Managed Grazing in Riparian Areas


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Managed Grazing in Riparian Areas

  1. 1. MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS LIVESTOCK SYSTEMS GUIDE Abstract: This publication is designed to help farmers and ranchers identify and use locally appropriate grazing practices to protect riparian resources. Methods for protecting these environmentally fragile areas include keeping livestock from streambanks, properly resting pastures to restore degraded land, and determining the proper duration and season for grazing pastures. It examines adjusting general recommendations to fit your particular management objectives and environmental conditions.By Barbara C. BellowsNCAT Agriculture SpecialistJune 2003 Introduction Most riparian areas in the U.S.evolved with animals feeding on the lushvegetation and trampling on thestreambanks to get to water. Althoughthe original grazers were bison, moose,and deer rather than cattle, sheep, andgoats, this evolutionary pressure meansthat most native riparian plant speciesregrow following a period of grazing(Mosley et al., 1998; Ohmart, 1996). Whenfarmers and ranchers displaced these oc-casional grazers with continuously graz- ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCSing livestock, riparian areas suffered.Provided with limited grazing area andlittle stimulus to move from one area Related ATTRA Publicationsto another, continuously grazed live- • Protecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Managementstock trampled streambanks, congre- Strategiesgated in the shade and cool breezes next • Sustainable Pasture Managementto streams, and overgrazed the lush veg- • Rotational Grazingetation in these fertile areas. • Nutrient Cycling in Pastures • Assessing the Pasture Soil Resource • Matching Livestock and Forage Resources in Controlled Grazing • Grazing Networks for Livestock Producers ATTRA is the national sustainable agriculture information service operated by the National Center for Appropriate Technology, through a grant from the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture. These organizations do not recommend or endorse products, companies, or individuals. NCAT has offices in Fayetteville, Arkansas (P.O. Box 3657, Fayetteville, AR 72702), Butte, Montana, and Davis, California.
  2. 2. Table of Contents Introduction ................................................................................................................................. 1 Upland Land Management Practices and Riparian Area Protection ............................................ 3 Table 1. Comparison of Management Intensive and Extensive Grazing Practices ................... 4 Managed Grazing for Riparian Protection .................................................................................. 5 Table 2. Unmanaged Grazing Impacts on Riparian Structure and Function ............................. 6 Table 3. Riparian Management Guidelines ............................................................................. 9 Table 4. Managed Riparian Grazing Systems ....................................................................... 12 Table 5. Appropriate Times for Grazing as Affected by Local Environmental Conditions ....... 16 Summary .................................................................................................................................. 17 Recommended References ...................................................................................................... 18 References ............................................................................................................................... 24 Of the original riparian habitats in the western U.S., The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the U.S. Forest Service have estimated that only 20% still exist. They further noted that 46% of the riparian areas managed by the BLM were “functioning at risk,” another 20% were “non-functioning,” and that “riparian areas continue to decline.” In large part, they attributed this decline in riparian health to the increased number of cattle on western rangelands (Belsky et al., 1999). Nationwide, the National Research Council (NRC, 2002), with help from seven federal agencies, conducted a comprehensive study of riparian areas that found: Traditional agriculture is probably the largest contributor to the decline of ripar- ian areas… The primary effects of live- stock grazing include the removal and trampling of vegetation, compaction of underlying soils, and dispersal of exotic plant species and pathogens. Grazing can also alter both hydrologic and fire dis- turbance regimes, accelerate erosion, and reduce plant or animal reproductive success and /or establishment of plants. Long-term cumulative effects of domes- tic livestock grazing involve changes in the structure, composition, and produc-©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCS tivity of plants and animals at community, ecosystem, and landscape scales.PAGE 2 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  3. 3. Management intensive or rotational grazing • Sustainable Pasture Managementseeks to protect land resources by mimicking the • Rotational Grazingactivities of wildlife. Instead of a herd of ani-mals spreading out across a large pasture and • Matching Livestock and Forage Resources ingrazing it throughout the season or year, live- Controlled Grazingstock are grouped together and forced to graze a • Nutrient Cycling in Pasturessmall pasture or paddock for a limited amount oftime. When they have eaten about half the grass • Assessing the Pasture Soil Resourcein the paddock, they are moved to another pad- Also, prior to reading this publication, youdock and not allowed to return to the first pad- may want to read the ATTRA publication Pro-dock until the forage has grown back. tecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Management Strat- Research studies show that managed graz- egies for background information on the struc-ing can simultaneously enhance farm productiv- ture and function of riparian areas and how theyity, decrease input expenses, and protect the en- provide environmental, social, and economic ben-vironmental conditions on the farm (Macon, 2002; efits.Herrick et al., 2002; Paine et al., 1999; Berton,1998). Even government agencies and environ-mentalists, who implicate continuous grazing as Upland Land Managementa primary cause of riparian degradation, now joinwith farmers and ranchers in promoting managed Practices and Riparianrotational grazing as a way to protect riparianareas (Lyons et al., 2000; Moseley et al., 1998; Area ProtectionLeonard et al., 1997; Elmore, 1992). As discussed in the ATTRA publication Pro- Brush and weed management is the greatest tecting Riparian Areas: Farmland Management Strat-potential environmental benefit that managed egies, good soil and water conservation practicesgrazing provides to riparian areas. In Wiscon- on upland areas represent the first, and perhapssin, fisheries managers often contract with farm- the most critical step for the protection of ripar-ers to rotationally graze riparian areas. Brush ian areas. Healthy riparian areas are able to cap-removal by cattle maintains grassy buffers that ture runoff water, filter out sediments, recycleare more effective in protecting water quality and nutrients, decrease pathogen populations, andproviding fish habitat than are some woody buff- degrade some toxic chemicals. However, uplanders (L. Paine, personal communication). In vari- areas with bare ground, eroded land, and com-ous locations goats are used to control noxious pacted soil limit the ability of riparian areas toweeds and non-native brush species in riparian perform these functions. Concentrated runoffareas, allowing for the growth of plants that pro- from degraded upland areas can flatten riparianvide healthy riparian conditions (Pittroff, 