Davis, T. Zane
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CitationFrost, R., Walker, J., Madsen, C., Holes, R., Lehfeldt, J., Cunningham, J., … & Sullivan, J. (2012). Targeted Grazing: Applying the Research to the Land. Rangelands, 34(1), 2-10.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
AbstractThe discipline of range science is in part based on the observation that vegetation on rangelands changes in response to livestock grazing. For much of the history of range science, livestock grazing was considered to affect range plants and ecological condition negatively. Thus range plants were classified as increasers, decreasers, or invaders as a function of their response to grazing. The concept that grazing can be used to restore degraded rangelands is relatively new. It requires a paradigm shift for most people from grazing animals reaping the benefits of the land to the land reaping the benefits of the grazing animals. Using livestock to accomplish vegetation management goals is referred to as targeted grazing. Targeted grazing is defined as the application of a particular kind of grazing animal at a specified season, duration, and intensity to accomplish specific vegetation management goals. It is the last half of this definition that differentiates targeted grazing from traditional grazing. The focus is on the vegetation and the subsequent outcomes and changes in composition or structure, rather than the performance of the grazing animal. Where the potential for targeted grazing to create positive change on the landscape has been clearly demonstrated through research and the experiences of practitioners, it still struggles to gain recognition as a viable vegetation management option. The recently published handbook Targeted Grazing: A Natural Approach to Vegetation Management and Landscape Enhancement was organized and written largely by range scientists to provide the scientific basis for targeted grazing. However, it did not provide much information on the practical and daily management decisions required by contract graziers and land managers. While the scientific basis for targeted grazing provides the foundation for understanding and improving this technology, as with all grazing management it is the daily operations and decisions that determine its success. The diversity of situations to which this tool can be applied necessitates the exchange of real-life experiences to promote learning among practitioners and to inform land managers of the successful programs and potential pitfalls to avoid....