The strategy of low stress livestock handling has been documented to increase stubble heights along greenlines. Intuitively one could assume that since there is a significant increase in stubble height, then that fact alone would make for 'enhanced' late brood rearing habitat for the Greater Sage Grouse. In addition to an increase in stubble heights this low stress strategy increased utilization of uplands. In this case, on the surface, it would appear that the low stress strategy 'decreased' the quality of nesting and early brood rearing habitat.
On the surface, it appears the strategy of low stress livestock handling has both pros and cons that need to be addressed on a more relevant management scale.
The purpose of this project is to learn about low stress livestock handling in cooperation with major stakeholders (permittees on public lands) and use that tool effectively to improve riparian habitats without sacrificing upland habitats. This project encompasses a large landscape, the Bear River Divide area, but will target areas of need from aspects of riparian to upland. The project has far reaching implications and relevance to forage and water resources, not only for livestock, but also wildlife. The project will educate a wide audience to the ecological implications of livestock grazing of large landscapes, and provide a direct economic benefit to all that appreciate the array of products from western rangelands.