Range-wide Effects of Livestock Grazing in Sagebrush Habitats

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Previous studies have established that livestock grazing in sagebrush habitats affects wildlife species that depend on healthy sagebrush. USGS scientists evaluated existing datasets about sagebrush ecosystems managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) in six states to determine the range-wide effects of grazing. Results showed that in general, local monitoring data were not collected consistently to support range-wide analyses, and more standardized data collection is required for analyses at broader scales. Improved emphasis on monitoring the effects of livestock grazing should help local management decisions. Rangeland scientists emphasize the need to continue collecting ground cover data and tracking livestock numbers and grazing dates. Range-wide datasets used in conjunction with remotely sensed imagery will help prioritize monitoring activities over extensive land areas and allow the BLM to better assess rangeland condition.


Author Name
David A. Pyke
Author Email