Monday, November 8, 2010

Grazing on a Refuge

I am in the midst of a research project on a wildlife refuge. It involves grazing cattle both late spring and late summer. The late spring grazing is not something practiced on most wildlife refuges because of antedoctal concern for nesting habitat.

We went out and took our first measurements last week. Wow! It was amazing. The cattle created mosaics in areas of that are typically monocultures of grass. These mosaics in turn, create both nesting and brood rearing habitats. Though the data is preliminary-- I have high hopes that this project will help convince other refuge managers to use grazing as a tool. I also hope it will help ranchers be able to graze their cattle on these areas when the grass is at higher quality. Creating a win-win situation with producers and public lands.

I know it is an anomaly. In addition to the grazing component. I believe this project is going to create some PR work for myself and the refuge. We are going to have to convince the public that the earth is no longer flat. It may be round and you don't sail off the edge.

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