2001; vegetation and wash in seeds of invasive or up-Luginbuhl et al., 2000). land plants that compete with native riparian This publication provides guidelines for us- plant species, while eroded sediments can burying managed grazing to protect riparian areas. preferred, water-loving vegetation (Debano andThese guidelines are based on the understand- Schmidt, 1989). Runoff water can also contami-ing that upland and riparian areas are not mutu- nate riparian areas and streams with nutrientsally exclusive systems but are interrelated parts and pathogens carried in from agricultural areasof the watershed. Thus, the riparian grazing prac- or septic systems.tices discussed here work together with manage- Unmanaged livestock grazing can degradement intensive grazing of upland areas to main- upland areas in three major ways:tain farm productivity, economic viability, and • Livestock compact soil by trampling it, mak-environmental health. If you are not already fa- ing paths, or repeately congregating in themiliar with rotational grazing, Table 1 provides a same areas.comparison of rotational and continuous grazingmethods. I also recommend that you refer to the • Livestock without sufficient or good-qualityfollowing ATTRA publications prior to imple- forage will feed selectively on their preferredmenting practices discussed here: forages, reducing the ability of those species //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 3
  4. 4. Table 1. Comparison of Management Intensive and Extensive Grazing Practices Management Practice Management Intensive Grazing Extensive Grazing__________________________________________________________________________________ Number of • numerous small pastures or paddocks • livestock grazed in a large, un- paddocks • flexible in size divided pasture or range • delineated using electric fences_________________________________________________________________________________ Grazing • limited grazing time, then moved to another • livestock graze continually for an duration paddock entire season within the same • dairy animals—moved once or twice a day. area • meat animals—moved approximately every • animals graze on the same 3 to 7 days. pasture, during the same sea- son, year after year.__________________________________________________________________________________ Forage use • forage use by animals monitored • monitoring forage use is minimal monitoring • animals moved when they remove about one- • forage management focus is on third to one-half of the forage growth whether to cut, fertilize, or spray pasture__________________________________________________________________________________Pasture • pastures rested and provided with sufficient • pastures are not usually restedforage time for forages to regrow before animals areregrowth allowed to graze again • height of forage used to determine when to permit grazing__________________________________________________________________________________Alternative • water troughs or other water sources avail- • water troughs or other waterwater sources able systems usually not provided • water sources are located away from • livestock usually dependent on streambanks streams for drinking water__________________________________________________________________________________ Pasture • manager knowledgeable about the soil con- • animals have access to selection ditions in each paddock streambanks throughout the year based on soil • animals not allowed to graze in areas with • environmentally sensitive areas conditions wet soils or erodible land are not protected__________________________________________________________________________________ • paddocks are set up to optimize forage use • large pastures permit animals to Pasture shape by grazing animals move around large areas at will and layout • watering areas, shade, and minerals are lo- • animals are not discouraged cated in different areas of the paddock from congregating for long times • pasture arrangement encourages animals to in one location move rather than to congregate__________________________________________________________________________________ • continual monitoring of livestock and pasture • managers usually use “techno- resources logical fixes” to address prob-Management • management practices revised based on lems in pasturesdecision observations • production problems addressedmaking • managers look for solutions within the con- after problem is observed text of the agro-ecosystem • management methods focus on • land and animals are managed to keep prob- treatments such as spraying or lems from happening fertilizing Sources: Angermeier, 1997; Elmore, 1992; Clary and Webster. 1989.PAGE 4 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  5. 5. to survive or reproduce. This creates bare • Construction, road maintenance, logging, or areas and promotes the growth of weeds. other activities that expose bare soil to the forces of erosion• Congregating livestock deposit manure and urine in concentrated areas. • Poorly constructed or maintained septic sys- Unmanaged grazing practices can damage the temsstructure and function of riparian areas in simi- • Industrial or municipal activities that involvelar ways: disposal of toxic materials• Livestock transport seeds and vegetative • Runoff of lawn chemicals, road salt, oil and propagules of noxious weeds into riparian tar from roads, yard waste, and other urban areas. wastes• Most livestock selectively congregate in ri- Poor upstream land management practices parian areas, especially during hot weather. can also degrade riparian areas by increasing the• During hot, dry weather, livestock selectively potential for: graze on the more palatable species found in • Flooding of pasturelands moist riparian areas, in preference to woodier • Streambank erosion and the loss of or more mature plants found in upland ar- pastureland into the stream eas. • Transport of contaminated soil onto• Livestock trample on moist riparian soil, caus- pastureland ing soil compaction, hindering plant growth, and breaking down streambanks. • Water contamination that could affect the health and productivity of livestock• Congregating livestock deposit manure and urine in and near streams. • Loss of dependable quantities of water to meet the needs of livestock• Livestock trample or congregate in streams, loosening bottom sediments and damaging The ATTRA publication Protecting Riparian stream channel shape and structure. Areas: Farmland Management Strategies discusses strategies for developing effective watershed Table 2 provides more detailed information management programs that recognize that every-on the potential impacts of unmanaged grazing one living in a watershed contributes to water-in riparian areas on soil and water resources, shed problems and has a responsibility to findwildlife habitat, and human health and economic and implement solutions to these problems. Thisconcerns. publication also provides a list of government While conservationists and other non-farm programs that may be able to provide you withcommunity members often blame farmers and economic or technical assistance as you seek toranchers for riparian degradation, these rural land implement riparian protection practices.managers may also be victims of poor upstreamurban and suburban land management practices.Non-agricultural land use practices such as for- Managed Grazing forestry, home building, road construction, and ur-ban and suburban development can also decrease Riparian Protectionwater infiltration and increase runoff, erosion, and Farmers and ranchers use managed grazingcontaminant transport into riparian areas (Wang practices in various areas of the country to im-et al., 1997). These non-agricultural activities thatcan degrade downstream grazed pastures or prove pasture productivity, increase livestockrangelands include: growth, and protect riparian areas (Lyons et al., 2000; Clark 1998; Skinner and Hiller, 1996). The• Replacement of forests and fields by houses, term “managed grazing” encompasses a range roads, and parking lots that do not permit of strategies and philosophies. But the most criti- water infiltration and encourage rapid, short- cal component is management. term or flash flooding in streams and ditches Most riparian grazing results suggest that the• Artificial stream widening or straightening specific grazing system used is not of dominant //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 5
