Cattle, Grass and Streams: Can They Work Together as a Sustainable Ecosystem?
Allowing livestock access to riparian areas, if done properly, may be environmentally beneficial in some watersheds.
Objective: To demonstrate effects of proper grazing management on riparian area.
Methods: An area was entirely fenced free of livestock in 1967. In 1988 the area was divided into three sections with the upper section being grazed three days per month. The middle section is grazed heavily once a year in early summer, and the lower section is never grazed. In addition, a rock causeway was constructed to provide an erosion free crossing for the cattle.
Results: Both upper and middle sections, where grazing is allowed, have developed into prime trout habitat with the return of many native grasses and forbs, while the ungrazed lower section is heavily wooded and grass free, with broad shallow water and extreme bank erosion.
North Central Region SARE 1998 Annual Report.