Elk and Cattle Grazing Can Be Complementary
Society of Range Management
On the Ground
In 1990, cattle grazed private land in Utah's Book Cliff Mountains until late July. Elk in the area ate about 50% of the forage regrowth on this land from late July to mid-September.
This private land mentioned was sold in 1990 and managed for elk. At the same time cattle were permanently removed from the area.
By 2009, repeat photography showed that vegetation in the area had changed and was dominated by dense stands of mature vegetation and weeds. In 2009 there were no signs of elk, whereas in 1990 many elk and signs of elk were observed in the area.
Based on this study and many others, carefully managed cattle grazing can be a lost-cost method to improve forage quality for elk.
Burritt, Elizabeth A. and Banner, Roger, "Elk and Cattle Grazing Can Be Complementary" (2013). Wildland Resources Faculty Publications. Paper 1556.