  6. 6. Table 2. Unmanaged Grazing Impacts on Riparian Structure and FunctionPAGE 6 Livestock When are Riparian Areas at How do Livestock Affect What are the Effects on Society Activities High Risk for Damage? Soil and Water Resources? and the Environment? • Manure deposition • When manure is deposited near • Nutrients and pathogens • Decrease in available oxygen in and near streams during times of heavy rainfall from manure added to • Formation of toxic compounds streams or snowmelt streams • Decreased ability of fish to spawn and • In-stream trampling • When manure is deposited in streams • Sediment loading of riparian grow and congregating during the dry season when water areas and streams • Change in aquatic species by livestock levels are low • Human health impacts • Increased water treatment costs ___________________________________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___________________________________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ • Soil compaction by • When soils are wet or saturated • Increased erosion • Impaired spawning and foraging by aquatic organisms livestock trampling• When animals graze or congregate in • Sediment loading of riparian • Disruption of fish migration the same area for an extended period areas and streams • Alteration in aquatic food web of time • Increased cost of water filtration ___________________________________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __________________________________________________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ • Reduced water infiltration • Increased flooding • Loss of vegetation • During plant emergence • Increased runoff • Reduced groundwater recharge by livestock tram- • When environmental conditions slow _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Lowered_ _ _ _ _table_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _• _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ water _ _ _ _ pling and grazing plant growth • Removal of submerged vegetation • When forages are overgrazed • Increased water velocity • Reduced aquatic habitat diversity • Vulnerability of fish to flash floods _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Increased_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _• _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _streambank erosion_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _______ ______________ • When soil is wet or saturated • Lowered groundwater table • When there is little vegetation cover • Narrowing of the riparian zone • Breakdown of • Change in channel shape, • Replacement of riparian by upland vegeta- • When it is hot and livestock seek to cool streambanks by structure, and form tion themselves in the shade of streamside trampling • Decreased plant roots to hold banks in trees • When livestock seek to cool themselves place • Increased water turbidity in the stream • When alternative water sources are not _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _Fewer _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _and_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _• _ _ _ _ _ hiding_spaces_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _fish _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ pools for _ _ _ available and livestock have unrestricted • Decreased streambank • Reduced spawning habitat access to streams for drinking water stability • Suffocation of fish eggs Table 2 continued on page 7//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  7. 7. Table 2. Unmanaged Grazing Impacts on Riparian Structure and Function, cont’d. Livestock When are Riparian Areas at High How do Livestock Affect What are the Effects on Society ___________________________________ ___ ______________ Damage? ___ ___ Water _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ __ ___________ Activities_____________________________________________ _ _Soil_and_ _ _ _ _ _Resources?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _and_the_Environment?_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ Risk_for ____________________ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ • Continuous grazing • When soils are wet or saturated • Decreased herbaceous • Less food for stream and aquatic organ- and trampling by • During plant emergence cover isms livestock • When environmental conditions slow • Less shade and higher stream tempera- • Selective grazing plant growth tures on palatable • When forages are overgrazed • Decrease in streambank stability species • Less sediment trapping • Decreased water infiltration ___________________________________________________________ ___________________________________________________________ • Decreased species and • Replacement of riparian by upland vegeta- age diversity tion • Loss of sensitive bird species and wildlife habitat • Browsing on trees • When forages are limited • Decreased tree and shrub • Decline in streambank stability and shrubs • During the hot, dry season when cover • Less shade and higher stream tempera-//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS animals congregate near streams tures • Loss of habitat for wildlife • Livestock transport • When noxious plants are present in • Displacement of native • Loss of food and habitat for wildlife of seeds and other areas of the pasture species by noxious weeds • Water table lowered because of high water vegetative • When riparian areas are sufficiently uptake by noxious species propagules of degraded to favor propagation of • Decreased amount of palatable forages noxious weeds into noxious or invasive weed species riparian areas Sources: Sovell et al., 2000; Belsky et al., 1999; Leonard et al., 1997; Beegle et al., 1998PAGE 7
  8. 8. importance, but good management is—with con- water that is cleaner, resulting in fewer veteri-trol of use in riparian areas a key item (Clary and nary bills and more productive growth. The ap-Webster, 1989). propriate watering system for your farm or ranch Other critical components of riparian grazing depends on the source of water, terrain of thepractices include (Leonard et al., 1997; Clary and land, and power availability for pumping (BurnsWebster, 1989): and Buschermohle, 2000; Fyck, 2000). For large• Combining managed upland grazing prac- farms, solar or wind power may be an effective tices with good riparian grazing management source of energy for pumping water. Of the two, solar power is usually the more cost-effective• Installing alternative watering systems and since it is relatively easy to install, requires little controlling grazing to minimize deposition of maintenance, and remains reliable for a long time manure in or near streams (Morris et al., 2000; Buschermohle and Burns,• Adapting grazing management practices to 2000). Further information can be found in the local conditions and to the species being ATTRA publications Solar-powered Livestock Wa- grazed tering Systems and Freeze Protection for Solar-pow- ered Livestock Watering Systems.