion, greater stream width, general degradation of fish habitat, loss of native trout (reduced vegetative cover and overhanging bank cave-ins).
- Impact on Terrestrial Wildlife:
Cattle tend to congregate and eliminate impacted food and cover reducing nest sites and habitat diversity. Some birds are impacted, some avian habitat is improved by grazing. Bird densities may not change but species composition could. Short term decreases in small mammals have been shown. Properly managed, livestock grazing is generally compatible with wildlife.
-Impacts on Riparian Vegetation:
Trampling - soil compaction - increased runoff, decreased forage production and altered species composition
Herbage Removal - Kentucky bluegrass replacement of native bunchgrass meadows open up vegetation creating more niches in which weeds, and/or forbs could be established. Grazing on shrubs/trees could produce an even age non-reproducing vegetative community.
-Management of Riparian Ecosystems:
Riparian zone rehabilitation include livestock exclusion, alternative grazing schemes, changes in livestock kind or class, special use pastures, in-stream structures and basic practices - salting, upland water, fencing, riding/herding on a daily basis.
12. Kauffman, J.B., W.L. Krueger, and M. Vavra. 1982. Effects of late season cattle grazing on riparian plant communities. J. Range Manage. 36(6):685-691.
Manage riparian ecosystems to benefit those communities most important for whatever use or uses preferred for that riparian ecosystem. Late season grazing significantly increases streambank erosion and significant short term decrease in small mammal densities. Late season vegetation in riparian zones is more palatable and higher nutritive value than upland plant communities. Density of cottonwood saplings increased after two years rest.
13. Kauffman, J.B., W.C. Krueger and M. Vavra. 1985. Impacts of cattle on streambanks in northeastern Oregon. J. Range Management 36(6):683-685.
Late season grazing had significantly greater streambank loss compared to exclosed areas. Grass/grasslikes used 35-85% (mean 59%), shrub/tree dominated bank used 10-60% (mean of 22). Vegetation utilization in exclosure always <20% and primarily used by big game.
14. Kovalchik, B.L. and W. Elmore. 1992. Effects of cattle grazing systems on willow dominated plant associations in central Oregon. Pp. 111-119, In: Symposium - Ecology and management of riparian and shrub communities. GTR INT-289. USDA-FS.
Riparian zones important; water, easy terrain, cover, microclimate and palatable forage. This attracts wildlife, livestock and people - road location, creation, water use, mining.
Unwise use by livestock is considered the most common cause of deteriorated riparian zones in western rangelands. Willows - maintain physical stability and diversity in riparian areas, protect streambanks, dissipate flood energy, trap sediments. Mid to late summer grazing has severely affected stability of riparian habitat zones, especially those dominated by willow. Sheep use willow but herding minimizes damage. Cattle browse and break branches. Use occurs mid-to-late season when riparian forage use reaches about 45% of available forage (4-6" stubble).
Excessive cattle use alters stream channel processes and function: 1) Soil compaction, increased surface erosion; 2) Loss of streambank and instream cover with wider channel; 3) Less energy dissipated over floodplain; 4) Stream channel straightening; 4) Increased peak flow and lower summer flow; 5) Lower water tables; 6) Increased silt on spawning gravels and macro invertebrates; and 7) Increased water temperature.
Highly compatible systems: Corridor fencing causes 8 AUM lost, Spring (early season); winter riparian pasture, uplands managed based on riparian prescription has better livestock distribution timing and grazing intensity. Moderately compatible systems: 2 pasture rotation, (on early and late), 3 pasture rest rotation, 3 pasture deferred rotation: Since 2-3 years of willow growth removed in a late pasture, 3 or more years of rest is desirable for willow recovery.
Incompatible System: Spring-fall pasture, deferred, late season & season-long.
15. Marlow, C.B. 1988. Mitigating livestock impacts to streambanks within Northern Rocky Mountain foothills riparian zones. Pp. 147-150, in, Issues and Technology in the management of impacted wildlife. Proc III, Thorne Ecol. Inst.
Length of time livestock have access to riparian area may be more important than total animal numbers. Stocking rate reductions only delays the eventual deterioration of the riparian area. Deferment of use until after spring runoff and moving animals as soon as 15-30% of riparian forage, minimizes streambank alteration. (high numbers for 3-4 days has minimum effect).
16. Minshall, G.W., S.E. Jensen and W.S. Platts. 1989. The ecology of stream and riparian habitats of the Great Basin Region: A community profile. USFWS Biol. Rep. 85(7.24)
Provides detailed evaluation of riparian and aquatic habitat. Stream and riparian interaction similar to many Platts' publications. Grazing can cause annual microchanges in the environment that accumulate over decades. Mentions, when riparian ecosystems were in good conditions, the effects of floods were minimal. Describes the use of beaver for aquatic/riparian restoration.
17. Mueggler, W.F. 1988. Aspen community types of the intermountain region. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-250. USDA-FS. Ogden, UT. 135 pp.
Discusses various community types, Aspen could be both stable/climax and seral. Grazing has contributed to the Region's variability of Aspen forests and has created effects on understory (loss of shrubs, forbs and saplings) and grazing has created disclimax types.
18. Myers, L.H. 1989. Grazing and riparian management in southwestern Montana. Pp. 117-120, in, practical approaches to riparian resource management; an education workshop. USDI-BLM. 193 pp.
Residual herbaceous growth (15.25 cm) should provide adequate floodplain function needs in SW Montana. Removing stock by about early August at 1830 meters provided adequate days (about 30) for regrowth. Upland plants do not provide sufficient new growth after early July, some sedges sustained growth into September. Successful (fair w/upward trend) grazing system for riparian recovery averaged 28 days. This provided minimal trampling and woody species utilization and regeneration and regrowth. Provide for residual vegetation cover through regrowth or rest at least 75% of the years (3 out of 4). Poorest grazing dispersal was during "hot season" (early July to mid-September). Successful system averaged 13 days during hot season. 90% system compliance is inadequate - a few remaining cattle negate a good systems benefits.
19. Schulz, T.T. and W.C. Leininger. 1990. Differences in riparian vegetation structure between grazed areas and exclosures. J. of Range Manage. 43(4):295-299.
Riparian areas degraded by heavy livestock use tend to improve quickly when livestock are removed. Willow canopy coverage but not density was greater in the exclosures. Kentucky bluegrass was greater in grazed area.
20. Skovlin, J.M. 1984. Impacts of grazing on wetlands and riparian habitat: A review of our knowledge. Pp. 1001- 1104, in, Developing strategies for rangeland management-a report prepared by the committee on developing strategies for rangeland management. National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences. Westview Press, Boulder, CO.
This is a very comprehensive literature review. It discusses the role the riparian area provides for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, livestock, filtering of erosion and recreation. Grazing intensities, cattle distribution and behavior and specialized grazing systems are discussed. No grazing system can insure proper use of small riparian meadows within extensive upland range (except fencing).
Vegetation responses to grazing is discussed. Improper grazing will reduce plant vigor, increase trampling that wastes forage and compact soils, reduce ground cover, and prevent regeneration of woody plants.
Effects on watershed, water quality and streambank stability are discussed. Heavy livestock trampling will reduce infiltration resulting in greater sediment production and lower herbage yield and cover. Not many effects to water chemistry have been noted except for increases in fecal coliform. The apparent effects of ungulates grazing in riparian areas are 1) the direct effect of bank cutting and sloughing and 2) long-term effect of browsing on shrub regeneration (although light grazing can benefit more woody species than heavy or no grazing).
Terrestrial wildlife is discussed but would be outdated for birds with citation # 60, Bock, et. al. Stock water development may increase waterfowl habitat but the quality depends upon cattle grazing levels (fencing out 1/2 the pond provides better habitat. Blue wing teal nest density was greater on a grazed and ungrazed area. Regrowth provided abundant nutrients and cattail invasions were retarded are possible causes for grazing benefits.
Certain small mammals may benefit or be adversely impacted by moderate to heavy grazing. One investigator suggested grazing can cause microhabitat diversity and increases species richness. Pocket gophers may be higher on heavily grazed range since long- term grazing may produce more forbs, which are preferred by gophers. Skovlin estimates that deer and elk account for 1/3 of the browsing in riparian areas and cattle account for 2/3. Livestock impacts on deer and elk probably depends on the season and the intensity of livestock use during or prior to use by wildlife.
Fisheries is discussed. Platts' references provide more detailed information. Much of the literature discusses the effects of heavy grazing to no grazing. Fewer studies report using moderate or light stocking rates as comparisons. 28 page bibliography.
21. Smith, J.J. 1989. Recovery of riparian vegetation on an intermittent stream following removal of cattle. Pp. 217- 221, in, Proc. of the California riparian systems conference. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-110. USDA-FS.
