Skip to main content
Hero Image
Steer at the Central Plains Experimental Range

Steer at the Central Plains Experimental Range

Employing Livestock In The Fight Against Wildfires

In 2018-19, more than 13.5 million acres burned in more than 108,500 wildfires in the United States, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Scientists at the ARS Northwest Watershed Research Center in Boise, ID, are investigating the effects of land use management practices on wildfires as part of USDA’s Long-Term Agroecosystem Research program. Researchers are looking into how targeted grazing on cheatgrass rangeland can create fuel breaks that may moderate wildfire behavior without impacting ecosystem health.

The Multi-Regional Targeted Grazing (TG) Experiment is a collaboration between ARS and the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management on fire-prone landscapes in Boise, ID; Elko, NV; and Frenchglen, OR. The project, which continues through March 2024, will determine whether strategically targeted cattle grazing will reduce fire fuels, moderate wildfire behavior, provide better initial attack alternatives for wildland fire fighters, and protect critical resources from wildfire damage.

Related Information

Article: Targeted Cattle Grazing Quickly Contains Wildfires in the Great Basin

Explore Other Discoveries

Manuresheds Combat Nutrient Pollution

Promoting “manuresheds” to combat nutrient pollution while taking advantage of manure’s productive uses.

Keep Carbon In Soil, Out Of Atmosphere

Intercropping perennial herbaceous crops with trees successfully increased organic soil carbon levels.

Adjusting Cattle Grazing Schedules

Researchers discovered that sending cattle to feedlots earlier than the traditional timing of October may provide a two- fold benefit.

Better Forecasting To Help Agriculture

ARS researchers helped the United Kingdom improve the accuracy of its widely used weather-forecasting models.

Better Grass For Cattle And Cars

Scientists are looking into how they can improve upon the grass cattle put in their bellies and you put in your tank.

Diesel Fuel Gets A Boost From Tung Oil

ARS scientists successfully used tung oil as the starting material for a new additive to improve the performance of diesel fuel.

Cover Crops Shift The Carbon Balance

Planting cover crops and not tilling the soil improves the soil’s carbon balance with minimal impact on the water balance.