Wildlife responses to restoration article submitted to Journal of Applied Ecology

Restorationists often hope and expect that wildlife will increase in abundance and diversity when “native” habitats are restored, but this assumption has not been well-investigated for most wildlife species, particularly in grasslands, and even more so in the Central Valley of California. From 2014 to 2015 I conducted a rather ambitious spatiotemporally replicated natural experiment investigating wildlife…

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,…

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…

Livestock-recreation interactions on public lands: a complex emerging issue of conservation, economics, and social responsibility

Livestock grazing and recreational pursuits are often concurrent on California rangelands, but on rare occasions conflicts between recreationists and livestock or graziers arise. I am conducting a comprehensive Literature Review (Part One) regarding issues surrounding simultaneous livestock grazing and recreation on public lands. To investigate region-specific issues regarding livestock-recreation issues on coastal California public lands, I am also conducting…

Continuous versus rotational grazing, again: Another perspective from meta-analysis

In an effort to close the continuous- (CG) versus rotational-grazing (RG) debate that has occupied rangeland management discussions for over a century, Briske et al. (2008) reviewed 47 peer-reviewed journal articles from 1950-2007 comparing CG with various RG systems. The authors used vote counting to tally the number of studies that found significantly greater, equal, or lower production for CG relative to RG for three response variables: animal production (AP, both in kg/head and kg/ha) and plant production (PP, kg /ha). They concluded grazing research does not show these two systems produce different results, and as such advocates for RG are likely relying on anecdotal observations. However, a quantitative meta-analysis of the same studies revealed differences not previously detected by the vote-counting method. Animal production was on average higher for CG than RG, but multivariate regression instances in which RG may outperform CG. Anecdotal observations that animal production may be higher under RG than CG in highly stochastic or arid climates was supported at the ranch scale (large scale, commercial-sized operations), but not at the research scale (small-scale, plots-scale studies), suggesting size of operation/observation plays an important role in detection of productivity outcomes. Increased seasonality of temperature was also strongly significant, showing higher productivity for RG systems relative to CG as seasonality increased. However, limited numbers of large-scale experiments in arid environments (8) included in the 2008 paper make conclusive statements regarding grazing system effectiveness difficult. These results suggest the possibility of RG outperforming CG for animal production at large scales in less constant, arid climates – where most livestock grazing occurs.