Despite the intermittent character of the stream, portions of study area have potential to develop significant riparian vegetation in the absence of cattle.
22. Swanson, S. No date, Options for Riparian grazing management. UNR Coop. Extension, Fact Sheet 86-77.
Solve riparian problems before exclosures get built. There are no alternatives to riding in wide open country.
23. Crouch, G.L. 1978. Effects of protection from livestock grazing on a bottomland wildlife habitat in northeastern Colorado. Pp. 118-125, In: Proc. lowland river and stream habitat in Colorado.
Grazing appeared to be detrimental to most terrestrial wildlife habitat due to feeding and trampling and loss of food cover and nesting sites. Probably beneficial to some waterfowl and birds needing bare areas and sandbars.
24. Behnke, R.J. 1979. Monograph of the native trouts of the Genus Salmo of western North America. Region 2. USDA-FS. Lakewood, CO.
In poor condition watersheds, trout are habitat-limited due to poor bank stability, increased peak runoff and erosion from denuded watershed which cause channel morphology to braid (widen) or trench down (cut). Grazing causes a direct change in the riparian environment by destroying vegetation and streambank destabilization which change channel morphology. Streams now impacted by grazing can only recover by riparian zone exclusion or by protection from damage with a grazing system. Livestock grazing is not always harmful to trout populations.
25. Keller, C.R. and K.P. Burnham. 1982. Riparian fencing, grazing and trout habitat preference on Summit Creek, Idaho. N. A. J. of Fish. Manage. 2:53-59.
With fencing, rainbow and brook trout prefer stream areas in ungrazed habitat over grazed. The numbers and sizes of trout were greater in ungrazed sections.
26. Platts, W.S. 1981. Sheep and cattle grazing strategies on riparian stream environments. Pp. 251-270, In: Proc. Wildlife-Livestock relationships. Moscow, Id.
Range improvements have occurred since the abuse of the late 1800's and 1900's. Present strategies may not be capable of solving riparian habitat grazing impacts. Also, much sheep range has been converted to cattle range and these riparian areas may be receiving heavier use than before.
Herded sheep should have minor effects on riparian/aquatic habitat. Cattle use at 25% or less showed insignificant habitat alteration while utilization rates greater than 65% showed alterations.
27. Platts, W.S. 1981. Protection and Enhancement of Pacific salmonids on ranges grazed by livestock: an overview. Pp. 62-65, In: Thomas J. Hassler, ed. Proc.: Propagation, enhancement, and rehabilitation of anadromous salmonid populations and habitats in the Pacific Northwest. Range scientists base conclusions on grazing management actions, vegetation recovery, or meat production. Fishery biologist base conclusion on quality and kinds of fishes present and aquatic ecosystems ability to meet habitat requirements. Range and fishing specialists should co-ordinate their studies and tackle riparian issues step by step. Needs: Some vegetation types should not be grazed, control animal distribution, grazing strategy, proper stocking rate and class of livestock.
28. Platts, W.S. 1981. Sheep and Streams. Rangelands. 3(4):158- 160.
Sheep classified as animals who prefer slopes and upland for grazing. Heavy concentrated (driveways, bed areas) sheep grazing can make streams wider and shallower, change riparian habitat and other attributes causing a decrease in fish populations. Deferred use and good herding should cause few if any detrimental effects on fisheries.
29. Platts, W.S. 1981. Impairment, protection and rehabilitation of Pacific salmonid habitats on sheep and cattle ranges. Pg. 82-92, In: Thomas J. Hassler, ed. Proc.: propagation, enhancement, and rehabilitation of anadromous salmonid populations and habitats in the Pacific Northwest.
With proper grazing intensity, timing and distribution of animals, forage can be utilized without undue stress on the stream and riparian environment. Rest rotation and 25% or less riparian herbage utilization will protect a stream. Although rehabilitation of riparian vegetation may occur within 5 years, benefit to aquatic systems are slower. Rest rotation grazing with cattle may not improve a badly degraded salmonid stream; it could with sheep.
30. Platts, W.S. 1983. Riparian-Stream habitat conditions on Tabor Creek, NV, under grazed and ungrazed conditions. Pp. 162-174, in, Proc. 63rd West. Assoc. F&WL agencies.
Previously grazed riparian stream in NE Nevada. Habitat improved when completely rested about 14 years. Improvements observed in water column (stream width/depth/pools), stream bank and riparian vegetation. Continuous grazing detrimental to riparian stream habitat.
31. Platts, W.S. 1983. Vegetation requirements for fisheries habitats. Pp. 184-188, In: Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-157. USDA- FS.
Another Platts' article describing the various roles stream bank vegetation has on cover, stability, temperature control and fish production.
32. Platts, W.S. 1984. Progress in range riparian stream research at the Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. Proceed. Bonneville Chapter Amer. Fish Society. pg. 78-84.
Options available for range managers to use in making livestock grazing compatible with riparian-stream habitats:
1. Eliminate grazing - degraded, overgrazed riparian habitats can be rehabed without grazing but may not meet multiple use objectives and social, or economic concerns.
2. Reduce stocking numbers - common and successful practice but must be used with one of the other 7 options (i.e. animal distribution).
3. Implement specialized grazing strategies - many of these have improved uplands and not riparian areas. Double rest - rotation (1 year on 2 years rest), single rest-rotation if riparian use is 25% or less.
4. Improve livestock distribution - very difficult to counter natural attraction of livestock to riparian (commonly used strategies rest rotation deferred and season long causes an average 25% higher use on riparian than on the adjacent uplands).
5. Change Season of Forage Use - variable results - early use has less cattle in riparian but can cause streambank damage.
6. Change Kind/Class of Livestock - revert from cattle to sheep with herding.
7. Fence Riparian Stream corridors - best chance for stream improvement without entirely eliminating grazing. Expensive.
8. Rehabilitate riparian - planting or stream structures - planting is successful if rested; structures are successful if rested.
33. Platts, W.S. 1990. Managing fisheries and wildlife on rangelands grazed by livestock: A guidance and reference document for biologists. Unpublished document, Nevada Department of Wildlife.
Livestock alter riparian area by trampling, rubbing, and grazing/browsing. Environmental changes from grazing are usually small from year to year but they are cumulative over long time periods. A very common occurrence in Nevada is the replacement of native bunch-grasses and sedges with Kentucky bluegrass.
Streambank effects are categorized by vegetation removal and trampling and shearing. Principal trout population declines is attributed to grazing the vegetative streambank cover and overhanging streambank caving.
Fish habitat effects are streambank alteration, shade reduction, cover decrease, stream temperature changes (higher in summer and colder/anchor ice in winter). Improperly grazed areas contain more fine sediment, more unstable and less undercut banks, shallower depths and wider channels. Reduced infiltration and greater runoff create a subtle change in stream flow timing and magnitude.
Increased sediments hinder fry emergence in gravels and decrease winter survival by filling in channel pore spaces. Pools are major stream habitat for most fish during winter and summer. Riffles are the most food producing stream portion and spawning areas. Stable, well vegetated streambanks provide cover, control stream velocity, temperature and supply terrestrial foods. Woody root systems minimize channel widening and erosion and adds large woody material to the system.
No grazing scheme will improve a damaged riparian area better than rest. Managers still lack specific knowledge under which individual grazing strategies give best results.
Platts' review of a few grazing terms. Light grazing - less than other pastures or 20-40% use. Moderate grazing - 40-60% use. Heavy grazing - over 60% use and the forage is being utilized over its capability to maintain itself. Early grazing - begins at plant readiness and ends when flowering begins on key species and regrowth will produce viable seed. Late grazing - complete nonuse until flowering of key plant species. Grazing at flowering time can preclude seed production. Hot season - usually classified as from July - September. In the Great Basin it normally occurs between about 6/20-9/10 when upland forage is desiccated and livestock use shade.
Fencing is the most effective tool in keeping animals out of riparian areas. Frequent riding, water development, salt, supplemental feed and rubbing posts are not as effective as fencing. Herding could be a positive solution. Salting should be more than 0.5 miles from riparian, water should not be further than 3/4-1 mile apart.
Most promising riparian maintenance/rehabilitation grazing strategies are: riparian pastures; stream-side corridors; change of livestock; adding more rest; reducing intensity; control timing (season of use); and administration. Early grazing - can result in better livestock distribution due to wetness, floods and more lush upland forage. Streambanks shear easily.
Late grazing - can be easier on plants since growth is completed and perennial plants have completed root storage, but more woody species may be consumed. Streambank damage is decreased but care is needed to maintain sufficient stubble height during late season grazing
Hot season - one recommendation states pastures should be used only 1 out of 4 years. Hot season grazing should not be considered compatible for riparian areas.
