October 22, 2015, 10-3
Fairfield Community Center, Fairfield, Washington
The role of domestic livestock as an influence in natural stream systems is complex. Livestock activities directly influence plant species composition and soil surface characteristics; distribution of manure further influences these characteristics as well as others. At the watershed scale, most problems associated with livestock, including water quality problems, are a function of animal distribution rather than an excessive stocking rate. Net effects of livestock grazing may be positive or negative; the challenge of the stockman is to manage for the positive. This planning begins at the ridgeline, not at the greenline, or water’s edge.
Beneficial, regenerative riparian management requires understanding characteristics of healthy rangeland, tame pasture, and riparian ecosystems. Riparian systems are more complex and support a broader suite of ecological functions, such as providing clean water, healthy fisheries, etc. These functions are not mutually exclusive with livestock grazing but they do require forethought and planning and adaptive management.
This producer-oriented seminar will answer the following critical questions:
1. How does riparian function affect water quality?
2. How does livestock grazing affect riparian function?
3. What kinds of grazing management promote healthy streams? What kinds of grazing damage riparian zones and stream function?
4. What are indicators that a grazed stream reach is impaired by improper grazing?
5. Under what circumstances is livestock exclusion a good option to maintain stream health and protect the livestock operation?
6. Does water quality testing have value to an individual landowner/producer? If so, what can be tested? How? By whom?
7. How can one properly graze a riparian pasture, i.e., a stream zone and its vegetation managed as a separate grazing unit?
This event is provided by WSU Extension, with support from the following sponsors, listed alphabetically: 195 Industries, 5-Star Watershed Stewardship Group, Clearwater Seed, Cattle Producers of Washington, Gingersnap Farm and Seed, Spokane County Cattlemen, Spokane Conservation District, Spokane County Farm Bureau, Stevens County Cattlemen, Triple E Angus, Whitman Conservation District, Whitman County Cattlemen’s Association, Whitman County Farm Bureau.
The keynote speaker will be Dr. Kenneth Tate, a watershed specialist with the University of California at Davis and a researcher at the Sierra Foothills Research & Extension Center. Dr. Tate is a leading researcher in non-point source water quality and livestock grazing; you can learn more about his work here:http://rangelandwatersheds.ucdavis.edu/main/tate.htm. Also speaking is Tip Hudson, a rangeland and livestock management specialist with WSU Extension.