Who Affects Rangeland Health?

The Livestock Probability Map, supplied with other scoping documents for permitted grazing on the Sonoran Desert National Monument, says this about the “limited mobility” of cattle on page 5 (citations omitted):

The location of water and salt play a large role in the movement of cattle across a landscape.  In general, livestock do not travel more than 2 miles from water on flat terrain and no more than 1 mile in rough terrain.  Distance from water and slope are two common variables used to predict livestock distribution in almost every environment.  Furthermore, range condition is generally related to the distance from livestock water points.

And you thought only wild horses and burros were responsible for rangeland impacts near water sources?

What about the last statement ?  How does rangeland health vary with respect to distance from water?  The farther the better?

If that’s true, animals with greater mobility (and lower stocking rates), such as wild horses and wildlife, would be expected to have a smaller impact.

RELATED: Management of Western Rangelands in 2018.

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