Rest rotation - works best in areas exceeding 15-20 inches of precipitation. Desert areas should not be grazed on more than 50% of current year's growth. Small mammals and birds are provided cover in the rested pastures. Riparian pastures/corridors and dense vegetation limiting grazing and longer rest periods can make rest rotation work. Separate utilization standards for riparian and upland areas will gain better riparian vegetation control.
Many presently used grazing methods result in under stocking and overgrazing due to distribution and timing problems.
Riparian pastures should contain as much of the stream as possible. Corridors are usually too small and narrow to allow proper grazing management and requires much fencing and is often used to keep from addressing the real allotment problems. 7 AUMs are eliminated per mile of stream.
Insert Table II-1 and II-2 pages II-26,27 here.
34. Platts, W.S. and L. Nelson. 1985. Stream-side and upland vegetation use by cattle. Rangelands. 7(1):5-7.
Inadequate water on upland areas and preference for stream-side vegetation causes riparian areas to be more heavily grazed, than upland range areas. Use in riparian was 25-60% higher. Proper grazing of stream-side vegetation requires controlled animal distribution between uplands and riparian. 92% of observed stream-side use by cattle was twice as heavy as overall pasture.
35. Platts, W.S. and R.L. Nelson. 1985. Impacts of rest rotation grazing on stream banks in forested watersheds in Idaho. N. A. J. of Fish Manage. 5:547-556.
Rest rotation allowed stream-side zone to be used at rates higher than rest of the allotment. Streambank alteration occurred soon after cattle turned into ungrazed meadows. It may be impossible to optimize all riparian zones simultaneously. Riparian pastures (fencing) may encourage more equitable use of all forage and can control intensity of use. Complete rest was difficult to achieve. Up to 47% use occurred in a rested pasture. Need aggressive management.
36. Platts, W. S. and R. F. Raleigh. 1984. Impacts of grazing on wetlands and riparian habitat. In developing strategies for rangeland management-a report prepared by the committee on developing strategies for rangeland management. National Research Council/National Academy of Sciences. Westview Press, Boulder, CO. pp. 1105-1117.
The article discusses a paper presented by Skovlin in 1981. They expand on the function and value of riparian systems, grazing systems, effects on riparian, aquatic and terrestrial wildlife, and management alternatives.
37. Platts, W.S. and J.N. Rinne. 1985. Riparian and stream enhancement management and research in the Rocky Mountains. N. A. J. of Fish Manage. 5(2):115-125.
Large trees and shrubs provide shade, bank stability and instream cover, reduced stream temperatures in summer and less anchor ice in winter. Fencing and stream rehabilitation is discussed. Structures are better served in rested stream reaches. Fencing/exclosures offer the best results.
Competition of introduced fishes and habitat degradation are major reasons for decline of native western trout. Many rare fish are best protected by eliminating non-native species, rather than structures (if the area is not fenced)
38. Platts, W.S. and F.J. Wagstaff. 1984. Fencing to control livestock grazing on riparian habitat along streams: is it a viable alternative? N. A. J. of Fish. Manage. 4:266-272.
Fencing costs often exceeds gains in fishery values. Grazing exclusion may be socially and economically unacceptable. Exclosure fencing 100' either side of stream is + $6,000/mile with 12 AUM lost.
39. Roberts, B.C. and R.G. White. 1992. Effects of angler wading on survival of trout eggs and pre-emergent fry. No. Amer. J. Fish. Manage. 12:450-459.
Multiple wadings during egg development killed up to 96% of eggs and pre-emergent fry. Single wading killed up to 43%. Death was by crushing or physical disturbance to redds, spread of fungi, substrate compaction and intergravel flows and oxygen reductions to trout eggs. "It seems safe to assume that wading by cattle would result in mortality of eggs and pre-emergent fry at least equal to that demonstrated for human wading." (LCT spawning occurs between April-July; migration begins after stream temperatures reach 5 o C; hatching takes 4-6 weeks; from Gerstung).
WILDLIFE - MAMMALS
40. Baker, M.F. and N.C. Frischknecht. 1973. Small mammals increase on recently cleared and seeded Juniper range. J. Range Manage. 26(2):101-103.
Deer mice and pocket mice numbers increased up to 3-4 years past treatment. Older seedlings had about the same small mammal numbers as untreated range. Small mammals showed a preference for windrowed slash.
41. Crouch, G.L. 1982. Wildlife on ungrazed and grazed bottom lands and the South Platte River, northeastern Colorado. Pg. 186-197, In: Proc. of the Wildlife-Livestock Relationships Symposium. University of Idaho, Moscow, Id.
Numbers of (deer, cottontails and fox squirrels, pheasants, ducks, quail, doves) significantly greater in ungrazed area. Number of terrestrial nongame birds significantly greater on ungrazed tract. Aquatic birds, i.e., killdeer, plover were greater on grazed area.
42. Frisina, M.F. 1992. Elk habitat use within a rest-rotation grazing system. Rangelands 14(2):93-96.
Livestock grazing helped establish high quality early spring forage for elk the following spring. Elk preferred habitat not occupied by cattle but appears related to vegetation removal rather than social intolerance of cattle.
43. Ganskopp, D.C. 1984. Habitat use and spatial interactions of cattle, wild horses, mule deer, and California bighorn sheep in the Owyhee breaks of S.E. Oregon. Oregon State University. Unpubl. MS thesis.
Main value is a literature review of animal use and distribution. Several references are cited. Results are variable. Upland water developments can improve cattle distribution but in rugged terrain may be ineffective in luring cattle away from riparian area. New salt grounds may stimulate use in an area but may be ineffective in rough terrain. Untended cattle settle in one area, herding increases grazing capacity by harvesting remote area forage. Cattle may enhance forage quality and availability by removing cured growth from grasses and stimulating nutritional and palatable regrowth. Deer use natural salt licks and domestic livestock mineral blocks. Deer are generally intolerant of large numbers of cattle. To harvest unused forage, fencing is effective if basins and rugged areas were separated. If not, cattle would drift to the lowlands.
44. Griffith, B. and J.M. Peek. 1989. Mule Deer use of seral stage and habitat type in bitterbrush communities. J. Wildl. Manage. 53(3):636-692.
Stands with highest bitterbrush canopy (20%) cover were consistently used during both summer and winter. Rejuvenate by topping, replant and protect stand from grazing.
45. Hall, F.C. 1985. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands - The Great Basin of Southeastern Oregon-Management practices and options. USDA-FS. GTR PNW 189.
Light to moderate livestock use in riparian area (4"-6" stubble) appears compatible w/trout habitat. Deer - optimum forage percentage over planning area 55% in grass forb stage. Pronghorns - 33% in grass forb stage. Sage Grouse - 2% in grass forb state. Properly done livestock grazing can enhance mule deer habitat but be an intolerable intrusion on bighorn sheep range.
46. Kerr, R.M. No date. Mule Deer Habitat Guidelines. USDI-BLM. Tech. Note No. 336.
Breeding season in Nevada is 11/15 - 12/15. Fawning Season in Nevada is 6/10 -7/10. Summer home range is 1 - 2-1/2 miles diameter.
In P/J habitat the desirable distance between water sources is 2 1/2 - 3 miles. Aspen offers shady areas in hot summer. Fences should not exceed 42" to the top wire with at least 12" space between the upper 2 wires.
47. Kindschy, R.R., et. al. 1982. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands - The Great Basin of Southeastern Oregon - Pronghorns. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-145. USDA-FS.
Prefer low rolling topography with few slopes > 30%. Optimum habitat has water < 5 miles apart. Open rangelands with less than 50% ground cover and 5 - 20% shrubs less than 24" in height (33% forage in grass/forb stage). Lower density and height of big sage is favorable for pronghorn (subclimax). Peak fawning season 5/15-6/15. Pronghorn do not compete with cattle; competition between sheep and pronghorn is pronounced as pronghorn prefer forbs. Livestock fencing can restrict pronghorns. Bottom wire smooth at 16", next wires at 26" and 36" above ground, to allow passage under the fence. Use painted white steel posts for visibility.
48. Leckenby, D.A., et. al. 1982. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands - The Great Basin of Southeastern Oregon - Mule Deer. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-139. USDA-FS
Estimated optimum cover forage ratio of 45:55. Thermal cover - trees/shrubs >5' tall with > 75% crown cover. Hiding cover - vegetation >24" tall capable of hiding 90% of a bedded deer at 150' or less. Livestock/deer often eat the same forage - greatest overlap is if both occupy the same range when green grass and forbs are majority of both their diets.
