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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Rangeland Resources & Systems Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #405155

Research Project: Adaptive Grazing Management and Decision Support to Enhance Ecosystem Services in the Western Great Plains

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

Title: Principles for successful livestock grazing management on Western U.S. rangelands

Author
item JABLONSKI, KEVIN - Colorado State University
item Derner, Justin
item BAILEY, DEREK - New Mexico State University
item Davies, Kirk
item MEIMAN, PAUL - University Of Nevada
item ROCHE, LESLIE - University Of California
item THACKER, ERIC - Utah State University
item Vermeire, Lance
item STACKHOUSE-LAWSON, KIM - Colorad0 State University

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/3/2023
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary: We set out to start a meaningful conversation on grazing management to fill a void in rangeland science. To accomplish this task, we worked with experts from across the Western US to identify seven grazing management principles for successful livestock grazing management. These principles continually emphasize the importance of planning, goal setting, adaptation, flexibility, and local context. We hope these principles will initiate a conversation that will continue to improve livestock grazing management. These principles also serve as a base from which new information can be sought and assimilated.

Technical Abstract: This project was conceived as an iterative conversation among a small group of rangeland scientist advisors from across the Western US and a larger community of livestock grazing management experts from the same region. We used a five-step process to develop a set of principles for successful livestock grazing management: 1- recruit a geographically representative advisory team; 2- design a grazing management survey and distribute to experts across the Western US; 3- analyze survey results and delineate draft principles; 4- gather feedback on draft principles from survey respondents and at the 2023 Society for Range Management Annual Meeting; and 5- integrate feedback and refine principles. The seven principles for successful livestock grazing management on semi-aid and arid rangelands of the Western US are 1) Practice adaptive management, 2) Optimize stocking rate, 3) Use a grazing plan, 4) Prioritize ecological health, 5) Don’t ignore distribution, 6) Welfare begets performance, and 7) Think beyond the range.