Cattle Grazing and Recreation on National Forest Lands and Water Quality Conditions

Posted in: Contamination, US News
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Article courtesy of Leslie M. Roche, Lea Kromschroeder, Edward R. Atwill, Randy A. Dahlgren, Kenneth W. Tate | June 27 , 2013 | PLOS | Shared as educational material

Although there is a lot of concern that cattle grazing degrades water quality and threatens human and ecological health, a 2011 study concluded that the concern is largely unfounded. The researchers conducted a cross sectional survey of water quality for cattle grazing and/or recreation on on 12 public grazing allotments in California. The study aimed to quantify fecal indicator bacteria (FIB), total nitrogen, nitrate, ammonium, total phosphorus, and reactive phosphorous concentrations. Except for FIB concentrations, which were greater where in the stream flow was slow or stagnant, water was turbid, or cattle were observed at sampling, grazing and recreation did not significantly impact water quality. Read more here:

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