Summer grazing exposes green foliage for deer in fall. Winter grazing improves forage for deer in spring. Fall grazing on summer range can be beneficial if deer have migrated; fall grazing on winter range can be beneficial if before green up. Deer range is less than optimum where water sources are 1050' or greater. Sagebrush treatment can be beneficial depending upon stand size and location. (i.e., decrease sagebrush density when cover is not limiting and increase forage value). Continuous grazing on bitterbrush in summer and fall magnify plant stress. PJ treatment can be beneficial for forage if irregular, long, < 200' wide and if cover is not limiting.
Riparian areas are valuable for fawn-rearing, summer and winter thermal cover and late season forage. Aspen provides good summer and fall forage, fawning and fawn rearing habitat and competition between cattle/deer. A 4-6 pasture rest-rotation system may be needed to maintain/enhance preferred browse species.
49. Mackie, R.J. 1970. Range ecology and relationships of mule deer, elk and cattle in the Missouri River Breaks, Montana. Wildl. Monogr. No. 20. The Wildlife Society.
Mule deer were more often found on steeper slopes than elk which were more common than cattle. Overlap in habits of elk and cattle could cause direct conflict during early spring and fall. Limited conflicts between deer and cattle and some competition between deer and elk (forbs)
50. Papez, N.J. 1976. The Ruby-Butte Deer Herd. NV Dept. of Wildl. Biol. Bulletin No. 5.
Papez quotes earlier work in Nevada (Tueller and Lesperance, 1970). Both livestock and deer are compatible under proper grazing practices. When ranges offer a wide variety of forage, deer feed mainly on woody plants and cattle use grasses. Grass consumption overlaps in the springtime but cattle would normally not be on the Range during springtime. South Ruby winter range is overutilized. Bitterbrush utilization was at 90% (cattle 70% and deer 20%) and grass utilization was at 89% during the grazing (all by cattle). This worst site in the State continues today (1976).
51. Rosenstock, S.S., et. al. 1989. Mule deer diets on a chained and seeded central Paper. INT-410. USDA-FS. 4 pages.
Majority of yearlong food was sagebrush - forb and grass intake increased during spring. PJ treatments increased forage production for deer and livestock.
52. Schulz, T.T. and W.C. Leininger. 1991. Non-game wildlife communities in grazed and ungrazed Montana riparian sites. Great Basin Nat. 51(3): 286-292.
Supports previous studies that robins benefit from grazing and the replacement of shrub nesting bird species with species showing no preference for vertical structure. Supports deer mice abundance under grazed conditions. Non-game communities in grazed and enclosed areas have similar levels of diversity, but different in species composition. Livestock grazing changed the bird and small mammal composition through shrub and herbaceous cover reduction.
53. Short, H.L., W. Evans and E.L. Boeker. 1977. The use of natural and modified pinyon pine-juniper woodlands by deer and elk. J. Wildl. Manage. 41(3):543-559.
Mule deer ate more forbs during spring and summer, less browse during spring and less grass year round than did elk. Extensive clearings increased herbage production but small patch cuttings (30-200 m in width and long narrow strips) were more acceptable to wildlife. Increased cattle production benefits do not equal the clearing costs of poor to moderate herbage habitat. Livestock carrying capacity benefits may equal clearing costs on good habitat.
54. Tausch, R.J. 1973. Plant Succession and Mule Deer Utilization on Pinyon-Juniper Chainings in Nevada. Univ. of Nevada, Reno. Unpubl. MS Thesis.
Deer utilization is highly correlated with those parts of the vegetation mosaic identified by the presence of Sitanion Hystrix (squirrel-tail) as the major grass component. Successful deer habitat improvement via p/j control prevents tree survival. Trees redominate within 12-15 years. More intensive treatment of smaller areas with complete tree removal and seeding to preferred native species should result in longer lasting and more effective results.
55. Van Dyke, W.A., et. al. 1983. Wildlife habitats in managed rangelands - the Great Basin of Southeastern Oregon - Bighorn Sheep. Gen Tech Rep. PNW-159. USDA-FS.
Bighorn sheep (BHS) do not inhabit large dense forested areas (p/j treatment may benefit). BHS prefer forage within 0.5 miles of escape terrain and use water within 0.3 miles of escape. But spend most of the time within 1 mile of water. BHS staple is grass but consume a variety of browse and forbs. Adverse social interactions occur between BHS and cattle but the most preferred habitat is isolated from cattle and competition for forage and water is limited. Keep domestic sheep as far as possible from BHS habitat. Fences can restrict movement and cause mortality. Space wires at 20", 35" and 39" and poles at 20", 38" and 44" above ground to facilitate BHS movement through or under a fence (or laydown fence).
56a. Yeo, J.J. 1981. The effects of rest-rotation grazing on mule deer and elk populations inhabiting the Herd Creek allotment, E.F. Salmon River, Idaho. U of Idaho. Unpubl. MS Thesis. (all assumptions based on existing # of animals).
Both elk and mule deer used higher elevations in pastures containing cattle than in pastures with cattle absent. Although a rest-rotation system did push cattle into higher elevation and steeper slopes in each succeeding year. Deer possibly had enlarged individual use areas. Dietary overlap between deer and cattle was low (15%); between deer and elk moderate (29%); and highest (50%) between elk and cattle during spring and fall. Grasses and forbs were utilized more on slopes <20o within 25 m of water and cover.
Rest rotation is apparently not detrimental. Competition for forage on space was not evident although behavioral responses were noted by having deer and elk feed on different forage and separate themselves from cattle in time and space. Elk were seen feeding close to cattle, but preferred pastures without cattle. Cattle may benefit mule deer spring ranges by removing perennial grass standing litter. Move salt off winter range.
56b. Yeo. J.J., et. al. 1990. Vegetation changes on a rest- rotation grazing system. Rangelands. 12(4):220-225.
Uplands vegetation changes consisted of changes in vigor rather than composition over the 10 year period. Bluebunch wheatgrass vigor was low prior to implementing rest-rotation. Improvement would be expected when grazing pressure was delayed until 6/15. Climatic trends, rather than grazing system adjustments favored a decrease in sage density and increases in grass cover. The grazing system likely augmented those changes on gentle topography near water. Less sagebrush may be detrimental to deer but could be offset by less livestock use of forbs on sites important for deer foraging.
56c. Yeo, J.J., et. al. 1993. Influence of rest-rotation cattle grazing on mule deer and elk habitat use in east-central Idaho. J. Range Manage. 46(3):245-250.
This article is similar to the other Yeo articles and summarizes literature for short term responses of elk to cattle grazing. Elk may 1) select pastures where regrowth following cattle grazing occurs, 2) use pastures currently grazed by cattle less than unused pastures, or 3) not prefer to use previously grazed pastures either later in the year or the following year.
WILDLIFE - BIRDS
57. Benson, P. C. 1979. Land Use and Wildlife with Emphasis on Raptors. USDA-FS-R4 report. 32 pages.
Raptors - grazing reduces raptor prey species habitat - reduce cover and forage. Late summer and fall are optimum seasons for range improvement practices involving raptors. Jackrabbits - limit burns and seedlings to irregular patches 660 yards or less wide and providing islands/edge of sagebrush.
Benson quotes Turkowski and Reynolds (1970) treated areas produce 1.2 to 4.0 times as many rodents (mice) as on untreated areas for 3 years past treatment. Some species disappeared; other species moved in, as the habitat changed. Windrow material to improve nesting and cover for small birds, rodents and lagomorphs. Fence wildlife water areas for wildlife use. Provide additional watering areas to reduce livestock congregation. Overgrazing increases competition between livestock and wildlife species. Alternatives - 1) Lower livestock numbers, 2) Devise grazing programs that allow for a recovery period (rest), 3) Completely remove livestock (T&E species), 4) Allow grazing so that small birds and mammals can raise young prior to livestock use.
58. Best, L. B. 1972. First-year effects of sagebrush control on two sparrows. J. Wildl. Manage. 36(2):534-543.
Both species utilize sagebrush for cover. Vesper sparrows nested on the ground; Brewer's sparrows nested in shrubs. Only on the total kill did Brewers notably decline and no significant changes in vespers occurred on the treated plots. Grass concealment was greater when shrubs were dead. Grass seed consumption increased and animal foods consumption decreased on the treated plots.
59. Brown, D. E. 1978. Grazing, grassland cover and gamebirds. Trans. 43rd North. Amer. Wildlife Conf. 43:477-485.
Primarily not applicable to the Great Basin. Mitigation for game birds was stated as refugia or ungrazed areas were needed. 60. Bock, C.E., V. Saab, t. Rich and D. Dobkin. 1993 in press. Effects of livestock grazing on neotropical landbirds in western North America. Proc. national training workshop, status and management of neotropical migratory birds. Gen. Tech. Rep. RM- .... USDA-FS.
