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9 March 2023 Ranch Economics of Using Targeted Grazing to Create Wildfire Fuel Breaks on Public Land
John A. Tanaka, Kristie A. Maczko, Timm M. Gergeni
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Targeted grazing in the Great Basin has been used to reduce cheatgrass fuel loads and enhance wildfire control. In this project, we evaluate the economic impact of targeted grazing on cow-calf ranches across southeast Oregon, northeast Nevada, and southwest Idaho when practices such as fencing, water hauling, and herding are necessary for producers to accomplish desired grazing outcomes. Large and small representative ranch models were developed for major land resource areas 23, 24, and 25 where applicable. Typical targeted grazing costs and practices were obtained from producer and agency focus groups in each state and introduced into ranch economic models. Targeted grazing periods begin 1 mo before typical Bureau of Land Management turnout in the spring and again in the fall after typical public land grazing ends. In each year, targeted grazing would occur when the previous growing season (September to March and April to August) had more than 25% of median precipitation based on PRISM historical data. Hence, targeted grazing could occur in the spring, fall, or both depending on precipitation. In both seasons, targeted grazing continues until the desired animal unit months of forage are removed. One hundred precipitation data sets were randomly generated using Excel to mimic the actual number of drought years in the spring and fall. The model is a 40-yr recursive linear programming model using 100 cattle price sets and the 100 precipitation sets. Results are averaged over 10 000 model runs and compared with scenarios with no targeted grazing and targeted grazing based on the actual precipitation data set. Results show changes in cattle herd size, hay sales, and the economic impacts to the public land ranch operation for two ranch sizes in each of the three major land resource areas by state.

© 2022 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
John A. Tanaka, Kristie A. Maczko, and Timm M. Gergeni "Ranch Economics of Using Targeted Grazing to Create Wildfire Fuel Breaks on Public Land," Rangeland Ecology and Management 87(1), 122-131, (9 March 2023).
Received: 6 August 2022; Accepted: 21 November 2022; Published: 9 March 2023
fuel break
ranch economics
targeted grazing
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