Posts Tagged: cattle
The Modesto Bee ran a story over the weekend with a headline that proclaims, "Experts positive about effect of grazing on land." It is remarkable, in my opinion, because scientists are so rarely "positive" about anything and are very adept at using conditional wording, such as seemingly, may be, could be, almost, nearly, etc.
On the other hand, the headline writer may have been using the meaning of "positive" as merely the opposite of "negative."
The story was based on reporter John Holland's take on a recent Tuolumne County Resource Conservation District seminar, in which participants learned that grazing enhances the foothill environment by controlling wildfire fuel and keeping imported grasses from overwhelming the native species. Cattle grazing also preserves open space.
"These are all privately owned landscapes that you are all managing for the greater good of everyone else," the reporter quoted UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Scott Oneto.
According to the article, experts at the meeting said perennial native plants can thrive on grazed land because the cattle thin out the annual European grasses that have dominated the landscape since the 1800s. This improves habitat for squirrels and other small wildlife that sustain bobcats, golden eagles and other predators. Cattle, the story said, have taken on a role similar to that of buffalo on the Great Plains.