Grazing and Riparian Impact

One of the main sources of protein that Americans consume comes in the form of beef. While many would say that beef is delicious and an important part of their diet what is the impact of beef production beyond the sticker price you find at the grocery store? A fact sheet from Ohio State University's School of Environment and Natural Resources examines the impact of cattle grazing and the adverse effects that sustained grazing land can have on the natural habitat and more specifically what this impact would look like in riparian areas. The researchers found that sustained grazing over time lead to a removal of important vegetation that prevented soil erosion and sediment run off. Likewise vegetation along water-beds has a regulating impact on the water temperature. The removal of riparian vegetation lead to an overall increase in both the mean water temperature and temperature extremes. Grazing can also impact the very shape of the steam itself by causing the stream to divert course over time and even impacting water flow. A full break down of the study including facts and figures can be found here at the Ohio State University website.