University of California

Cattle grazing has varying impacts on stream-channel erosion in oak woodlands


Melvin R. George
Royce E. Larsen
Neil K. McDougald
Kenneth W. Tate
John D. Gerlach
Kenneth O. Fulgham

Authors Affiliations

M.R. George is Extension Rangeland Management Specialist, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis; R.E. Larsen is Watershed Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Paso Robles; N.K. McDougald is Livestock, Range and Natural Resources Advisor, UCCE Madera; K.W. Tate is Extension Rangeland Watershed Specialist; J.D. Gerlach, Jr., is Post-Doctoral Researcher, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis; K.O. Fulgham is Professor of Range Management, Humboldt State University, Arcata.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 58(3):138-143. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n03p138. July 2004.

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We conducted a 5-year study on the impact of grazing on stream-channel bare ground and erosion, and a 3-year study of cattle-trail erosion on intermittent stream channels draining grazed oak-woodland watersheds. While the concentration of cattle along stream banks during the dry season resulted in a significant increase in bare ground, we were unable to detect stream-bank erosion resulting from any of the grazing treatments applied. However, we did find that cattle trails are an important mode of sediment transport into stream channels. While cattle trails are common on grazed rangeland, excessive trailing often indicates that stock watering points are too far apart.


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George M, Larsen R, McDougald N, Tate K, Gerlach J, Fulgham K. 2004. Cattle grazing has varying impacts on stream-channel erosion in oak woodlands. Hilgardia 58(3):138-143. DOI:10.3733/ca.v058n03p138
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