• Employing long-term rest from grazing when If livestock need to cross streams, provide riparian areas are highly degraded them with controlled stream crossings in the form• Employing short-term or seasonal rest to pro- of bridges, ramps, or designated fords. For des- tect wet streambanks and riparian vegetation ignated fords, cover the stream bottom with that is emerging, regenerating, or setting seed coarse gravel to provide the animals with firm footing, while discouraging them from congre-• Maintaining streambank structure and func- gating or wallowing in the stream (Undersander tion by maintaining a healthy cover of ripar- and Pillsbury, 1999). In areas where streambanks ian vegetation or riparian vegetation is degraded and livestock• Using a flexible approach that involves docu- exclusion is necessary to allow riparian areas to menting mistakes so that they are not re- recover, solar-powered electric fences can pro- peated vide a relatively inexpensive and low-mainte- Grazing management guidelines to accom- nance method for setting up paddocks and ex-plish these objectives are provided in Table 3. Use Practices that Keep Livestock from Keep fromStreams and Streambanks. As with up-land grazing practices, livestock should be man-aged to ensure that they optimize forage use,graze evenly acrosspaddocks, and do notcongregate in any cer-tain area. Constructingsmall paddocks that aremore square than rect- ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCSangular and placingwater and any supple- Controlled access points forments at different cor- stream crossingners of the paddocks en-courages livestock to clusion areas (Morris et al.,move around pad- 2000). Your local Natural Re- ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCSdocks. Alternative wa- sources Conservation Serviceter systems and con- can provide technical—and pos-trolled crossing areas are critical management sibly some economic—assistance in the installa-tools for riparian areas. Providing livestock with tion of stream crossings.water away from the stream keeps them from Pastures that include a combination of ripar-trampling and undercutting streambanks when ian and upland areas should be grazed only whenthey go to drink. It also can provide them with both areas have good-quality forages and tem-PAGE 8 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  9. 9. Table 3. Riparian Management Guidelines Management Objectives Management Practices______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Allow degraded riparian areas to • Fence livestock out of heavily damaged riparian areas recover • Monitor area to identify regeneration of healthy riparian struc- tures and functions • If necessary, revegetate riparian areas using native grasses and annuals and proper land preparation practices • Allow new plants to become well established before allowing livestock to graze in the revegetated area. Minimize livestock dependency on • Limit grazing to times when the palatability of upland vegeta- riparian vegetation tion is relatively similar to that of the riparian vegetation • Install fences to enclose “special use” riparian paddocks which should be both relatively small to allow for careful manage- ment and include a combination of ecologically similar upland and riparian areas Allow riparian vegetation to grow • Allow grazed plants to reestablish leaf area and build up stored and reproduce reserves in their roots before regrazing the area • Do not graze vegetatively reproducing plants while they are spreading • Do not graze seed producing plants while they are setting seed • Do not graze when environmental conditions, such as cold weather or drought, restrict plant growth • Control noxious weed growth in upland pastures to minimize movement of seeds and vegetative propagules into riparian areas • Do not allow grazing while the soil is wet or saturated Reduce soil compaction • Do not graze compacted areas during spring thaws, during periods in winter before the land freezes, or when thaw condi- tions are likely • Do not graze riparian areas when banks are sloughing or break- ing down • Minimize prolonged grazing or congregation around water, un- der shade, or in other favored areas • Discourage the formation of pathways • Provide livestock with alternative sources of water Minimize stream bank degradation • Provide livestock with designated stream crossing areas • Do not allow livestock to congregate in riparian areas for ex- tended periods • Place mineral supplements and watering tanks away from Reduce concentration of manure streambanks in or near streams • Place sharp stones in any water crossing areas to discourage lounging in streams • Construct ramps or bridges to provide stream crossings that are not within the stream bed Sources: Undersander and Pillsbury, 1999; Fitch and Adams, 1998; Moseley et al., 1998; Elmore, 1992 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 9
  10. 10. peratures are moderate. In arid areas, this usually occurs in late spring, while in more humid areas itoccurs in late spring to late summer. If forage availability in upland areas is limited, livestock willselectively graze the riparian areas. They will also congregate in riparian areas during hot weathersince the riparian areas are cooler. Unless grazing times are limited, animals will congregate alongstreambanks, causing soil compaction, vegetation loss by trampling and overgrazing, and water qual-ity problems by depositing manure close to streams. Methods for attracting livestock away from riparian areas (Leonard et al., 1997) • Provide alternative watering systems. • Plant palatable forage species on adjacent upland areas. • Graze riparian areas when upland vegetation is abundant and riparian vegetation is in peak growth. Do not graze riparian areas when they are wet or scorched by drought. • Use prescribed burning on upland areas to enhance forage production and palatability. • Place feed supplements such as salt, grain, hay, or molasses in upland areas of paddocks away from the riparian areas. • Place brush or boulders along streambanks to discourage livestock from grazing and congregating in riparian areas . gaining beef animals feeding on more sparse veg- Funded by a Southern Sustainable Agricul- etation. ture Research and Education (SARE) grant, Similarly, guidelines for well-managed ripar- researchers at Virginia Tech worked with a ian grazing systems cannot be “one size fits all.” grazier to determine when “alternative water- Instead: ing systems could attract grazing cattle— The effectiveness of a given system depends on which naturally seek cool streams during sum- how well it fits both the ecological conditions of mer—away from the river. The impact was the grazing area and the management require- dramatic. The cattle clearly preferred to go to ments of the livestock enterprise. Too often a the water troughs. This resulted in decreased grazing system developed for a specific applica- nutrient loading and sedimentation in the tion has been used elsewhere without adequate stream” (Berton, 1998). consideration of local site conditions (Elmore, 1992). Adapt Grazing Management Practicesto Local Conditions. Upland managed graz-ing seeks to integrate forage and live-stock production. This requires pro-ducers to adapt grazing practices to thetype of livestock being raised, local en-vironmental conditions, and seasonalclimate changes. Thus, dairy farmersin Wisconsin or New York use veryintensive rotational schedules for theirmilking herds, while beef farmers inColorado or New Mexico use a muchmore extensive longer-duration rota-tion schedule. The difference in thegrazing practices of these two situa-tions reflects differences between high-production dairy herds feeding on lush,rapidly growing forages and slower- ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCSPAGE 10 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  11. 11. Adaptation to local conditions involves understanding the following characteristics of the riparianareas being managed:• What is (or was) the native vegetation: forests, shrubs and brush; or grasses, sedges, and reeds?• What is the stream order: a first-order headwaters or a higher order tributary?• What is the stream channel geology: is it rocky, gravelly, or composed of sediments?• Is it a cold (trout) stream or a warm-water stream?