A recent study has concluded that cattle grazing and clean water can coexist on national forest lands. Funded by US Forest Service Region 5, the study is the most comprehensive examination of water quality on National Forest public grazing lands to date.
Roughly 1.8 million livestock graze on national forest lands in the western U.S. each year, the study says. In California, 500 active grazing allotments support 97,000 livestock across 8 million acres on 17 national forests.
The study was conducted in 2011, during the grazing and recreation season of June through November. University of California Davis researchers, ranchers, USDA Forest Service staff and environmental stakeholders went out by foot and on horseback, hiking across meadows, along campsites, and down ravines to collect 743 water samples from 155 sites across five national forests in northern California which were analyzed the water samples for microbial and nutrient pollution, including fecal indicator bacteria, fecal coliform, E. coli, nitrogen and phosphorous.
Read more at: Cattle Grazing and Clean Water Can Coexist