Practical Grazing Management to Meet Riparian Objectives

  • Sherm Roger Swanson University of Nevada, Reno
  • Sandra Wyman National Riparian Service Team
  • Carol Evans Bureau of Land Management
Keywords: Livestock, season of use, duration of use, PFC, condition, economics, grazing use criteria, Wildlife habitat


Successful management increases riparian functions and stabilizer plants, especially on the greenline where they most influence erosion and deposition.  Treatments balance grazing with opportunities for plant health and growth by adjusting grazing season, duration, rotation, and/or intensity.  Emphasizing either, stress and recovery with non-use periods, or avoiding stress by limiting utilization, is a fundamental choice that drives management actions, criteria for success, and methods for short-term monitoring.  To meet resource objectives and allow self-healing, managers use many tools and  more often successful, than often unsuccessful practices. Economic decisions evaluate fixed and ongoing or variable costs justified by reduced expenses, increased production, or improved resource values. Adaptive management adjusts action with short-term monitoring focused on chosen strategies. Long-term monitoring refocuses management to meet objectives targeting priority areas with needed functions, and then desired resource values.  Once riparian functions reestablish, recovery accelerates, increasing resilience and opportunities for varied grazing strategies.

Author Biographies

Sherm Roger Swanson, University of Nevada, Reno
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental ScienceAssociate Professor
Sandra Wyman, National Riparian Service Team
Rangeland Management Specialist
Carol Evans, Bureau of Land Management
Fisheries Biologist, Tuscarora Field Office


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