UC Cooperative Extension | Agricultural Experiment Station
Reducing livestock impacts on water quality, aquatic and riparian habitat, and biodiversity are continuing goals for livestock producers, natural resource managers, and conservation groups. These livestock impacts are frequently due to problems with livestock distribution. While fences are usually an effective tool for controlling livestock distribution and reducing impacts on riparian zones or other critical areas, manipulation of grazing patterns can also effectively reduce adverse impacts from livestock. These practices can also facilitate the use of grazing to manipulate vegetation to meet management goals. It is crucial that livestock producers, land managers, community watershed groups, environmental interest groups and policy makers understand the factors that influence where animals graze, rest, and drink, and how livestock can be predictably and effectively redistributed so that they do not produce undesirable effects in grazed watersheds.