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Effects of livestock management on Southwestern riparian ecosystemsAuthor(s): David J. Krueper
Source: In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 281-301.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Station: Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station
PDF: Download Publication (284.6 KB)
DescriptionRiparian habitats historically constituted 1% of the land mass in western North America. Within the past 100 years, an estimated 95% of this habitat has been altered, degraded or destroyed due to a wide variety of land use practices such as river channelization, clearing for agriculture, livestock grazing, water impoundments and urbanization. Many authors now concur that the single most important land management practice impacting western riparian ecosystems has been unmanaged domestic livestock grazing. Over 70% of the western United States is currently being grazed by livestock in habitats ranging from sea level to alpine meadows. Unwise grazing practices have been shown to negatively affect Southwestern riparian vegetative composition, ecosystem function, and ecosystem structure. This has resulted in negative impacts on native wildlife populations including insects, fish, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals. Negative impacts due largely from over a century of heavy domestic livestock utilization in riparian ecosystems has resulted in the decline of many wildlife populations. Studies have shown that up to 70% of avian species in the desert Southwest depend upon riparian habitats for survival at some stage of their life.
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CitationKrueper, David J. 1996. Effects of livestock management on Southwestern riparian ecosystems. In: Shaw, Douglas W.; Finch, Deborah M., tech coords. Desired future conditions for Southwestern riparian ecosystems: Bringing interests and concerns together. 1995 Sept. 18-22, 1995; Albuquerque, NM. General Technical Report RM-GTR-272. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station. p. 281-301.
Keywordsriparian ecosystems, human dimensions, hydrology, ecology, history, restoration
- Effects of livestock grazing on nutrient retention in a headwater stream of the Rio Puerco Basin
- Cooperative management of riparian forest habitats to maintain biological quality and ecosystem integrity
- Historic land use and grazing patterns in northern New Mexico
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