925.443-7692 ksweet@cattlemen.net

Livestock’s Impact on Greenhouse Gasses and California’s Rangelands

By Theresa Becchetti and Sheila Barry, University of California Cooperative Extension “Livestock’s Long Shadow”, a United Nations Report, released by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) in 2006 stated that livestock produced more greenhouse gases than transportation worldwide. The report shocked and outraged many involved in livestock production, including University of California’s Air Quality Specialist, Frank Mitloehner. His research indicated that a much smaller percent of greenhouse gases (GHG) were coming from cattle. The emissions from cows is often mistakenly called “cow farts,” however methane emissions from cows comes primarily from “belching”.  Ruminant animals including cattle, sheep, goats, deer, bison, elk etc. have billions of microbes in their rumens, which operate like a large fermentation vat in their digestive system.  While these microbes allow ruminant digestive systems to make protein, energy and even vitamins from low quality feeds, they also produce methane, which is released by belching. Dr. Mitloehner found that the FAO report compared the entire production cycle for livestock, with only tail pipe emissions for transportation, ignoring the emissions associated with the manufacturing of vehicles.  The author acknowledged his errors, yet Livestock’s Long Shadow still casts a shadow of misinformation over animal production thirteen years later.   Following are some facts, stemming from Dr. Mitloehner’s research, to help put things in perspective: In California, 8% of the state’s GHG emissions come from agriculture (livestock and crops), residential and commercial activities generate 11%, while 80% of emissions are from transportation, electricity, and industry with 1% unidentified.  Out of the state’s agriculture 8%, half is from all of livestock production.  Other researchers (White and Hall 2017) have calculated that...

2019 Summit Registration

We look forward to seeing you at the Summit, Tuesday, January 15, 2019! If you cannot attend, please consider making a donation. $30 Student     $75  Participant Register Online (click)  OR   Send a check, payable to CRCC to 12233 N Flynn Rd, Livermore, CA  94550.  Include name(s) of individuals attending, and an email address for receipt. CRCC is a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) corporation. An I9 will be sent upon request.        See also Donation, Booth Registration and Sponsorship...

August 28, 2017

2018 SUMMIT – January 16-17  – Save the Date! Rangelands in the Media – Read and Share Rangeland Conservation on Discovery Channel, Thursday, August 31at 9pm.  Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman, the book is now a documentary.  From the Montana Rockies, across the Kansas wheat fields and to the Gulf of Mexico, these families working the land develop collaborative ways to protect the natural resources and communities important to them and to the nation.  Watch or read this Mississippi watershed series of personal stories. Read about ROGER,(click) a Nevada collaborative group focused on“results-oriented grazing for ecological resiliency.” Ranchers, along with land managers and biologists from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and Nevada Department of Wildlife, created a conservation think tank to develop common solutions toward healthy sage lands and economically viable cattle operations. Position Santa Lucia Conservancy: Restoration Ecologist/Land Manager to. guide and implement conservation actions to sustain and restore diverse native habitat within a rugged 20,000 acre privately protected preserve near Carmel. Expertise in using livestock grazing and prescribed fire for conservation purposes is also highly desirable.  Workshops / Forums UCANR: “Living with Wildlife: New and Emerging Research” at Hopland REC  Aug 31  • 9am – 3pm • $25.  Informative for ranchers, agencies, non-profits, researchers and others with an interest in tackling the challenges associated with ranching in a landscape rich in wildlife. Guadalupe Coyote RCD, Loma Prieta RCD, the Northern California Society of American Foresters, CAL FIRE, UC Cooperative Extension, and California Geological Survey are co-sponsoring  Maintaining and Improving Rural Roads on Thursday, September 20, Morgan Hill. The intended audience is ranchers, rural residents, non-profit...

July 14

2018 SUMMIT – January 16-17  – Save the Date!   Land Stewardship Award Program Nominations are Open Leopold Conservation Award Program: recognizes private landowners for extraordinary achievement in voluntary conservation, leadership and outreach. July 14 deadline. Governor’s Office of Environmental and Economic Leadership Award seeks applications for the 2017 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards, the state’s highest environmental honor. The award honors individuals, organizations, and businesses for demonstrated exceptional leadership and made notable, voluntary contributions in conserving California’s precious resources, protecting and enhancing our environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy. Applications due Friday, August 11. Position Contra Costa Resource Conservation District (CRCC Signatory):  Executive Director. Apply by July 31.  Workshops / Forums CNPS: Spots available in 3 late summer/fall workshops, register now to lock in yours! CNPS is currently accepting abstracts for oral and poster presentations at the February 2018 CNPS  Conservation Conference in LA – deadline July 10. CRCC’s Facebook page ‘likes’ all of the CRCC Signatories and receives their news feeds. Take a look at their activities and news from all over the state. Like CRCC’s page, too! Cal Poly Swanton Pacific Ranch: Sustainable Rangeland & Livestock Management.  11-day intensive class is intended for ranch/rangeland managers and conservation professionals, as well as students in natural resource, wildlife management, and animal science programs. Focus will be on planning for water quality and wildlife management on rangeland operations, particularly where livestock grazing is involved. Lodging and meals at the ranch are included,  as are views of the Pacific Ocean from the grasslands above. Registration deadline, July 14. mhorney@calpoly.edu or (805) 756-7543. The Society for Range Management’s 71st Annual Meeting,Technical Training...

2017 Summit Program Notes

OVERVIEW This year’s Summit highlights California’s diverse and unique rangelands which provide habitat to hundreds of native plant and animal species found nowhere else in the world. From the Mojave Desert to the sage brush steppe in northeastern California and from the redwood forests across annual grasslands, oak woodlands and back to mountain meadows and forested landscapes, California rangelands, our working landscapes, also provide food, fiber, clean water, viewsheds, and so much more. We will learn about California’s diverse rangelands and some of the challenges and opportunities to manage and restore them. This includes landowners’ efforts to restore watersheds, grazing management to mitigate for impacts from dry atmospheric nitrogen deposition, ranchers efforts to manage grazing to promote endangered species habitat, and USFWS Partners Program projects to improve habitat.  This Spring the celebration will continue with a series of regional tours to highlight different rangeland types, and the unique opportunities and challenges that each ecosystem and rangeland community faces.  We challenge you to make at least two of the tours – one close by you and one in a rangeland type you are not familiar with.  Compare the two, how they are the same and how they are different.  Next year’s Summit will pick up with a Sustainability theme and we will have some discussions about the different tours. January 12 Summit Tour –  San Joaquin County Rangelands  9:15am            Leave Cabral Ag Center – Rain or Shine! Sparrowk Livestock, hosted by Bev and Jack Sparrowk. Discussion of the diversity of ranching in California – the use of different classes of animals to match resources, different rangeland types in   California, how restoration...