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Climate change increases stress, need for restoration on grazed public lands
Date:11/13/2012

li>Grazing and trampling reduces the capacity of soils to sequester carbon, and through various processes contributes to greenhouse warming.

  • Domestic livestock now use more than 70 percent of the lands managed by the BLM and Forest Service, and their grazing may be the major factor negatively affecting wildlife in 11 western states. In the West, about 175 taxa of freshwater fish are considered imperiled due to habitat-related causes.

  • Removing or significantly reducing grazing is likely to be far more effective, in cost and success, than piecemeal approaches to address some of these concerns in isolation.

    The advent of climate change has significantly added to historic and contemporary problems that result from cattle and sheep ranching, the report said, which first prompted federal regulations in the 1890s.

    Wild horses and burros are also a significant problem, this report suggested, and high numbers of deer and elk occur in portions of the West, partially due to the loss or decline of large predators such as cougars and wolves. Restoring those predators might also be part of a comprehensive recovery plan, the researchers said.

    The problems are sufficiently severe, this group of researchers concluded, that they believe the burden of proof should be shifted. Those using public lands for livestock production should have to justify the continuation of ungulate grazing, they said.


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  • Contact: Robert Beschta
    robert.beschta@oregonstate.edu
    541-737-4292
    Oregon State University
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3

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