In North America, vast herds of grazing animals used to roam.
Our rangeland ecosystems evolved under this high intensity, short duration grazing.
Nomadic herds no longer range from north to south and back again, but with careful management livestock can fill the void. Well-managed livestock are a useful tool for rangeland, forest and fisheries restoration. Instead of being a threat, well-managed livestock can reinvigorate landscapes that have devolved into barren unproductivity, helping restore other essential ecological processes along the way.
Livestock, on the range, efficiently convert the sun’s energy locked within plants into edible protein. Livestock, in intensive confinement, provide a haven for problems, ranging from their own behavior and health including the rise of disease, to environmental concerns such as non-point source pollution arising from collected waste.
Read more about the benefits offered by domestic animals:
Markets for Conservation: Reining in the Wild Horse Crisis
There are more wild horses and burros on the public landscape allotted to them than that range can sustain. Beautiful as they are, these animals are degrading the range and they compete for water and forage with […]
The reason horses do so well in our wild environments is because they belong here. Classifying wild horses as exotics makes sense only to those who are unaware of our continent’s natural history. For […]
Addressing Brucellosis Will Help Ranchers and Wildlife
Quoting the PROPERTY AND ENVIRONMENT RESEARCH CENTER (PERC) article below, “Because ranchers bear the cost of brucellosis—and the stress of the very real possibility of transmission of the disease—they are understandably reluctant to have elk […]
Quoting the article below, “Livestock grazing is also proposed as a potential solution for wildfires such as those that have devastated several western states this year. Researchers with the University of California Cooperative Extension are […]
Washington State to Manage Wolves Within Borders After Fed Action
Quoting the article below, “Wolves were wiped out in Washington by the 1930s at the behest of the livestock industry. The animals began migrating back into the state from Idaho and British Columbia early in […]
Burned, Beetle-ravaged Wyoming Forest Expected to Flourish
As demonstrated across the West, refusing to “manage” forests is a powerful management practice. While the practice of keeping human hands off of forest resources may be well-intentioned, it is detrimental and destructive. The “hands […]
Brucellosis Outbreak in China Worsening as Disease Spreads to Farms
The many sincere and well-intentioned “defenders of wildlife” who oppose treating the brucellosis that infects Yellowstone Park’s elk and bison should read the article below. The current Covid pandemic demonstrates once again that animal […]
Due to well-intentioned “hands off” forest management practices – often intended to help wildlife – our national forests are accumulating highly flammable understory material faster than nature can cycle it away. The well-meaning prescription […]
Painting Eyes On The Butts Of Cattle Surprisingly Effective At Scaring Off Would-Be Predators
Here is another example of low-tech, non-lethal ways to protect cattle from predators. NOTE: this article was originally published to IFLScience’s Apple News Channel on August 7, 2020. It was written by Katy […]
Documents Detail Push To Manage Yellowstone Bison as Cattle
The article below summarizes various objections to managing Yellowstone bison more like cattle in order to control brucellosis, among other things. Yellowstone’s elk and bison are now a regional reservoir for this disease, which causes […]
Stewardship with Vision, Episode 9: Sieben Live Stock Company
Sieben Live Stock Company is a family owned and operated ranch in north central Montana which raises cattle and sheep. The Hibbard family believes proper grazing techniques can improve overall land health. Their practices include […]
Climate Change Mitigation is a Side Effect of Regenerative Ranching: Insights From Australia And The United States
“Whatever the causes of climate change, human damage to our environment cannot be denied. As the authors of this paper explain, more and more people are rejecting industrial agriculture in favor of regenerative (restorative) ag […]
Escaped Exotics Animals are Changing the Texas Landscape
Quoting the author of the article below, “There’s an idea that gets played with in progressive futurist circles sometimes: the notion of deliberately engineering landscapes to mimic our understanding of their past shape. Quietly, without […]
Wildlife-Friendly Cattle Fences in an Idaho Forest
This is the most wildlife-friendly fence design that we have seen. It would work great on large properties, whether placed around perimeters or inside for pastures. It goes up fast and uses a minimum of […]