Sustainable Grazing Systems

Quenna Terry photo

When ranchers practice sustainable grazing management, lesser prairie-chickens benefit.

Healthy prairie habitat is good for both livestock and wildlife. For thousands of years, herds of large herbivores, namely bison, pronghorn, and elk, roamed the Great Plains. Prairie plant communities are adapted to periodic, intensive grazing.

Lesser Prairie-Chicken Initiative range conservationists work with ranchers to develop grazing strategies that mimic this natural dynamic. Carefully planned and managed livestock grazing will maintain or restore native plant communities and will provide for improved nesting and brood-rearing habitat for lesser prairie-chickens.

Sustainable grazing systems may include many combinations of management activities, such as stocking rate adjustment and rest periods, along with other supporting practices as needed, dependent upon the particulars of the ranch habitat and the producer’s operation.

By adjusting stocking rates, providing rest periods, and utilizing other sustainable grazing activities, ranchers safeguard the health of prairie habitat, which benefits lesser prairie-chickens and other wildlife. Andy Lawrence photo.

By adjusting stocking rates, providing rest periods, and utilizing other sustainable grazing activities, ranchers safeguard the health of prairie habitat, which benefits lesser prairie-chickens and other wildlife. Andy Lawrence photo.