Accepted for publication: Compatibility of livestock grazing and recreational use on coastal California public lands: Importance, interactions, and management solutions

This paper was accepted by Rangeland Ecology & Management on 8/18/2016 and should be published and available online shortly. Once available, I will post the manuscript here!

As livestock grazing increasingly moves onto public lands and into public view, potential for conflicts between livestock and recreationists in particular have also increased, and in some cases, even perceived conflicts have resulted in likely unnecessary removal of grazing from the disputed area. We wrote written a two-part series addressing livestock-recreation interactions on public lands, focusing on the coastal regions of California where populations have continued to increase at faster rates than in other parts of the state. This paper is a review of the literature regarding livestock grazing on public lands, and the second paper (in prep) presents results of one-on-one interviews, clicker surveys, and online surveys of land managers and graziers regarding the challenges – and potential solutions – of concurrent livestock grazing and recreation, especially on public lands heavily utilized for recreation. Until the manuscript is fully published, I cannot share the full text, but here is the abstract in the meantime!

Authors: Kristina M. Wolf a, Roger A. Baldwin b, and Sheila Barry c

Corresponding Author; Department of Plant Sciences and Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA; kmwolf@ucdavis.edu

 Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology, Human-Wildlife Conflict Specialist, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Avenue, Davis, CA 95616, USA; rabaldwin@ucdavis.edu

 University of California Cooperative Extension, Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor and Country Director Santa Clara, University of California, Santa Clara, 1553 Berger Drive, San Jose, CA 95112, USA; sbarry@ucanr.edu

Abstract: While the primary use of rangelands for over a century has been livestock grazing to produce food and fiber, elevated demand for recreational land has increasingly brought livestock-recreation interactions to the forefront. California’s coastal range is a hotspot for graziers and recreationists alike and is an important region in which to address the challenges and opportunities of concurrent grazing and recreation. Here we review issues related to livestock grazing on publicly-owned recreational lands, discuss potential areas of conflict, and highlight promising avenues for fostering positive livestock-recreation interactions. Managers grazing livestock on public lands have adopted a variety of management practices to minimize conflicts and maximize benefits derived from multiple uses of public lands. However, even a few perceived negative recreationist experiences may prompt some public land agencies to remove livestock grazing entirely. California’s grasslands – a large component of public lands – are the most “at risk” habitat type for development, and increasing economic and social pressures on ranchers that utilize leased public lands make it more likely that ranchers will sell their private lands to developers if access to public grazing land was eliminated, further increasing threats to our already dwindling rangelands. The continued accessibility of public lands for grazing is thus inextricably linked to the protection of private rangelands and the critical resources they provide. Novel approaches to public education and collaborative land management are critical to reducing negative livestock-recreation encounter and ensuring continued conservation of wildlands.

See other links for more information on this topic here 

Elkhorn Slough CTP Workshop

Interacting with Cattle at SCC Parks

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