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Publications of Interest.  See also Resources Page.

The  California Rangeland Resolution. Existing and new Signatories are invited to affirm this revision that expands CRCC’s sphere of interests in all California rangelands.

California’s Working Landscapes – Annual Rangelands Fact Sheet,   a resource for better understanding and decision-making.

Livestock’s Impact on Greenhouse Gasses and California’s Rangelands. By Theresa Becchetti and Sheila Barry, University of California Cooperative Extension.

Bring in the cows – Grazing may be the best hope for a threatened butterfly introduces Dr. Stu Weiss’ Summit topic.“Smog contains not just carbon dioxide but also a cocktail of nitrogen-rich compounds. Swept by the winds onto nearby rangelands, these compounds act like spray-on fertilizer, encouraging the rampant growth of Italian rye, wild oats and soft chess. Left unchecked, these aggressive annuals quickly overrun low-lying native plants, including dwarf plantain, the chief food source for Bay checkerspot caterpillars. And this, of course, is where the cows come in.”

Sustaining Ecosystem Services From Private Lands in California: The Role of the Landowner. This paper describes the changing landownership patterns and what it means for efforts to increase and sustain ecosystem service production from private lands. By Shasta Ferranto, Lynn Huntsinger, and Maggi Kelly

Dr. Stephanie Larson, UCCE Sonoma and Marin counties shares a useful document to use in outreach efforts.  Impact of Grazing on Endangered Species. Permission of Sonoma County Farm Bureau.

Cows? In California? Rangelands and Livestock in the Golden State. By Lynn Huntsinger and James W. Bartolome, 2014. “Grazing is California’s most extensive land use. The state has more than 40 million ha of land, of which nearly 23 million ha can be considered rangeland. Approximately 47% of these rangelands are owned by the federal government and another 12% by other public agencies. Today’s rancher is part of the fascinating, adaptive new generation that is pursuing rangeland production, and a decent living, in a transforming state. In this paper we offer an introduction to rangelands and livestock production in the “Golden State.”

 

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...