Most species negatively impacted by grazing have been dependent on herbaceous ground cover for nesting and/or foraging.
Literature reviews - riparian woodlands - 8 out of 43 species responded positively to grazing, 17 were negatively affected. Positive - killdeer, Lewis' woodpecker, house wren, mountain bluebird, robin, Brewer's blackbird, brown-headed cowbird and pine sisken. Negative - kestrel, calliope hummingbird, willow flycatcher, cedar waxwing, yellow-rumped, MacGillivray's and Wilson's warblers, yellowthroat, savannah, chipping, white- crowned and Lincoln's sparrows, dark eyed junco, red-winged blackbird, northern oriole, American goldfinch and Cassins' finch.
Mature trees in riparian habitats are most important to breeding birds. Conservation of neotropicals will depend on riparian woodland protection and restoration. Concerns are decreased vegetation density due to soil compaction, reduced water infiltration and plant material removal. Yearlong and summer grazing are damaging to riparian vegetation; moderate late fall or winter may have little impact as long as a protective plant cover remains. Short term early spring grazing may help maintain riparian vegetation. Livestock management decisions affect many neotropical migrants. Some suggestions are: restrict livestock access to riparian areas; alternate water sources, minimize summer grazing; revegetate and rest when needed.
Literature Review - shrubsteppe birds are influenced primarily by extreme and irregular precipitation and ecosystem productivity (opportunistic and adaptable). They may be unresponsive to moderate grazing levels.
Changes in shrubsteppe communities have been due to livestock grazing and exotic plants. Changes include a loss of cryptogam layer and native seral grasses, reduced perennial grass and forb cover, shrub cover and exotic plant increases. Grazing tends to increase shrub cover and reduce the understory of palatable annuals and perennials, facilitates the spread of junipers, reduces vegetation diversity and encourages the spread of exotics.
Probable positive response - golden eagle, brown headed cowbird and sage sparrow. Probable negative response - long-billed curlew, northern harrier, Swainson's, red-tailed and ferruginous hawks, burrowing and short-eared owls, Brewer's, vesper, savannah, grasshopper and white-crowned sparrows and western meadowlark.
61. Buttery, F. F. and P. W. Shields. 1975. Range management practices and bird habitat values. Pp. 183-189, In: Proc. Management of forest and range habitats for nongame birds. Gen. Tech. Rep. WO-1. USDA-FS.
Primarily a literature review on grazing, grazing systems and range improvements. There are benefits and impacts depending on the species. There may be a benefit to bird habitat on a rested or deferred pasture but this could be offset by heavy use on the grazed pasture. Common use grazing may be as bad or worse for bird habitat than yearlong grazing because more kinds of vegetation are utilized. Bird diversity increases with vegetation diversity.
Fences may improve habitat by providing hunting perches. Water developments have mixed results. They could provide a water source when lacking and attract more insects but they could be drowning traps, predator attractors and cause impacts by livestock trampling and loafing. Herbicidal treatments, seedlings, type conversions and fire displace bird species found in older seral stages and replace them with species more adaptable to younger stages. One study increased vegetative diversity and faunal productivity if the treatments were small, scattered and reseeded.
62. Dobkin, D. S. 1992. Neotropical migrant landbirds in the northern Rockies and Great Plains. Pub. No. R1-93-34. USDA-FS, Northern Region.
>From Dobkins and Wilcox (1986), in the montane riparian habitats of central Nevada, neotropicals comprise 85% of the riparian- dependant breeding species. Cottonwood-dominated habitats tend to have the greatest layering of vegetation and support the richest avifaunas.
Neotropical bird diversity is linked to the complexity of shrub and herbaceous layers. Birds most directly and negatively affected by livestock in riparian are species that nest or forage in dense shrub and herbaceous ground layers. Prolonged riparian cattle use supports plant and animal communities that are both structurally and taxonomically impoverished relative to intact habitats. Lack of young tree recruitment results from altered stream flows, intense livestock grazing and/or exotic plant invasions. There is a loss of trees and snags without replacement and cavity nesting species decline. Some species requiring open areas respond positively to grazing in riparian habitats - killdeers, robin, Brewer's blackbird (generalists) and perhaps the brown headed cowbird.
Livestock and fire control have altered vegetation of shrubsteppe - lower perennial grasses, denser shrub communities, more bare ground and exotic grass and forb species. Some shrub/open ground species, burrowing owl, horned lark and sage sparrow have responded positively. Some grass/forb dependant species, various sparrows and meadowlark, have been negatively impacted.
63. Klebenow, D. A. 1985. Habitat management for sage grouse in Nevada. World Pheasant Assoc. Journal X, 34-46.
Nevada is at the edge of sage grouse distribution, but they were once abundant. Diet shifts in chicks from insects to succulent forbs and shrubs as they grow. Meadows (springs and streams) are significant in Nevada from late summer since they produce more forbs for juvenile birds. Grazing produces succulent leaves favored by grouse. Grazed meadows receive more use by grouse. Brood habitat and grazing may be compatible but grazing is responsible for sage grouse declines in Nevada. Overall grass and forbs have declined and sagebrush density has increased. Sagebrush invasion along with gully erosion have deteriorated meadows. Protection from grazing along with minor grazing will benefit meadow habitat.
64. Mason, R.B. 1981. Response of birds and rodents to controlled burning in Pinyon-Juniper woodlands. Univ. of Nevada, Reno. Unpubl. MS thesis. 55 pages.
Rodent biomass was significantly greater on the burned/unburned ecotone. Burned areas generally contained higher rodent numbers but fewer species than unburned areas.
Bird numbers and species were greater on burned areas. For most part ground and foliage dependent bird species increased with burning. Scrub jay and pinyon jay were 2 bird species that declined with burning.
65. McAdoo, J. K., W. S. Longland and R. A. Evans. 1989. Nongame bird community responses to sagebrush invasion of crested wheatgrass seedlings. J. Wildl. Manage. 53(2):494- 502.
Sagebrush conversions to monoculture seedlings reduced shrub nesters and increased grass nesters. Relative abundance of shrub nesters was directly related to the amount of sagebrush. As successional invasion of sagebrush into seedlings occurred, shrub nesters were restored and grass nesters remained. Bird species diversity increased as complexity of plant community increased.
66. Medin, D.E. and W.P. Clary, 1991. Breeding bird populations in a grazed and ungrazed riparian habitat in Nevada. Res. Pap. INT-441. USDA-FS.
No differences between grazed and ungrazed habitats in total bird density, species richness or other breeding bird community attributes. However, some individual species varied in numbers between grazed and ungrazed habitations
67. Sedgwick, J. A. and F. L. Knopf. 1987. Breeding bird response to cattle grazing of a cottonwood bottomland. J. Wildl. Manage. 51(1):230-237.
Moderate late fall grazing had no detectable impact on grass- herb-shrub layer dependant species (the only layer studied). Common yellowthroats and yellow breasted chats were unique and may be used as appropriate ecological indicators. (NE Colorado)
68. Weber, D.A. 1975. Blue grouse ecology, habitat requirements and response to habitat manipulation in north central Utah. Sp. Rep. 33, Utah Coop Wildl. Res. Unit.
Blue grouse occur in many areas where sagebrush is not present. In this study area, "big sagebrush was by far the preferred plant chosen as nesting cover." Adults eat mainly flowers, leaves and buds; chicks eat mainly insects for the first 2 months. Broods fed mostly in mule ears and black sage cover. Cattle trampled and matted much vegetation in aspen groves used by broods, reducing the cover. They also trampled and reduced cover around frequently used water sources. Trampling of nests by cattle or sheep is another possibility if grazing is allowed on breeding areas before July.
69. Willms, W., et. al. 1981. The effects of fall defoliation on the utilization of bluebunch wheatgrass and its influence on the distribution of deer in spring. J. Range Manage. 34(1):16-18.
Deer and cattle grazing in spring preferred bluebunch wheatgrass plants that had been defoliated the previous fall to those that had not. Fall grazing by cattle affected the distribution of deer. Deer displayed preference for the grazed pasture after green growth exceeded stubble height.
FENCE AND TROUGH IMPACTS
70. Anderson, H.L. 1977. Barbed wire impales another Great Horned Owl. Raptor Research 11(3):71-72.
71. Avery, M.L., P.F. Springer and N.S. Dailey. 1978. Avian mortality at man-made structures: An annotated bibliography. USFWS report FWS/OBS-78/58.
