Most rangeland managers profess one of three beliefs: 1) cattle grazing is a tool to improve white-tailed deer habitat, assuming that the land is not overgrazed; 2) cattle grazing and deer browsing complement one another and result in wise use of rangelands; or 3) cattle grazing destroys deer and other wildlife habitat. These competing beliefs have not been evaluated in the South Texas Sand Sheet, a region heavily-influenced by frequent periods of drought and where all three beliefs abound.
The East Foundation is committed to finding solutions for both wildlife conservation and livestock production. We have initiated a project aimed at evaluating the influences of cattle grazing on grasses and forbs preferred by white-tailed deer. This project is the largest and most comprehensive of its kind to occur in the United States.
Each year, 300 vegetation plots were protected from grazing and 300 plots were not protected from grazing across four of the Foundation’s ranches. Each plot was then evaluated for species richness and biomass of grasses and forbs. From these, annual estimates of grazing intensity and standing crop were generated.
Though on-going, this project has produced several important findings.
Ranching and wildlife conservation go together. The East Foundation is committed to determining ways in which cattle grazing can be used enhance white-tailed deer habitat.
Partner: Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research InstituteView Printable Version