Survival and transport of fecal pathogens in grazed watershed
Livestock management in grazed watersheds: A review of practices that protect water quality , 1996
Livestock grazing is a major land use in the western United States that can impact water quality (Moore et al. 1979). The majority of the land in the western United States is classified as rangeland. Rangelands are generally suited for grazing, wildlife habitat, recreation, aesthetics, and for providing water. Grazing livestock on public and private rangeland can be compatible with other uses of the land and contributes to the success of the ranching industry. However, if cattle are not managed properly they can have adverse impacts on water quality. Potential hazards of pathogenic organisms and nutrient contamination exist when cattle concentrate near streams. Grazing induced pathogen and nutrient pollution depends on the amount of feces deposited, fecal distribution on the landscape, overland flow, and proximity to a water body. Proper grazing management, especially livestock distribution, can help maintain water quality. In this review, we will concentrate on pathogen pollution associated with fecal deposition by livestock. We will not focus on nutrients except where nutrient levels are reported along with pathogens. Others have reviewed nutrients as a nonpoint source pollutant (Sweeten and Reddell 1978, Green and Kauffman 1989, Wolf 1992). Many of the practices used to reduced pathogen pollution in grazed watersheds are also recommended for reducing nutrient loading.