U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report
U.S. Department of the Interior
Domestic livestock grazing occurs in virtually all sagebrush habitats and is a prominent disturbance factor. By affecting habitat condition and trend, grazing influences the resources required by, and thus, the distribution and abundance of sagebrush-obligate wildlife species (for example, sage-grouse Centrocercus spp.). Yet, the risks that livestock grazing may pose to these species and their habitats are not always clear. Although livestock grazing intensity and associated habitat condition may be known in many places at the local level, we have not yet been able to answer questions about use, condition, and trend at the landscape scale or at the range-wide scale for wildlife species. A great deal of information about grazing use, management regimes, and ecological condition exists at the local level (for individual livestock management units) under the oversight of organizations such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). However, the extent, quality, and types of existing data are unknown, which hinders the compilation, mapping, or analysis of these data. Once compiled, these data may be helpful for drawing conclusions about rangeland status, and we may be able to identify relationships between those data and wildlife habitat at the landscape scale.
Veblen, K.E., D.A. Pyke, C.L. Aldridge, M.L. Casazza, T.J. Assal, and M.A. Farinha. 2011. Range-wide assessment of livestock grazing across the sagebrush biome: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2011-1263, 74 p.