Event Title

Livestock Grazing: An Environmentaly Friendly and Economical Solution to Maintaining Fire Breaks

Presenter Information

Matt Palmer
Eric Thacker

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

http://www.restoringthewest.org/

Abstract

Government Agencies for decades have utilized state and federal funds to clear trees and brush around homes and recreational property to reduce the risk of wildfire damage. In Utah many fire breaks in gamble oak dominated sites are difficult to maintain due to rough terrain, resprouting gamble oak and the increased production of fine fuels following brush removal. These sites also tend to fill in and become thicker than pretreatment conditions leaving the area more vulnerable to fire than before. Some fuel break maintenance options include herbicides and or mechanical brush removal. Both of these methods require investments of time and money to maintain. These methods use large quantities of fossil fuel and or pesticides that can be expensive and harmful to the environment. The financial burden can become difficult for landowners when 30 public funding sources dry up. Livestock grazing is a method capable of maintaining fuel breaks. With some initial investments in fencing and livestock watering points, land owners can receive income from livestock grazing fees instead of the burdensome annual fuel break maintenance expenses. Our project demonstrates the potential effectiveness of grazing as an economically and ecologically sustainable option to maintain fuel breaks in oak woodlands.

Comments

Matt Palmer is the County Director/Extension Associate, Utah State University Cooperative Extension, Sanpete, Utah

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Oct 29th, 11:30 AM Oct 29th, 12:00 PM

Livestock Grazing: An Environmentaly Friendly and Economical Solution to Maintaining Fire Breaks

USU Eccles Conference Center

Government Agencies for decades have utilized state and federal funds to clear trees and brush around homes and recreational property to reduce the risk of wildfire damage. In Utah many fire breaks in gamble oak dominated sites are difficult to maintain due to rough terrain, resprouting gamble oak and the increased production of fine fuels following brush removal. These sites also tend to fill in and become thicker than pretreatment conditions leaving the area more vulnerable to fire than before. Some fuel break maintenance options include herbicides and or mechanical brush removal. Both of these methods require investments of time and money to maintain. These methods use large quantities of fossil fuel and or pesticides that can be expensive and harmful to the environment. The financial burden can become difficult for landowners when 30 public funding sources dry up. Livestock grazing is a method capable of maintaining fuel breaks. With some initial investments in fencing and livestock watering points, land owners can receive income from livestock grazing fees instead of the burdensome annual fuel break maintenance expenses. Our project demonstrates the potential effectiveness of grazing as an economically and ecologically sustainable option to maintain fuel breaks in oak woodlands.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2015/Posters/6