- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
One of the worst rangeland weeds in the West is aptly named after a monster in Greek mythology that has writhing snakes instead of hair.
Medusahead, an unwelcome transplant from Europe, is anathema to the cattle living off rangeland grass. The weed's three-inch-long bristles poke and sometimes injure the animals' mouths and eyes. The weed is also low-quality forage for livestock. When medusahead takes over rangeland, it reduces the forage value by 80 percent.
When Fadzayi Mashiri, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties, was appointed in 2013, she became the first natural resources and rangeland expert to hold the position since the...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
If you’re trying to save Yosemite toads, keeping large animals with hooves such as cows away from the small squishable amphibians would seem like a good start. University of California scientists conducted research to confirm such suspicions. Their research revealed that fencing off grazing cattle didn’t benefit the Yosemite toad, but increased meadow wetness did.
Amphibians are in decline globally. The Yosemite toad was once prevalent in the high Sierra including Yosemite National Park, where it was first discovered and after which it is named. Since the early 1980s, the amphibian’s population and habitat have plummeted.
In the Sierra Nevada Mountains, where livestock graze among toad habitat, UC...
- Posted By: John Stumbos
- Written by: Diane Nelson
Ranchers, environmentalists, researchers, and regulators will meet at UC Davis January 19-20 for the Range Research Symposium and California Rangeland Conservation Coalition Summit to explore new research and share varied interests and their common commitment to preserving California’s rangeland.
“We’ll be looking at the latest rangeland science, practices, and collaborations that support the many public benefits we receive from rangelands,” said UC Cooperative Extension Watershed Specialist Ken Tate with the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, a key organizer of the event. “Participants will see why diverse interests have agreed on the importance of working rangelands and the...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
“Water is the driver of nature.” - Leonardo da Vinci
California’s vast dry rangelands are dotted with water troughs ideal for quenching cattle’s thirst. But in most cases, the troughs’ designs are a torment to wildlife drawn for a drink.
Monterey County rancher George Work observed how traditional water troughs frustrated the wildlife on his family’s 12,000-acre cattle ranch. Small birds couldn’t reach water two or three inches below the top edge. Coyotes, bobcats and cottontails weren’t tall enough to reach over the rim. Work set to making a water trough that would meet the needs of all animals on the range – from cattle, hunting dogs and horses to deer and rabbits.
While raising cattle remains...
- Author: John Stumbos
California’s premier farmland protection tool – the Williamson Act – is on the state’s budget-cutting chopping block and with it critical habitat needed for conservation.
A UC Davis study completed by a team of graduate students working with rangeland watershed specialist Ken Tate and other faculty found that 43 percent of the 10 million acres of “non-prime” land in the program, used primarily for cattle grazing, is also critical for statewide conservation goals. Conservation status was determined by the California Rangeland Conservation Coalition, a voluntary partnership between ranchers, environmentalists, government agencies, and others...