Several citations lists accidents/deaths of several species due to barbed wire or wire fences. Rails, Swans, Waterfowl, Great Horned Owl, Short-eared Owl, Falcon, Partridge, Robin, Whooping Crane, Great Gray Owl, Great Blue Heron, Cinnamon Teal, Golden Eagle. Deaths by electric fences: Meadowlark and Screech Owl.
72. Craig, T.H. and L.R. Powers. 1975. Raptor mortality due to drowning in a livestock watering tank. Condor 78:412.
Seven American Kestrels, 2 unidentified passerines found at bottom of empty livestock water tank. Also found small bird remains, deer mouse, western meadowlark and black-tailed jackrabbits. Mitigation: Place large block of wood in tank; drain tanks when not in use. Benefits: Water source, perch, prey attraction to water.
73. Enderson, J.H. 1964. A study of the prairie falcon in the central Rocky Mountain region. The Auk, 81:332-352.
"Adult female drowned in a stock tank after entering the water either to bathe or to obtain one of several Western Meadowlarks floating in the water." 74. Fitzner, R.E. 1975. Owl mortality on fences and utility lines. Raptor Research, 9(3/4):55-57.
(Great Horned and Short Eared), offers mitigation - remove old, unused barbed-wire; mark fences with ribbon or foil strips to increase visibility.
75. Knight, R.L., et. al. 1980. Four additional cases of bird mortality on barbed-wire fences. Western Birds 11:202.
Barn owl, short-eared owl, great Blue Heron and Sora. "Barbed- wire fences are ubiquitous in Washington, therefore presented a hazard to all bird species that fly close to the ground".
76. Sherrets, H.D. 1989. Wildlife watering and escape ramps on livestock water developments: Suggestions and recommendations, Idaho BLM Tech. Bull. 89-4.
Livestock troughs should not exceed 20" above ground level. If water level exceeds 20", install rocks/concrete to form escape ramps. Smaller non-game may require ladder to reach water in addition to an escape ramp. Escape ramps must intercept the line of travel along the tank edge. Install one ladder per 30 linear feet. A floating platform should occur in large open storage tanks.
77. Blackburn, W.H. and P.T. Tueller. 1970. Pinyon and juniper invasion in black sagebrush communities in east-central Nevada. Ecology. 51(5):841-848.
Accelerated invasion by both species is closely related to overgrazing, fire suppression and climatic change.
78. Cooperrider, A.Y. 1990. Conservation of Biological Diversity on Western Rangelands. Pp 451-461, In: Trans 55th N.A. Wildl. & Nat. Res. Conf. R.E. McCabe, ed.
Same article as "Conservation of biodiversity on western rangelands, pp. 40-53, in Landscape linkages and biodiversity, W.E. Hudson, ed. Island Press.
Rangelands do not have as much species diversity as the tropics. 70% of the west is rangeland and maintenance of rangeland diversity is important. Loss of biodiversity in the West - primarily due to loss of distinct populations and parts of ecosystem, rather that entire species or ecosystem extinction. Biodiversity provides for a sustainable ecosystem, economy and society.
Biodiversity lost early due to river damming, lowering of water tables, riparian area degradation, water diversion, and spring modification for livestock. Livestock grazing effects on big game is well documented. Less is known about disease transmission, bird species decline, small herbivore competition and rare plants. Livestock grazing must be considered as one of the main threats to biodiversity. If livestock grazing can preserve diversity and landscape ecological integrity, then opposing reasons for grazing become limited.
79. Ellison, L. 1960. Influence of grazing on plant succession of rangelands. The Botanical Review. 26(1):1-78.
Some palatable plants respond favorably under light or moderate grazing. Light to moderate clipping stimulates many shrubs to greater vegetative growth than no clipping but lowers flower and seed production. Presumed benefit by grazing animals: Stimulate herbage protection; endure drought; encourage early spring growth with less mulch remaining; carry seeds of forage species; plant seeds by trampling, encourage water infiltration by contoured livestock trails; fertilize the range.
80. Mack, R.N. and J.N. Thompson. 1982. Evolution in steppe with few large, hooved mammals. The American Nat. 119(6):757-773.
Introduction of cattle into grasslands east of Rockies had less effect on community structure (with adaptation of large herds of Bison) then introduction of cattle into the steppe west of Rockies which lacked large herds of mammals.
81. Mueggler, W.F. 1984. Diversity of western rangelands. Pp. 211-217, In: J.L. Cooley, J.H. Cooley, eds. Proc. Natural diversity in forest ecosystems. Athens, GA.
A mountain grassland has little structural diversity compared to an aspen forest. Apparently, understory species diversity tends to decrease as seral aspen communities succeed to conifer dominated forests.
Grazing could reduce plant species numbers or create situations where only a few unpalatable species become dominant and the remaining plants incidental. Or, grazing could reduce palatable species dominance, permitting less abundant and less palatable species to increase; increasing species diversity.
Improved landscape and structural diversity can be achieved by creating a mosaic of irregularly shaped areas where woody growth forms are reduced or removed while leaving some interspersed areas of woody species dominance. Sagebrush control on good sites indicates an increase in habitat diversity (perhaps by sagebrush cover reduction and proportional increases of most other species). Aspen clear cuts had no measurable effect on understory habitat diversity but burning decreased understory habitat diversity (increase in fireweed temporarily decreased species diversity).
82. Smith, M.A., et. al. 1983. Dynamics of vegetation along and adjacent to an ephemeral channel. J. Range Manage. 46(1):56-64.
Ephemeral channels may be greater contributors to nonpoint sediment loads than perennial channels due to a greater abundance and lower vegetative cover. A north central Wyoming study suggested for this area and other cold desert areas that moderate grazing (perennial forage 25-50% use and greasewood 20-80% use) did not show detrimental effects on vegetation within ephemeral channels. With a lack of negative grazing effects, they suggest short periods (10 days) of grazing in this study represent a sustainable management alternative for cold desert grazing. Above and below ground vegetation dynamics appeared to be mainly a function of yearly fluctuation in moisture regimes and locations in and along the channel.
83. Turner, C.L., T.R. Seastedt and M.I. Dyer. 1993. Maximization of above ground grassland production: The role of defoliation frequency, intensity, and history. Ecol. Applications. 3(1):175-186.
This study occurred in the tall grass prairie vegetation. A conclusion was "under chronic grazing or mowing, vegetation is prevented from maintaining high nutrient and water uptake capacity (large root biomass) and accumulating reserves that allow overcompensation responses."
Some background information in this article is just classic, "A substantial database on the above ground response of grassland vegetation to grazing by livestock (references given) suggests that moderate grazing can have a positive, neutral, or negative effect on primary production depending on the conditions of the study."
84. Vale, T.R. 1975. Presettlement vegetation in the sagebrush- grass area of the intermountain west. J. Range Manage 28(1):32-36.
Grazing has caused an increase in brush density in many areas. Early (pre-1850's) writings suggest pristine vegetation usually dominated by shrubs. Grass confined to wet bottoms, moist canyons and mountain slopes. 85. West, N.E. 1993. Biodiversity of rangelands. J. Range Manage. 46(1):2-13.
Removal of grazing destabilizes some systems. Grazing increases the chances of some species survival and moderate grazing can enhance community and landscape diversity. Not all introduced, alien or exotic species are equal threats.
Sustainable development depends on a balance between use and protection. Any management action involves a trade-off between species that benefit and those that don't. Species occurrences and abundances can be altered by management actions. We lack information on most species. Large terrestrial mammals are a much studied group but make up 0.02% of all North American species. There are several examples of various "biodiversity" standards or rules and exceptions to the rules. Biodiversity is a concern due to morality, aesthetics, economics and natural ecosystem maintenance services (nutrient cycling, soil stability). Soil profile and ecosystem function maintenance are important aspects of sustainability (keep the soil on the uplands and out of the creeks). Grazing influences ecosystem structure and function. A guideline is: prevent the loss of land capacity to produce and maintain future options.
86. American Fisheries Society. 1980. Position paper on Management and Protection of Western Riparian Stream Ecosystems.
Reviews Issues and Impacts of Livestock grazing - most apparent effect on riparian environment is reduction of shade, cover and terrestrial food supply, increases in stream temperature, change in water quality and stream morphology and addition of sediment through bank degradation and off-site soil erosion. Grazing systems that include riparian species as key forage species for forage production and utilization indicators could co-exist with riparian ecosystems.
Other effects in review - mining, water development/irrigation, road construction, recreation.
87. Armour, C.L., D.A. Duff and W. Elmore. 1991. The effects of livestock grazing on riparian and stream ecosystems. Fisheries. 16(1):7-11.
