Advantages of Grazing Cattle on Public Lands

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Grazing cattle on public lands can have many advantages. Monetary gain is a large reason why lands are utilized (Council for Agricultural Science, Livestock Grazing on Federal Land). However grazing may be used as a tool for managing rangelands. Grazing could have possibly been the first form of rangeland management other than fire (Frost, Prescription Grazing). With this method, weeds and other undesirable vegetation were targeted to reduce numbers. However, if prescribed incorrectly it could lead to poor conditions for other organisms living in that environment (Frost, Prescription Grazing). Recently there has been a push toward research for the protection of the sage grouse. In this paper we will explore the effects of rangeland grazing and rangeland treatments on the sage grouse and its habitat.

The sage grouse, as the name may imply, has a large reliance on the sagebrush. Sage grouse need large areas of sagebrush for cover, feed, and nesting (Patterson, Sage in Wyoming). A study in 1998 on sage grouse nests found higher concentrations of successful sage grouse nests that were located in undisturbed sagebrush sample areas that had thick brush cover and taller canopies (Sveum, Nesting Habitat Selection). In the summer, sage grouse require a variety of components to survive. The bird uses the sagebrush for cover though they also need open area with grasses and forbs for insect feed for their offspring and for mating (Dunn, Adult Female and Juvenile).

Over the years,

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