- Author: Stephanie Larson
This semester, I am teaching Range Management at Santa Rosa Junior College. I have asked my students to give their impressions of what they are learning in the form of a blog. This blog was written by student Brian Noyes.
Despite the complications and many exceptions given by the broad designation, in essence, learning to manage rangeland is learning to manage grazing. Although I knew the general natural history of the land, it didn't occur to me just how instrumental were the grazing and browsing herds of animals throughout the past in maintaining the landscape. This opens up a very novel way of thinking about land management through animal husbandry. At least it is novel to me, given my background in conservation and habitat restoration, with particular focus on riparian habitats. Grazing livestock is anathema to riparian habitat, plain and simple; how ironic that proper grazing techniques practiced upland of the stream channel are probably one of the most effective tools in preserving water quality through reducing erosion and improving groundwater retention. I look forward to challenging more of my own conceptions in this field going forward.
- Author: Karen Giovannini
Stephanie is the Livestock & Range Management Advisor for Sonoma and Marin Counties, where she conducts education and research to integrate dairy and livestock production with rangeland management and helps local producers to improve production and marketing. She is also the Director of the UCCE Sonoma County office. Read her bio here.