Planned Grazing as a Means of Enhancing the Ecosystem and Improving Range for Big Game and Livestock

Project Overview

Project Type: Professional + Producer
Funds awarded in 2003: $5,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2006
Region: Western
State: Washington
Principal Investigator:


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - multispecies, range improvement, grazing - rotational, winter forage
  • Education and Training: extension, farmer to farmer, networking
  • Natural Resources/Environment: habitat enhancement
  • Production Systems: holistic management, integrated crop and livestock systems

    Proposal abstract:

    On shrub-steppe rangelands of central Washington, excessive livestock grazing followed by 30 years of total rest have left the range in poor biological health. Rancher Scott Gress will release 500 acres for a “planned grazing” experiment. Cattle will be employed to partially remove forage tissue in one annual spring grazing, allowing time for adequate plant recovery before the area is exposed to dormant-season elk grazing. The short, high-intensity grazing will be managed with temporary electric fencing. Doug Warnock, a range scientist with Solar $, will monitor the rangeland before grazing to determine species and forage availability and after grazing to assess species preference, animal impact and forage use. The impacts of elk grazing will also be monitored. The project will illustrate rangeland renovation using grazing without costly inputs.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.