Are Cattle Grazing and Clean Water Compatible on Public Lands?

Please enjoy another dry story about water, where we tell you science-y stuff and that the answer is, once again, it depends. Don’t forget to enjoy the song included in the piece.

Yes, cattle can graze without leaving streams in toilet-like conditions. We all know this.  And when researchers at UC Davis confirmed that grazing and clean water could be compatible, many of you emailed us the  link to the article about the study.

From June-November 2011, a team of UC Davis researchers headed by Dr. Leslie Roche, of UC Davis’ Rangeland Watershed Laboratory collected 743 water quality samples from 155 sites. They investigated key cattle grazing areas, recreational areas, and places where neither humans nor cattle typically tread.  The results showed little difference between areas grazed by cattle and those used by people.  The majority of the samples (83% of all sites) were below the Environmental Protection Agencies benchmarks for protecting human health…

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