Date of Award:
Master of Science (MS)
Thomas A. Monaco
The Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (GSENM), located in central south Utah, currently has 76,957 active grazing animal unit months on the monument. Recently, there has been questions whether the harvest and grazing efficiency coefficients developed in the Midwest are applicable to the arid, bunch grass dominated systems of the GSENM. Harvest and grazing efficiency defines the percentage of allocated forage that is being ingested by the animal, and the percentage that is being wasted. Harvest and grazing efficiency coefficients were calculated on the Lower Cattle allotment on the GSENM by taking total forage production and dividing that by expected cattle intake. Expected cattle intake was estimated by calculating stocking rates in study areas using a resource selection function that predicted cattle distribution. Total forage production was calculated using the paired plot method.
The GSENM has also needed data analyzed from pinyon and juniper removal projects. The effect size of pinyon and juniper removal treatments on the GSENM were also analyzed to find changes in grasses, forbs, shrubs, bare ground, and litter. Land managers need this analysis to better inform their decisions and determine the success of their treatments.
Carter, Ruger P., "Harvest Efficiency of Forage Grazed by Cattle and The Effect of Pinyon and Juniper Treatments on Vegetation Cover on the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument" (2020). All Graduate Theses and Dissertations. 7882.
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