• What are the climatic conditions: is it humid or arid? Are winters cold throughout the season, or do freeze–thaw conditions occur?• During which season do the heaviest rains usually fall: when vegetation is actively growing or during times when vegetation is dormant or emerging? You need to take these issues into consideration when you develop and implement riparian graz-ing practices. If, instead, you follow “to the letter” practices developed in an environment differentfrom your own, your well-intentioned management efforts may prove to be ineffective or even detri-mental to riparian protection. See Table 4 for guidelines in selecting managed riparian grazing sys-tems appropriate to your locality and to the management objectives of your farm or ranch. Sovell et al. (2000), working in southeastern Minnesota, demonstrated that streams with grassy buffers were able to catch and filter eroded sediments better than woody buffers, which had little understory vegetation. They also found that when grassy riparian areas were continuously grazed, streams had high coliform counts and turbidity. But when grassy riparian areas were rotationally grazed, water quality was not significantly different from that measured in ungrazed grassy buffer strips. They noted that rotational grazing did cause coliform counts to rise briefly while the cattle were grazing on streambanks. However, these counts decreased within two weeks after taking animals out of the riparian paddocks. Based on these results, the researchers concluded that for streams that move slowly through the plains and rolling hills of Minnesota, rotationally grazing riparian areas can protect water quality as well as, if not better than, some woody buffers. They also found that short-duration rotational grazing of streambanks had only limited and short-term impacts on water quality. Employ Long-term Rest from Livestock from areas (Shock, 2000; Moseley et al., 1998; Whitaker- Hoagland et al., 1998; Platts and Raleigh, 1984):when Riparian Areas are Highly Degraded.While grazing and riparian restoration can coex- • A low water table and decreased water stor- age capacityist in many areas, in highly degraded areas live-stock exclusion is necessary to initiate the recov- • Slow vegetative growth and poor forage pro-ery process. The duration of the necessary rest ductionperiod depends on the amount of degradation, • Limited vegetation and roots to help protectthe local environmental conditions, and whether and stabilize banksactive restoration practices are being implementedin addition to providing the area with rest from • Change in vegetation species and types, re-livestock. Ultimately, the objective of providing placement of native vegetation by exotic veg-rest is the recovery of the streambank and its func- etation, or replacement of water-loving veg-tional riparian plant community (Clary and etation by upland vegetationWebster, 1989). • In areas with woody riparian areas, reduced Before discussing methods for resting and numbers and health of trees, combined withrestoring riparian areas, let’s examine some typi- limited shade and higher temperatures ofcal characteristics of severely damaged riparian stream water //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 11
  12. 12. Table 4. Managed Riparian Grazing Systems Management Description of GrazingPAGE 12 When to Use This Practice Management Guidelines Comments Practice System Pasture Layout Riparian-Upland • Enough good quality forage • Remove livestock while up- • Designate riparian paddocks • Relatively small rangeland Pasture available in upland areas so paddocks containing both land forages are still plenti- for special use such as reserve livestock do not depend on ri- upland and riparian vegeta- ful forage or dormant season tion parian vegetation for their for- grazing aging needs ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Riparian Pasture • Paddocks relatively small so • Monitor and manage to re- • Season and duration of graz- • Riparian areas managed that livestock impact on soil separately from uplands store favorable riparian con- ing selected to favor growth of and vegetation can be care- ditions desired vegetation and to de- fully monitored and managed ter propagation of undesired • Useful for obtaining specific species management objectives, such as weed management • Timing of grazing not depen- dant on condition of upland vegetation ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Corridor Fencing • Permanent exclusion of live- • Provides rapid recovery of de- • Permanent fences are costly • Farmers and ranchers are of- stock from stream-bank ar- graded riparian areas and may exclude use of ri- ten hesitant to install corridor eas by fences parian areas that have be- fences come revegetated and en- • Corridor fencing alone does not vironmentally functional address management needs of • Electric or other non-perma- the broader landscape nent fences allow more man- agement flexibilty at a lower cost ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Table 4 continued on page 13//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  13. 13. Table 4. Managed Riparian Grazing Systems, cont’d. Management Description of Grazing Practice System When to Use This Practice Management Guidelines Comments Guidelines for Rotating Animals Time-controlled • Uses recurring periods of • Intensive management allows • Short-duration, intensive • In most riparian areas, live- grazing grazing and rest among sev- for protection of critical ripar-stocking can produce hoof ac- stock should be moved eral paddocks ian resources when 4 to 6 inches of for- tion that helps incorporate ma- • Rate of rotation varies with • Useful for dairy and other high nure and seeds into soil while ages remain the rate of plant growth production livestock opera- increasing pathways for water • Specialized timing and inten- • Management focuses on ob- tions sity of grazing can be used infiltration taining ecological and pro- • Hoof action can be detrimen- to control weed growth duction objectives tal in arid areas where micro- biotic crusts are critical for soil health ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Seasonal rotation• Livestock grazed only dur- • Good for beef production op- • Implement with alternative • Goats can be grazed in ripar- ing times when risks to the erations watering systems and other ian areas if brush or less pal- environment are limited • Riparian areas should be in practices that encourage atable weeds need to be//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS • Relatively short grazing pe- healthy condition prior to us- animals to congregate away cleared out riods used but not managed ing this system from streambanks as intensively as time-con- trolled grazing ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Three pasture rotation system • Designed to meet physiologi- • A semi-extensive grazing • If used in woody riparian areas, Three pasture rest • Only 2 pastures grazed each cal needs of herbaceous practice that rests each pas- limit grazing time during the rotation system year plants ture area once every 3 years late summer rotation to when • Rotation schedule for pas- • Not appropriate for use in • Needs to be managed to herbaceous crops are only half tures - year 1: spring graz- shrub-dominated riparian ar- protect against streambank used. This will limit livestock ing; year 2: late summer and eas since young woody plants degradation in spring and feeding on woody plants. fall grazing; year 3: complete do not have sufficient rest time forage depletion in the fall • Adding more pastures will in- rest to become established crease the amount of time land is rested and will further pro- tect woody speciesPAGE 13 Sources: Undersander and Pillsbury 1999; Fitch and Adams, 1998; Mosley et al., 1998; Leonard et al., 1997; Clark, 1998; Clary and Webster, 1989; Elmore, 1992.
