U.S. Forest Service regional forester Randy Moore said the agency and its collaborators take the quality of high Sierra water seriously, according to an op-ed article that ran in the Sacramento Bee over the weekend.
The op-ed came after a May 1 Sac Bee editorial encouraging the Forest Service to limit grazing to lower elevations.Moore wrote that the Forest Service is working with the State Water Resources Control Board to develop a water quality management plan for California national forests. The plan will establish best-management practices for controlling non-point source pollution like that produced by grazing cattle.
To develop the practices, Moore said the agencies are looking at a large body of peer-reviewed literature examining the relationship between livestock and water quality. The studies were conducted by respected environmental researchers, he wrote, specifically naming UC Davis Cooperative Extension specialists Ken Tate and Rob Atwill.
UC Davis researchers have offered to work with the Forest Service to design monitoring and research that is scientifically credible and provides information that will ensure the safety and quality of watersheds, the op-ed says.