Stream vegetation is most affected by grazing because riparian- aquatic zones are grazed more heavily than upland terrestrial zones. Most apparent effects on fish habitat: reduction of shade, cover and terrestrial food, increased stream temperature, change water quality and stream morphology and addition of sediment. Aquatic insect food production for salmonid species reduced by stream bank vegetation removal and bank erosion causing streambed gravel sedimentation. Sediments hinder fry, waterfront is gravel, impaired and developing embryos development/survival. Damaged streams support fewer public recreational opportunities.
88. Clary, W.P., et. al. 1974. Effects of pinyon-juniper removal on natural resource products and uses in Arizona. USDA FS, Res. Pap. RM-128. 28 p.
Pinyon-Juniper removal showed no statistical flood peak or water quality changes. Removal increased herbage yields but varied due to plant composition differences. Deer response to treatments was neutral. Successful conversion projects just about break even from a benefit-cost analysis. Treated watersheds ranged from 66 to 362 acres.
89. Evans, R.A. 1988. Management of Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands. Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-249. USDA-FS.
Generally low carrying capacity of pinyon-juniper rangelands is attributed to heavy and continuous grazing and tree density increases (lack of fire). Juniper removal may increase understory production from 50-300%. Do not graze for at least 2 years following treatment, 4 years if site is poor. Minimize effects by creating greater edge (irregular shapes); by treating 1-2 ac patches; and by leaving snags. Lagomorphs prefer treated area.
90. Menke, J., ed. 1983. Proc. Workshop on Livestock and Wildlife-Fisheries Relationships in the Great Basin. Sparks, NV. 1977. (several citations)
Wagner, F. H. Livestock and wildlife-fisheries ecology. pg. 1-12.
Heavy spring - summer grazing occurs, perennial grasses and forbs are reduced while sagebrush and less palatable shrubs increase. Partial cause of widespread decline of pronghorn, sage grouse and sharp-tail grouse.
Heady, H. F. Succession and climax in the sagebrush-grass type. pp. 13-18.
Believes climax sagebrush-grass habitat was about 25% sagebrush. Of that sagebrush was 0-25% and grasses about 75% (SE Oregon).
Longhurst, W. M., et. al. Livestock and wild ungulates. pp. 42-64.
Late 1880's grazing caused an increase in successional vegetation. Improved conditions for deer but decreased conditions for bighorn sheep and antelope. Possible deer declines caused by cattle replacing sheep and winter range competition.
Behnke, R. J. Livestock grazing impacts on stream fisheries. pp. 170-173.
Lists examples of trout biomass 3-4 times higher in protected stream sections that in sections exposed to livestock overgrazing.
91. Quigley, T.M., H.R. Sanderson, and A.R. Tiedemann. 1989. Managing Interior Northwest Rangelands: The Oregon Range Evaluation Project. GTR PNW-238. USDA-FS.
Provides some costs on range improvements. Several measurements were difficult to interpret due to "nearly 100 years of grazing use" or additional information/research is needed.
Eleven year study - most intensive strategy was generally the economical optimum. Could support reference #89 - changes may take long to observe. The only water parameter related to increasing cattle intensity was an increase in fecal coliform bacteria. Heavy cattle grazing compacts meadow soil which makes the habitat unsuitable for some invertebrates. Shrews and spotted frogs must either change their food habits or populations decrease.
92. Medin, D.E. 1986. Grazing and passerine breeding birds in a Great Basin low-shrub desert. Great Basin Naturalist. 46(3):567-572. (winter sheep grazing)
93. Medin, D.E. 1992. Birds of a Great Basin sagebrush habitat in east-central Nevada. Research Paper INT-452, Ogden, UT. USDA FS. 4 pg.
The most abundant birds were Brewer's and sage sparrows. These 2 plus the sage thrasher and black-throated sparrow characterized over 95% of the total breeding population. Horned larks and western meadowlarks were less common and found where shrub vegetation and lower and more open.
94. Medin, D.E. and W.P. Clary. 1990. Bird populations in and adjacent to a beaver pond ecosystem in Idaho. Res. Pap. INT-432. USDA-FS.
Beaver pond habitat (water and willow shrubs) had three times greater bird density than adjacent riparian habitat. Also bird biomass, species richness and diversity were higher in a beaver pond habitat.
95. Nelson, R.L., et. al. 1992. Trout distribution and habitat in relation to geology and geomorphology in the NF Humboldt River Drainage, Northeastern Nevada. Trans. Amer. Fish. Soc. 121(4):405-426.
Brook trout were in drainages that would be considered "better" trout habitat; native LCT occupied the more degraded sites and suggests that neither temperature nor dissolved oxygen currently limit LCT distributions. Differences in geologic setting and geomorphic character affect stream reaches to react differently to grazing practices. Stream banks in volcanic districts were more resistant to erosion and livestock trampling. LCT ability to tolerate degraded conditions may be an important factor in their ability to resist displacement by exotic species. Other factors such as livestock grazing and irrigation withdrawal may be a factor in why some streams do not contain trout.
96. O'Malley, R., L. Langstaff and M. Southerland. 1993. Incorporating biodiversity considerations into environmental impact analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act. Council of Environmental Quality. 29 pp.
97. Schlesinger, W.H., et. al. 1990. Biological feedbacks in global desertification. Science. 247:1043-48.
98. Schlosser, I.J. 1991. Stream fish ecology: A landscape perspective. Bioscience. 41(10):704-712.
Quotes various citations. For small streams, agriculture, deforestation and grazing all alters physical stream components by reducing the amount of woody debris entering the stream and hence the depth, substrate, and current diversity associate with pool and lateral habitat development. Intensive land-use activities in headwater basins usually enhance the rate at which water and sediment are delivered to the channel.
99. Szaro, R.C. 1991. Wildlife communities of southwestern riparian ecosystems. In: Wildlife and Habitats in Managed Landscapes. J.E. Rodiek and E.G. Bolen, eds.
Summarizes factors affecting riparian zone management.
100. Thomas, J.W. and D. Toweill, eds. 1992. Elk of North America - Ecology and Management. The Wildlife Management Institute.
101. Wallmo, O.C., ed. 1981. Mule and Black-tailed Deer of North America. The Wildlife Management Institute. Univ. of Nebraska Press.
102. Westman, W.E. 1977. How much are nature's services worth? Sci. 197:960-964.
Soil and vegetation help filter air and water pollution. The ecosystem balances radiation. Vegetation binds soils and minimizes erosion. Plant roots help store nutrients and reduce losses from leaching. Nitrogen fixing organisms have a role in nutrient cycling. How are the roles of natural values analyzed in a cost-benefit analysis?
1994 Additions to Livestock/Wildlife Effects: RIPARIAN, WILDLIFE - MAMMALS AND BIRDS, FENCE AND TROUGH, BIODIVERSITY, GENERAL, OTHER
103. Klebenow, D.A., and R.J. Oakleaf. 1982. Historical avifaunal changes in the riparian zone of the Truckee River, Nevada. In California Riparian Systems Conference, UC, Davis, Sept. 17-19, 1991.
Avifauna has changed in species and abundance with those requiring dense woody riparian understory, wet meadow and marsh affected the most by farmland development, river channeling operations and overgrazing. Cottonwoods that were once extensive groves are now thin, discontinuous ribbons along the river.
104. Marlow, C.B. and T.M. Pogacnik. 1986. Cattle feeding and resting patterns in a foothills riparian zone. J. of Range Manage. 39(3):212-217.
Common sense article - in a Montana study, unless low precipitation limited upland forage quality and production, cattle spent more time in upland areas during late June and early July. Significant riparian zone feeding occurred from late August through September. Resting patterns showed no significant differences in the amount of time spent in either upland or riparian areas during late July through September. "Even though the riparian zone may make up a small proportion of the pasture's total available forage, it may supply the bulk of cattle forage consumption during late August and September. To reduce riparian impacts during this period, stocking rates should be based on the forage available in the riparian zone rather than an average for the entire pasture or allotment. During drought periods it may be necessary to make such stocking rate adjustments early in the grazing season."
105. Taylor, D.M. 1986. Effects of cattle grazing on passerine birds nesting in riparian habitat. J. of Range Manage. 39(3):254-258.
Annual grazing correlated with decreases in bird abundance, shrub volume and shrub heights in southeast Oregon. Bird abundance increased significantly with increased shrub volume and heights. Bird species use different vegetation strata with the lower and shrub layer most affected by livestock. However, long-term upper strata effects will occur if regeneration is prevented.
WILDLIFE - MAMMALS
106. Austin, D.D. and P.J. Urness. 1986. Effects of cattle grazing on mule deer diet and area selection. J. of Range Manage. 39(1):18-21.
