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Private Grazing Lands Produce Multiple Benefits

Grazing land vegetation is a renewable natural resource. Well-managed, privately owned grazing lands provide many valuable benefits to all citizens of Montana.

The greatest opportunity for realizing the multiple benefits possible from grazing lands lies in the application of good stewardship practices. Proper management is the catalyst that leads to the realization of the benefits from pasturelands, rangelands, grazed forestlands, and haylands.

Public Benefits

Private grazing lands provide habitat for two-thirds of our wildlife, water for urban and other users, and visually appealing open space. Properly managed, private grazing lands provide an enhanced quality of life. When properly managed, they provide food for grazing animals that is converted to food for human consumption. Other natural resources, such as wildlife, water, etc., also benefit from properly managed grazing lands.

Economic and Social Stability

Properly managed, private grazing lands enhance the economic and social stability of Montana. Products from these grazing lands are sold throughout the world, providing a bright spot in our balance of trade.

Better and Dependable Water Supplies

Properly managed grazing lands mean better water. Healthy stands of vegetation reduce soil erosion and sedimentation. More water is delivered to underground aquifers; floods are reduced; and cleaner streams are available for fish, wildlife, domestic livestock, recreation, and of course, people.

Opportunities for Recreation

Recreational use of grazing lands is increasingly important. Camping, fishing, hunting, bird-watching, horseback riding, hiking, off-road bicycling, photography, and other outdoor activities are on an upward trend. Properly managed, grazing lands provide a higher quality recreational experience.

Benefits to the Global Environment

The vegetation and soils on grazing lands are a large reservoir for organic carbon. Properly managed, grazing lands help reduce atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and may reduce greenhouse gas accumulation.