Riparian Friendly Grazing Project

Project Overview

Project Type: Research and Education
Funds awarded in 2001: $24,714.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2002
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Dr. Kenneth Tate
University of California Davis


  • Animals: bovine


  • Animal Production: grazing - continuous, range improvement, grazing - rotational, watering systems
  • Education and Training: demonstration, extension, on-farm/ranch research, participatory research
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, habitat enhancement, riparian buffers, riverbank protection
  • Sustainable Communities: sustainability measures


    Working cooperatively with the range livestock industry, a survey of 300 rangeland riparian sites has lead to the development of: 1) a simple riparian health assessment method, 2) feasible grazing management recommendations to improve riparian health, 3) consistent guidelines for monitoring changes in rangeland riparian health, and 4) demonstrations sites to illustrate these results. These tools will assist managers to conduct, monitor, and document riparian friendly grazing. These results illustrate a unique problem solving approach which capitalizes on producer’s knowledge of their property and its management, and utilizes the technical and statistical skills of the researcher.

    Project objectives:

    Our overall objective was to conduct a comprehensive extension and applied research project to provide our clientele with the tools necessary to conduct, assess/monitor, and document riparian friendly grazing management. Our specific objectives were:

    1) Collect and analyze information on the health, type, and grazing management at each of the 300 riparian sites enrolled in the project for evaluation of site-specific grazing management and riparian health relationships (positive and negative). The analysis of this data, and the relevant existing literature, will serve as the science base for achieving objectives 2-4.

    2) Develop Riparian Health Assessment Method for Rangelands. The first step for a riparian grazing manager is to assess the health of the riparian areas he/she manages.

    3) Develop Riparian Grazing Management Recommendations to Improve Riparian Resources. Once a riparian grazing problem has been identified, specific grazing management alternatives must be available.

    4) Develop Guidelines for the Establishment and Monitoring of Riparian Grazing Case Studies. The manager needs a simple framework by which to monitor changes in riparian health through time following changes in grazing management.

    5) Establish 20 demonstration sites across California which represent the State’s major range types, serving as field classrooms to illustrate the application of products from Objectives 2-4.

    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.