They concluded, and agreed with other studies, that cattle and mule deer diet overlap and social competition effects are relatively low. Cattle effects on mule deer diets and nutrition in summer in Great Basin mixed browsed communities are minor when cattle use intensity is limited to only understory vegetation. However, when deer use was low, deer preferred areas ungrazed by cattle; this preference was eliminated as deer use increased.
WILDLIFE - BIRDS
107. Mosconi, S.L. & R.L. Hutto. 1981. The effect of grazing on the landbirds of western Montana riparian habitat. Pp. 221- 233. In: Proc. Wildlife-Livestock Relations Symp. Forest, Wildl. and Range Exp. Stn. Univ. of Id, Moscow, Id.
Grazing may influence bird community composition in these habitats either directly through disturbance or indirectly through the alteration of vegetative structure. Significant affects to a heavily grazed cottonwood/ponderosa pine overstory were to the flycatcher, ground foraging thrush and foliage gleaning insectivore guild. The bark foraging guild was mostly unaffected by grazing.
FENCE AND TROUGH IMPACTS
108. WhiteTrifaro, L. 1994. Personal communication
Red and yellow electric fence insulators have attracted hummingbirds and orioles and resulted in electrocution. Painting them black or ordering black insulators is recommended.
109. Belsky, A.J. 1986. Does herbivory benefit plants? A review of the evidence. The American Naturalist. Vol. 127(6):870-892.
Animals benefit plants by pollinating flowers, dispersing seeds, fertilizing soils with dung and reducing the size of competing plants. Recently, suggestions have been made that animals also benefit some plant species by grazing on them. In a review of over 40 papers that cite some evidence in support of this benefit and mutualism, strong evidence is lacking. "Although herbivores may benefit certain plants by reducing competition or removing senescent tissue, no convincing evidence supports the theory that herbivory benefits grazed plants." Many papers report reduced plant growth and fitness caused by herbivory and suggest evolutionary structural, chemical and phenological plant defenses and are not discussed in this review.
110. Cottam, W.P. and G. Stewart. 1940. Plant succession as a result of grazing and meadow desiccation by erosion since settlement in 1862. J. of Forestry. 38:613-626.
Ecological studies in SW Utah produced strong evidence that a combination of drought and heavy grazing can cause major floristic changes. Depletion of plant cover by livestock plus heavy rains allowed erosion which could drain a wet meadow. Grasses, rushes and sedges have been replaced by sagebrush, rabbitbrush and juniper. Removal of sagebrush by fire and protection against heavy grazing allowed a rapid increase of grass. Grasses increased slightly even in sagebrush areas that received moderate grazing.
111. Turner, C.L., T.R. Seastedt and M.I. Dyer. 1993. Maximization of above ground grassland production: The role of defoliation frequency, intensity and history. Ecological Applications. 3(1):175-186.
In a literature review above ground response of grassland vegetation to moderate livestock grazing may have a positive, neutral or negative effect on primary production (pretty safe statement). In a study of tall grass prairie vegetation, chronic grazing or mowing prevents vegetation from maintaining high nutrient and water uptake capacity (large root biomass) and accumulating reserves that allow overcompensation (enhanced production) responses. They quote (Lorenz and Rogler, J. Range Manage. 20:129-132) as stating grazing influences root distribution as well as productivity.
112. Fitzgerald, R.D., R.J. Hudson, & A.W. Bailey. 1986. Grazing preferences of cattle in regenerating aspen forest. J. of Range Manage. 39(1):13-18.
Cattle (in Alberta) tended to graze forest rather than grassland as grasses matured at the end of the grazing season. In the forest cattle preferred herbaceous species when present and of the shrubs, rose and wild raspberry were preferred over aspen which was preferred over snowberry. Aspen was grazed more heavily late in the season (post August 15th) than early..
113. Fitzgerald, R.D. and A.W. Bailey. 1984. Control of aspen regrowth by grazing with cattle. J. of Range Manage. 37(2):156-158.
Study results indicate that heavy browsing by cattle in August (late grazing) may be an effective technique for aspen sucker control.
114. Page, J.L., et. al. 1978. The influence of livestock grazing on non-game wildlife. California-Nevada Wildlife. 1978:159-173.
No general comparisons can be made regarding the effects of livestock grazing on non-game wildlife. Animal species responses varied with habitat type. Vegetation structure and animal species richness (variety and number) were generally lower in grazed than ungrazed communities. The greatest impacts on non-game wildlife habitat were observed in aspen. Vagrant and dusky shrews, long- tailed vole and western jumping mouse were associated with herbaceous understory and none were trapped in the grazed aspen. Deer mice comprised 79% of all mammals in grazed aspen. Ground feeding bird species such as the robin, green-tailed towhee and mourning dove were common at the grazed site.
115. Reynolds, T.D. and C.H. Trost. 1980. The response of native vertebrate populations to crested wheatgrass planting and grazing by sheep. J. of Range Manage. 33(2):122-125.
In a sagebrush dominated habitat grazing didn't significantly alter the species diversity or density of reptiles or nesting birds. However both small mammal diversity and relative density were significantly reduced. With or without sheep grazing crested wheatgrass plantings supported fewer nesting bird species and a lower density of birds, mammals and reptiles. Only horned larks were found nesting in crested wheatgrass.
116. Clary, W.P. and B.F. Webster. 1990. Recommended riparian grazing practices. Pp. 77-81, in Proc. of Erosion Control Conference XXI, Int. Erosion Control Assoc. Feb. 14-17, 1990. Wash. D.C.
This is a summary of Clary and Webster - Gen. Tech. Rep. INT-263.
117. From the Capital Press, Feb. 19, 1993. "Riparian enclosures worth taking a chance on". Guest Comment by Jack Southworth
During last year's dry fall, we built fences along the banks of the Silvies River in northeastern Oregon, to protect the riparian areas from our livestock. The fences go right by the site of the first dam my great-grandfather put in Silvies River in 1885. The purpose of that dam was to stem the flow of the spring runoff and irrigate the native hay meadows on his homestead in Bear Valley. Since then, we've put up 106 hay crops grown from the spread waters of Silvies River.
What has changed is the river itself. My dad remembers a time as a boy in the early 1930s when a friend of my grandfather's from Corvallis was visiting the ranch during a drought similar to what Oregon is now experiencing. The friend asked my grandfather if Silvies River was still running. "Can't tell," my grandfather said, "there are so many beaver dams it just trickles from one pool to the next." Last summer, nearly 60 years after that dry one, we had almost no stock water in Silvies River. We also had no beaver dams. I also have a photograph of my dad when he was about 18 in the late 1930's. He ended up with a photo that showed willows along the banks of Silvies River for as far as the eye could see. Now there are no willows along that stretch of Silvies.
My forbears did not assign any importance to the willows, but did think of them as a mild nuisance. Willows were something that got in the way during haying, hid steers during roundups, and shed sticks that broke mower sections during haying. They were done by people who cared greatly about the land, they only thought about it in terms of what it could produce to sell for a profit. Production was the only goal. Anything that would increase a weaning weight, raise the tons of hay per acre or grow more grass was good. All else was meaningless. Today we have different goals. Production is still valued, but we also have quality of life and landscape goals. When we created a landscape goal for the ranch we thought about what kind of land would sustain the production of beef. A river that was a large gutter lined with junk cars and exposed soil did not come to mind. What did come to mind was a winding stream, year-round in its flow, lined with perennial grasses, forbs and shrubs and stocked with beaver to make the water table high. We want the precipitation that falls on this ranch to stay here as long as possible.
That is why we are building riparian enclosures. I don't call them exclosures. We're not excluding livestock as much as we're once again including on this ranch willows, beavers, fish, insects, rodents, birds, year-round water and better late-summer grass growth. An exclosure is a loss. An enclosure is a gain. It is a gamble. This fall we will build fence down both sides of a half-mile stretch of Silvies River. That's about a mile of fence total. It will cost about $2,000 to accomplish. The gamble is that we will never recoup that $2,000. It is going to be about 10 years before there will be enough willows to attract a beaver to raise the water table, and I hope that a higher water table will increase the regrowth of the meadows after haying and give us better crops in dry years. Any benefits that I can sell through a heavier steer are a long way away. What I am certain of is that eventually we will regain an abundance that was once here, that we took for granted and squandered. It is a gamble, but I'd rather gamble on the side of increased biodiversity, higher water tables and year-round clear water than the way we've been doing it the last hundred years. We must change the way we manage and think about the land so that quality of life and landscape goals become as important as production goals. If we do that, making a living from the land will help make our world a more abundant, diverse and healthier place to live.
Jack Southworth is a cattle rancher in Grant County, Ore., in the NE section of the state and president of the E.R. Jackman Foundation Board, which oversees fund-raising for Oregon State Univ.'s College of Agric.
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