Why this website exists!

image of cows and a barn
Photo courtesy of USDA NRCS Unfortunately livestock grazing is often evaluated as an either/or situation, either good or bad. Discussions that compare only the extremes of no livestock use to ecologically damaging livestock use overlook the large amount of scientific information available that describes the positive environmental impacts that can be accomplished when livestock are managed to consider season- of-use, grazing intensity and livestock class.

Livestock grazing impacts are complex and occur as a series of continuums. This dynamic website is designed to provide livestock managers a better understanding of how specific grazing strategies can be used to modify plant and animal communities in a manner that achieves desired objectives. The website is based on the UC Davis ANR Publication 21626 "Understanding Livestock Grazing Impacts" that was peer reviewed in November 2005. This website allows the published peer reviewed concepts and information to be expanded and continually updated. Information added since the review includes:

What planning and analysis info is found on the website?

Introduction - Do you need a short history and background related to livestock grazing? Check out the introduction.

Planning Overview - Do you have a need to get organized and develop an effective livestock grazing management plan? A four step format for preparing a realistic livestock grazing management plan is presented in the planning section.

Criteria and Indicators Concept - Have you never heard of criteria and indicators, or heard of them but never really understood what they are all about? A history and an understanding of the criteria and indicator concept utilized to assist in evaluating rangeland health and predicting livestock grazing impacts can be found on the concept page.

Indicators - Perhaps you have a need for information regarding a specific wildlife, plant or economic indicator. A large list of environmental and socio/economic indicators that may be impacted by livestock grazing have been evaluated and posted on the website. Additional Rangeland cover types and the list of indicators will grow with time as more information is added to this website.

Analysis of Indicators - Is information overload a problem? Do you have a need to sort through all numerous potential indicators and only evaluate the ones relevant to your project? The unique analysis section allows you to select and compare up to 7 relevant indicators at one time. More than 7 indictors can be evaluated by doing a second analysis. You can even prepare and print graphic impact charts that provide a visual comparison for inclusion in planning documents.

Monitoring - Sometimes the obvious is not so obvious! Monitoring is universally endorsed as important, and then it doesn't get done. A brief overview of monitoring concepts is provided with selected references which will help you understand why, as well as how, to monitor livestock grazing impacts.

Rangeland Cover Types - Livestock grazing impacts are influenced by the habitat or cover type. When predicting livestock grazing impacts there is a need to consider the dominant or key rangeland vegetation being evaluated.