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Whats Good for Cows is Generally Good for Grouse

Sage-Grouse and Livestock Grazing, Are There Mutual Interests?

Photo shows cattle grazing healthy sagebrush grasslands.Media reports and conversations at coffee shops often accentuate differences on issues such as sage-grouse and livestock grazing. Human nature seems to find differences more emotionally riveting while topics of mutual interest go unsaid or are lost to attention grabbing headlines. Sage-grouse and livestock grazing is one of those attention grabbing issues. Following are some points of mutual interest that you may not have heard in the headlines:

Things that Benefit Sage-Grouse and Livestock

  • Healthy, sustainable range
  • Rangeland plant diversity
  • A well-designed grazing plan
  • A healthy forb component
  • Weed and invasive species management
  • Appropriate range management of encroaching conifers (juniper, Ponderosa pine)
  • Healthy, productive springs and seeps
  • Unfragmented working rangelands
  • Productive sagebrush grasslands with a healthy native perennial grass understory
  • Healthy wildlife populations

Things that Are Negatives for Sage-Grouse and Livestock

  • Overgrazing by livestock or wildlife
  • Urbanization
  • Infrastructure developments and other disturbances such as roads that fragment the range and spread weeds
  • Sagebrush habitat dominated by club moss or blue grama
  • Stock water tanks that drown wildlife and foul stock water

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What's Good for Cows Is Generally Good for Grouse (PDF; 258 KB)