With good grazing system management and restricted access to riparian areas, you can minimize the impacts livestock have on your watershed. Here are 5 ways to keep your watershed healthy and your livestock healthy:
1. Use wildlife-friendly fencing to block livestock from accessing water bodies like wetlands and streams.
2. Use seasonal or rotational grazing systems to reduce livestock impacts on small or intermittent wetlands.
3. Provide an alternate water source. When given a choice, cattle will drink from a trough eight times out of ten, even if they have access to surface water. Cattle gain more weight when clean water is available to them, compared to watering directly from a pond or dugout.
4. Maintain a well-vegetated buffer zone around water bodies to sustain or improve water quality in the watershed. You can accomplish this by managing invasive weeds and planting riparian plants, such as willows, near the water body.
5. Parkland County residents can contact the Alternate Land Use Services program to find out how you may qualify to restore, retain, or protect wetlands, riparian areas, and other natural features of your land.
Another great way to help steward the area’s watersheds is by supporting EALT through donation or by volunteering. EALT protects and stewards important natural areas that are an integral part of a healthy watershed.
What are you doing to keep your watershed healthy?