  14. 14. • Excessive sediment in the channel from bank planted through this matting. In less de- and upland erosion graded areas, grazing once or twice in the late summer can control weeds.• Reduced or eliminated late-summer stream flows • Using the natural regeneration of plants to guide your choice of plants to use for assisted• Poor fish habitat because of poor water qual- revegetation. ity and/or poor channel morphology • Planting native grasses and forbs if riparian• Poor wildlife habitat quality vegetation is not able to regenerate naturally.• High coliform bacteria counts from upland • Stabilizing streambanks with rip-rap or fast- waters or adjacent land growing plants before revegetating other por- Areas that are badly degraded or have been tions of the riparian area.abused for many years will take a long time torecover. Similarly, riparian areas in more fragile • Allowing new plants to become well estab-environments, such as arid regions or areas with lished before allowing livestock to graze inlong winters, will take a longer time to recover the revegetated area. This establishment pe-than areas with more moderate climates or more riod may last several years, especially in aridhumid conditions. In western ranges, degraded or severely degraded areas.areas should be rested until vegetation provides Grazing Duration . You can rotationallya complete cover over the soil surface and at least graze riparian areas that have established a highhalf of the vegetation is composed of natural spe- water table and a diverse cover of water-lovingcies (Winward, 1989). For riparian areas across vegetation while not harming, and in some casesthe country, the rest period should also allow for even benefiting, riparian conditions. However,the establishment of suffi- the length of time thatcient vegetation to stabi- an area can be grazedlize the streambank, filter and the duration ofsediments, and allow nu- rest periods betweentrient recycling. Manage- grazing cycles de-ment practices that favor pends on the plantriparian area revegetation species growing in theinclude (Askey-Doran, riparian area, the type2002; Oversby and Smith, of livestock you are2001; Undersander and grazing, the amountPillsbury, 1999; Briggs, of prior degradation,1993): local environmental• Checking to see conditions, and your whether seed sources ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCS production objectives. for native plants are Providing riparian ar- still present in the area. If they are, allow eas with sufficient rest for critical plant species these plants to reestablish naturally for one to regrow and reproduce is central to maintain- year. ing riparian health. In fact, several leading re- searchers and practitioners stress that timing rest• Being aware that weed growth will surge for periods appropriately and providing a sufficient a time after livestock are excluded from the duration of rest are more important than the spe- riparian area. If seed sources for native plants cific grazing practice used (Leonard et al., 1997; are present, these plants will be able to com- Elmore, 1992). pete with upland plant species as soil condi- Graziers often use stubble height to monitor tions improve and the water table rises. upland pasture conditions and to help them make• Providing weed control, especially if invasive decisions regarding when to rotate livestock. or noxious weeds are present. If you prefer Stubble height can also be used as a management not to use herbicides, you can smother weeds tool in riparian areas. The recommended height with organic matting. Desired plants can be of forage residues following grazing differs ac-PAGE 14 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  15. 15. cording to environmental conditions (Clary and growth before winter or grazed later in the fall,Leininger, 2000). For example: but only on a limited and well-monitored basis.• Four-inch (10 cm) stubble will usually main- Timed grazing can also be used to protect tain plant vigor, trap sediment, and protect healthy vegetative growth in riparian areas. Pe- soils from compaction when trampled. riodic grazing can be used to remove the apical meristems or top portions of grasses and sedges.• In woody streambanks, moving livestock af- This promotes vegetative reproduction by stimu- ter they have grazed the forage to 6–8 inches lating the sprouting of additional stalks or tillers (15–20 cm) may be necessary to ensure that (Mosley et al., 1998). However, in areas where they are not feeding on willows or other ri- annual plants are critical components of the ri- parian trees because of a lack of non-woody parian ecosystem, grazing should not occur when forages. these species are setting seed.• Stubble height is not a useful guide in areas Table 5 provides a summary of environmen- where streambanks are rocky or where tal conditions to consider when deciding which woody vegetation dominates in the riparian seasons are most appropriate for riparian graz- zone. ing in your area. Seasonality of rotational grazing prac- rotationaltices in healthy riparian areas. Besides du- A report from the Saskatchewan Riparian Project (Huel, 1998) describes how careful tim-ration of grazing, the time of year when livestock ing and reduced duration of grazing in ripar-are allowed access to riparian areas is also criti- ian areas improved environmental conditionscal to maintaining and restoring riparian health. and productivity on a ranch in the east-cen-Factors that determine the appropriate time to tral part of the province:graze animals in riparian areas include:• Riparian soil moisture following snowmelt, The 3700 acre pasture had previously been rainfall, and heavy streamflows divided into two very large paddocks which• Dominant type of riparian vegetation and its were grazed continuously throughout the sum- periods of peak growth and dormancy mer by two herds of cattle. The cattle spent most of their time close to the creek, over-• Reproductive characteristics of critical ripar- grazing this area while areas farther away ian plants: do they reproduce vegetatively or were hardly grazed at all. This resulted in by seed? If by seed, when does it set? poor riparian condition, productivity and se-• Freeze and thaw cycles during the winter vere damage to the streambanks. In 1993, a Riparian areas should not be grazed when grazing management plan divided the twothey are wet and most vulnerable to compaction. large paddocks into eleven smaller units andIn the northern U.S., this means excluding ani- created additional water sources. The ripar-mals from riparian areas during late winter snow- ian area was divided into three paddocks, onemelts and spring rains and not allowing animals or two of which are rested each year. Whenin until the soil dries. Similarly, in areas with these paddocks are grazed, gazing is deferredheavy late-season rains, livestock should be until the end of summer. These practicesmoved out of riparian areas in the fall. have improved the condition and productivity Timing of riparian grazing is important for of the riparian area considerably as indicatedpreventing erosion and the degradation of soil by plants returning to the areas of bare soiland water quality. In the spring, grazing should on the streambanks. These environmentalbe delayed until vegetation completely covers the benefits have been achieved with no overallriparian soil. This ensures that animals do not reduction in livestock numbers.dislodge bare soils and cause erosion. Fall graz-ing can be used in some areas if it is carefullymonitored, leaving enough vegetation at the end Understand How Different Livestockof the season to protect against spring runoff and Species Graze. Grazing managers should un-erosion. Thus, riparian areas should either be derstand the grazing patterns of the animals theygrazed in the early fall to allow for forage re- manage (Stuth, 1991). Different species prefer //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 15
