Livestock-Recreation Interactions Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program Workshop

“Grazing is not only compatible, it is mandatory.” – Consultant

On September 29th, cooperative extension specialists, public land agency managers, consultants, and graziers met in Santa Clara for a workshop I led on compatibility of livestock grazing and recreation on public lands. As livestock grazing on the coast moves increasingly into the public land forum and recreational activities increase, the potential for conflicts between recreationists and livestock increases. The level of plant invasion and wildfire hazards in California make well-managed livestock grazing a viable tool for managing these threats, on public and private lands alike. But are public lands solely for the use of “the public”? Can these lands be managed in an economically and ecologically sustainable manner with livestock… or without livestock? Are livestock grazing and public recreation compatible? These questions and more were addressed at this workshop, which consisted of a 1-hour presentation and discussion groups in which we generated ideas for synergistic relationships between grazing animals, recreation, and public lands management.

Presentation slides may be viewed here: CCRC Workshop Slides

Slides with annotations (my notes, which may be viewed by hovering your cursor over the small conversation bubble in the upper left-hand corner) may be found here: CCRC Workshop Slides with Notes

This three-hour workshop was sponsored by the Elkhorn Slough Coastal Training Program in partnership with the Central Coast Rangeland Coalition (see information here CCRC Mission), and the research was funded by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District.

If you are a land manager, public agency official, consultant, or grazier and are interested in providing information about your experiences with livestock and recreation on public lands, please contact me!

U.C.’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (U.C. ANR) has also created some documents to help increase understanding of management and challenges in Working Rangelands. Check them out here (or visit their website to download over a hundred free publications at U.C. ANR Free Publications)!

Cattle, Sheep, Goats, and Horses: What’s the Difference for Working Rangelands?

The Benefits of Grazing – Livestock Grazing: A Conservation Tool on California’s Annual Grasslands

Grazing Systems Management

Sharing Open Space: What to Expect from Grazing Livestock

Featured photo credit: U.C. ANR

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