Livestock Impacts Study

The June 2000 CSNM presidential proclamation (PDF) directed the Secretary of the Interior to "ůstudy the impacts of livestock grazing on the objects of biological interest in the monument with specific attention to sustaining the natural ecosystem dynamics."

Awaiting the findings of the Livestock Impacts Studies and the final grazing decision, the BLM has continued to manage existing grazing allotments within the monument. Currently, eleven ranchers hold grazing leases for 2,714 active animal unit months (AUMs) within the monument. An additional two allotments are vacant. An AUM is the amount of forage required to sustain a cow and calf for one month.

The Draft Study of Livestock Impacts on the Objects of Biological Interest15 MB (PDF) was published in April 2001. Extensive public and scientific peer review went into the formation of the Livestock Impacts Study Plan. The BLM provided copies of the draft study to a group of approximately 30 scientific peer reviewers. The BLM made the draft study available for public review through an extended public comment period. Based on the comments received and additional discussions with the potentially affected livestock operators, the BLM modified the studies and updated Sections I through VII839 KB (PDF) of the 2001 document in 2004. The scientific integrity and comprehensiveness of the updated study plan was again reviewed by the Provincial Advisory Committee31 KB (PDF) as well an Oregon State University panel209 KB (PDF).

The final Plan for Studying the Impacts of Livestock Grazing on the Objects of Biological Interest32 MB (PDF) was released by the Medford District BLM in November 2005. During the summer of 2007 the study findings and methods were peer reviewed by the Ecological Society of America (ESA). The studies were updated and finalized as a result of this review.

The Medford District released the findings of the CSNM Livestock Impacts Studies on January 24, 2008. The studies were designed to provide inference about livestock impacts to objects of biological interest (PDF) within the historic and landscape context of the monument. While some papers captured context, other papers examined livestock influence on individual organisms or communities. Several papers incorporated the research and results of a range of studies. The original projects defined by the final Plan for Studying the Impacts of Livestock Grazing on the Objects of Biological Interest32 MB (PDF) (released in November 2005) were combined into natural units and are summarized in nine papers. These papers, along with a Reader's Guide, are available electronically:

Livestock Impacts Studies and Reader's Guide