  16. 16. Table 5. Appropriate Times for GrazingPAGE 16 as Affected by Local Environmental Conditions Management Description of Is This Practice Practice Grazing System Appropriate for your Area? Management Guidelines Comments ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Winter grazing • Livestock graze • Requires cold winters that do not have • Remove livestock from riparian areas be- • Vary grazing locations riparian areas freeze-thaw conditions fore ground thaws from year to year during winter • Should not be used when trees are • Maintain sufficient vegetation cover for • Cull or exclude animals after the ground young or becoming established the capture of spring runoff that loaf in riparian has frozen • Monitor stands of herbaceous vegeta- areas tion to ensure that livestock are not forced to depend on trees for forage • Place salt and minerals away from ripar- ian areas ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Spring grazing • Livestock graze • In arid areas, time grazing to coincide • Manage grazing to ensure adequate seed • Hoof action in the spring riparian areas with times when the palatability of up- growth and root production can mix seeds and litter during spring land forage is similar to that of riparian with the soil forages • Soil texture determines • In humid climates, graze after how dry soils need to be streambanks have dried out, but remove before livestock can livestock before vegetation growth slows trample on streambanks down because of late summer dry con- without causing ditions compaction ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Fall grazing • Livestock grazing • Initiate grazing when cool-season spe- • Monitor vegetation cover to ensure a com- • Promotes the growth of is deferred until cies have become productive on adja- plete cover remains to protect soil against herbaceous plants fall cent upland areas winter and spring runoff and erosion • Decreases the growth of • Defer grazing until grass and sedge • Monitor browsing on woody species to woody species seeds have ripened and been dispersed ensure protection of these plants • Effective in areas where cool streambank temperatures discourage animals from congregating in riparian areas Sources: Undersander and Pillsbury 1999; Mosley et al., 1998; Leonard et al., 1997; Elmore, 1992.//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  17. 17. different forages and graze them to different for weed control, see the ATTRA publication,heights. Species that forage on shrubs and trees Multispecies Grazing.may do so at different stages in the plants’growth. Different livestock species also have dif-ferent herding and camping characteristics. Graz- A ranching family in the Diablo Canyon areaing management practices should be designed to of California has restored native perennialwork with an animal’s natural preferences and grasses by using high-density short-durationinstincts (Leonard et al., 1997). grazing with cattle and browsing of coastal Grazing livestock in riparian areas on hot days scrub by goats. They rotate Spanish meatshould be avoided since animals tend to congre- goats through brushy areas two to three timesgate on streambanks where they find shade and per year. This practice has allowed them tocooling breezes. Conversely, on cool days, cold “demonstrate effective and environmentallyair pockets found in riparian areas will discour- sensitive vegetation management within theage livestock from grazing or congregating in scope of an economically viable meat goatthese areas (Moseley et al., 1998). Sheep tend to business” (Macon, 2002).cause less damage to ripar-ian areas than cattle be-cause they do not like tocongregate in low-lying ar-eas where they feel vulner- Summaryable to predation (Glimp Management intensive rota-and Swanson, 1994). In tional grazing provides farmerscontrast, large herbivores, and ranchers with a method forsuch as cattle, are “central productively managing theirplace foragers,” with their livestock while protecting eco-central place being near logically important riparian eco-water (Stuth, 1991). systems. To be effective, these Specialized grazing management practices must bemanagement practices can flexibly implemented based onalso successfully control knowledge of local climate, na-weeds and non-native tive riparian vegetation, currentwoody species. By under- riparian health, and livestock be-standing the growth habits havior.and reproductive cycles of Rotational grazing can alsonoxious and non-native be installed incrementally toplants in relation to those ©2003 Photo by USDA-NRCS obtain the most benefit fromof desired riparian plants, each change. For example:the timing and duration of livestock grazing can • First, install alternative watering systemsbe managed to favor their feeding on weeds or away from streambanks. This will increaseunwanted brush (Paine and Ribic, 2001). Chang- animal productivity by ensuring access toing or combining livestock species can also help clean water while protecting riparian areascontrol weeds. For example, goats can be used by encouraging animal congregation aroundto control blackberries, multiflora rose, honey- the troughs rather than on streambanks or insuckle, and many other troublesome plants streambeds.(Luginbuhl et al., 2000). In California, goats areused to control yellow star thistle (Pittroff, 2001), • Alternatively, install controlled stream accessand in Wisconsin, a research study is using Scot- points. Encouraging animals to drink or crosstish Highland cattle in rotational grazing to help streams in specific, managed locations willcontrol prickly ash, multiflora rose, wild pars- cut down on random trampling ofnip, and box elder (Shepard, 2001). For more streambanks, and will also decrease the riskinformation on the use of multispecies grazing of animal injury. //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS PAGE 17
