Management Strategies for Optimal Beef Cattle Distribution and Use of Mountain Riparian Meadows
Grazing Behavior of Livestock and Wildlife , 1999

DelCurto, T., Porath, M., McInnis, M., Momont, P., Parsons, C.

Current concerns regarding water quality, biodiversity and threatened and endangered species, combined with the economical importance of livestock production in the Pacific Northwest, dictate a need for research addressing livestock impacts on riparian ecosystems. In the Pacific Northwest specific issues relative to the ultimate survival of Chinook salmon, bull trout and La Hontan cutthroat trout clearly demonstrate a need for additional research and education. More specifically, research evaluating management techniques which help improve livestock distribution relative to riparian areas may be a critical factor in the future of the Pacific Northwest beef cattle industry, as well as other areas of the western United States. In fact, the continued use of public rangelands in the western United States by livestock industries may depend on the ability of university and agency research efforts to prove that livestock grazing can maintain and/or improve the ecological integrity of rangeland resources. Information does exist that suggests livestock grazing can be conducted in a fashion that maintains and/or improves riparian ecosystem integrity. However, most of the data, to date, are observational in nature and does not lend itself well to scientific scrutiny. This paper reviews factors that influence distribution of cattle relative to riparian areas as well as discusses past, current and future research efforts in Northeastern Oregon regarding livestock grazing distribution in riparian ecosystems.