Category: General Publications
Title: Assessing Impacts of Alternative Livestock Management Practices: Raging Debates and a Role for Science
Author: Sisk, T.D. , Crews, T.E. , Eisfeldt, R.T., King, M., Stanley, E.
Subject: Arthropods, Biodiversity, Conflict resolution, Grazing, Vegetation studies
Abstract: Grazing of domestic livestock is the most pervasive and persistent human impact on the grasslands and shrublands of the Colorado Plateau. Impacts on ecosystem function and biological diversity arc thought to be great, but few studies have attempted to characterize such effects and compare the impacts ofalternative livestock management practices. The dearth of pertinent, defensible information has contributed to the polarization of ranching and environmental interests, and has exacerbated what is one of the most contentious social issues in the southwestern USA. VIc discuss the role of ecological science in deriving and disseminating information that will help focus and perhaps resolve the impasse ov er grazing impacts and other natural resource issues. Specifically,we describe results of our involvement in "management teams" that include ranchers, environmentalists, public servants, and interested citizens, and how this collaborative process has helped shape an experimental research program that would be impossible to execute without the involvement of divergent interests in the grazing :debate. Claims ofvarious interest groups are reformulated as testable hypotheses, and a research design is presented.
Source: vanRiper and Stuart (eds.) Proceedings of the Fourth Biennial Conference of Research on the Colorado Plateau
Publisher: U.S.Geological Survey