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September 7, 2007
In Reply Refer To:
6711 (220) P
Information Bulletin No. 2007-112
To:                   All Field Officials
From:               Assistant Director, Renewable Resources and Planning (WO-200)
Program Area:  Vegetation Management, Habitat Management (6711)
Purpose: To inform Field Offices (FOs) and State Offices (SOs) of the availability of a new handbook entitled “Targeted Grazing as a Natural Approach to
Vegetation Management and Landscape Enhancement,” (ASI Targeted Grazing Handbook).
Action: Printed copies of the ASI Targeted Grazing Handbook may be obtained from ASI for $25 (includes both printed form and a CD). Copies may be ordered by calling ASI at (303) 771-3500, ext. 32 or by email at info@sheepusa.org.  The order form is also located online at the ASI Web site:  www.sheepusa.org Copies of the handbook are also available online at:  http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/rx-grazing/Handbook.htm. Additional references on this subject may be found at:  http://www.cnr.uidaho.edu/rx-grazing/science.htm..
The ASI Targeted Grazing Handbook was produced through a grant from the National Sheep Industry Improvement Center (NSIIC) with cooperation and support from the American Sheep Industry Association (ASI). As targeted grazing has gained a foothold in the land management arena, both research and experience have evolved to provide land managers and grazing-service providers with more definitive tools for managing vegetation. This most recent handbook represents a compilation of the latest research on employing livestock to graze targeted vegetation in ways that improve the function and appearance of a wide variety of landscapes. Properly managed, this precise application of grazing can be a powerful weed management tool.  The Washington Office encourages FO’s to consider this handbook as current state-of-the-art resource that may be useful in addressing specific management needs. 
Background: One of the BLM's highest priorities is to promote ecosystem health.  One of the greatest obstacles to achieving this goal is the rapid expansion of
weeds across public lands.  According to Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, non-native weeds have invaded 40 - 50 percent of
America’s croplands, pasturelands and public lands.  It is estimated that weeds are spreading at a rate of 1.75 million acres per year, causing $50 billion annually in
environmental and agricultural damage. Biologically sound tools are needed to manage the weedy exotic plants that are invading into and devastating natural plant
communities across North America.
Targeted Grazing (Prescribed Grazing or Managed Herbivory) is the carefully controlled grazing by livestock to accomplish specific vegetation management objectives.  Livestock may be used as a tool for improving land health to administer weed control, reduce fuel load for wildland fire, and aid in restoration projects. Livestock can be considered an effective tool in managing noxious weeds as long as:  1) the target plants are acceptable forage, 2) grazing is timed to inflict damage during a vulnerable time of the weed's life cycle, and 3) livestock are controlled to minimize damage to non-target species and other ecosystem components. Since every landscape is different, there are no easy solutions. Effective managers must carefully consider, among other factors, the season, terrain, and type of both livestock and vegetation for management prescriptions.
Contact: If you have any questions regarding this information, please contact Linda Coates-Markle at (303) 986-3309, BLM Liaison to the Society for Range Management, Division of Rangeland Resources (WO 220).
Signed by:                                                       
Authenticated by:
Todd S. Christensen                                        
Robert M. Williams
Acting, Deputy Assistant Director                    
Division of IRM Governance,WO-560
Renewable Resources and Planning

Last updated: 10-21-2009