  18. 18. • Secondly, improve upland forage quality through a combination of rotational grazing, overseeding, and fertility management. As upland forage quality improves, animals will be less likely to selec- tively feed on riparian plants.• As you install fences for rotational grazing, set up sufficient paddocks to keep livestock out of riparian areas during times when these areas are most vulnerable to degradation. High-risk times include when the soil is wet or partially frozen, when plants are emerging or setting seed, or when plant cover is limited because of dry conditions. While the guidelines provided in this publication can assist you in the design and initial implemen-tation of productive and environmentally beneficial riparian grazing practices, locally appropriatemanagement requires ongoing monitoring of livestock and riparian health. It also requires the flexibil-ity to revise management practices based on your observations and management objectives. Coop-erative Extension Educators, Natural Resource Conservation Service grazing specialists, and otherexperienced graziers can help you monitor and adjust your grazing practices. Grazing groups pro-vide an excellent opportunity to learn from the experience of others, while providing you with theopportunity to ask questions about practices you are trying out on your farm. For a list of grazinggroups in the U.S. and suggestions for starting a group, see the ATTRA publication Grazing Networksfor Livestock Producers. Recommended References Citation Annotation Pasture management in moist climates Clark, E.A. 1998. Landscape variables affecting live- Provides an overview of grazing impacts on water stock impacts on water quality in the humid temperate quality in humid climates. This paper argues that the zone. Canadian Journal of Plant Sciences. Vol. 78. potential impact of grazing on water quality is affected p. 181–190. by climate, landforms, and biophysical characteris- tics of the watershed. Managed grazing practices can minimize impacts of livestock on water quality.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Huel, D. 1998. Streambank Stewardship: A A well-illustrated guide to riparian area ecology, res- Saskatchewan Riparian Project. Saskatchewan Wet- toration, and agricultural use. Contains several ripar- land Conservation Corporation. Regina, ian health checklists and case studies of farmers and Saskatchewan. Accessed at: <http://www.wetland. ranchers who implemented riparian conservation prac->. tices.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Moseley, M., R.D. Harmel, R. Blackwell, and T. Bidwell. This short article provides a nice combination of eco- 1998. Grazing and riparian area management. p.47– logical and management guidelines. A description of 53. In: M.S. Cooper (ed.) Riparian Area Manage- the relationship between grazing pressure and forage ment Handbook. Oklahoma Cooperative Extension growth is followed by strategies to manage grazing in Service, Division of Agricultural Services and Natural riparian areas. Four grazing management choices Resources, Oklahoma State University and the Okla- are outlined: encouraging animals to use upland ar- homa Conservation Commission. Accessed at: <http:/ eas, allocating riparian areas into special use pas- />. tures, providing total exclusion from riparian areas, and constructing controlled access points.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Sovell, L.A., B. Vondracek, J.A. Frost, and K.G. A well documented comparison of rotationally-grazed, Mumford. 2000. Impacts of rotational grazing and fenced grass, and woody riparian buffer areas and riparian buffers on physiochemical and biological char- their impact on water chemistry, physical habitat, bi- acteristics of southeastern Minnesota, USA, streams. otic indicators, fecal coliform, and stream turbidity. Environmental Management. Vol. 26, No. 6. p. 629– Results showed that grassy or rotationally-grazed buff- 641. ers protected against stream sedimentation better than woody buffers.______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Recommended References continued on page 19PAGE 18 //MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  19. 19. Recommended References, cont’d. Citation Annotation Pasture management in moist climates, cont’d. Shelton, V. No date. Streamside Grazing in Indiana. Natural A Power Point slide presentation that provides guidelines for management of riparian areas in Resources Conservation Service. Accessed at: <http:// Indiana grazing systems. Focus is primarily on alternative water systems and stream crossing>. areas used to minimize the time animals spend in and near streams. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Undersander, D., and B. Pillsbury. 1999. Grazing Streamside A short but clearly written pamphlet focusing on intensive managed grazing of grassy streamside Pastures. University of Wisconsin Extension, Madison, WI. pastures. Practical advice on paddock layout, installing alternative watering systems, reseeding 16 p. streambanks, and managing trees in riparian areas is provided. Range management in arid environments Clary, W.P., and B.F. Webster. 1989. Managing grazing of Provides recommendations for grazing methods appropriate to riparian areas at different levels of riparian areas in the Intermountain Region. Gen. Tech. Rep. functional health or degradation. Focuses on the use of grazing practices to achieve environ- INT-263. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest mental objectives including streambank stabilization and habitat restoration. Service, Intermountain Research Station. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Elmore, W. 1992. Riparian responses to grazing practices. Describes the role of riparian areas in protecting water quality and storing water for recharge of In: R.J. Naiman (ed.) Watershed Management: Balancing subsurface aquifers and how poorly managed grazing practices have degraded these functional//MANAGED GRAZING IN RIPARIAN AREAS Sustainability and Environmental Change. Springer-Verlag. capabilities of riparian areas. Several types of rotational and seasonal grazing practices are New York. described, with their application to specific environmental conditions emphasized. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Leonard, S., G. Kinch, V. Elsbernd, M.Borman, and S. A concise overview of riparian management objectives is followed by a detailed discussion of Swanson. 1997. Riparian Area Management: Grazing Man- livestock interactions with the riparian environment and how grazing practices that protect ripar- agement for Riparian-Wetland Areas. Technical Reference ian areas take both animal behavior and plant growth characteristics into account. Particular 1737-14. U.S. Department of the Interior. Bureau of Land emphasis is placed on grazing management strategies and their impact on riparian areas. Guide- Management. National Applied Resource Sciences Center. lines are provided to help producers determine the appropriateness of strategies for their loca- Denver, CO. tion. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ A very detailed Web page developed by a multi-agency program in Alberta, Canada. Includes Cows and Fish. Alberta Riparian Habitat Management Pro- highly illustrated, easy-to-use checklists for monitoring streambank health, water quality in ripar- gram. 2002. Accessed at: < index.html>. ian areas, biodiversity, and grazing practices. Also provides agency personnel with guidelines for implementing community-based riparian protection programs. Case studies of communities and producers are available through this Web site. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Recommended References continued on page 20PAGE 19