University of California, U.S. Forest Service and other agencies will work together to understand the impact of cattle grazing in the High Sierra and look for solutions to water quality problems, according to an article in the Sonora Union Democrat.
UC Davis Cooperative Extension watershed specialist Ken Tate and interim director of the Western Institute for Food Safety and Security at UC Davis Rob Atwill will design and conduct the study. The first samples have already been collected.
In the story, writer Ashley Archibald reported that the scientists are seeking to fix problems, not just document them.
“It’s good to focus on what are the practices that can move us forward so everyone can enjoy the national forest since it has a multiple use mandate and is a resource for the public, and the public is pretty diverse," Atwill was quoted.
Scott Oneto, the director and farm advisor for the UC Cooperative Extension in Calaveras and Tuolumne counties, said the scientists are still looking for input on how to build a comprehensive study.
The California Farm Bureau Federation's weekly publication AgAlert
also weighed in on the new study. The paper said the scientists held a briefing for ranchers in Sonora where they explained their desire to acquire data to demonstrate the relationship between grazing on public lands and water quality requirements.
The article - written by AgAlert editor Kate Campbell - noted that the scientists will take multiple water samples from 48 different sites in the High Sierra over the next several months, with preliminary results available by the end of this year. Sites will include areas used for grazing and recreation.