Mitigation of Forestry Impacts to Natural Range Barriers
This special investigation examined how well forest licensees plan and mitigate forestry impacts to timbered natural range barriers. Along with barriers such as steep gullies and large rivers, timbered range barriers are important because they help ensure cattle are contained within certain areas and do not graze where they are not supposed to. Forestry operations, including harvesting and road construction, can reduce the effectiveness of a timbered range barrier.
The investigation examined 10 case studies of range barrier mitigation on the ground and the commitments made in 56 operational plans (referred to as measures) to address forestry impacts to range barriers. In most of the case studies, the investigation found problems in how mitigation was planned and implemented. Most measures in operational plans were also deficient because, as written, they were not likely to lead to effective mitigation and were not verifiable. The investigation report includes three recommendations to improve how range barrier mitigation is planned and implemented.