Livestock grazing is an essential land management tool

The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association is a member organization dedicated to the preservation of ranches and rangelands in Nevada.  

The association supports and represents ecological and environmentally sustainable ranches that operate on both private and public lands.  

As an association we seek to create a stable business climate that benefit many sectors of the local economy and communities in which they are located. 

Today, more than 22,000 ranchers graze cattle and sheep on federal lands. Grazing provides innumerable benefits to land management agencies, ecosystems, and rural communities while producing high-quality food and fiber on land ill-suited to other agricultural purposes.

As stewards of the land, ranchers serve on the front lines to preserve the rich open spaces which all Americans enjoy.

Grazing is the most cost-effective tool for wildfire management. Grazing in the early and late season can drastically reduce the amount of highly combustible fine fuels including invasive cheatgrass. 

Reducing fuels before the fire season using prescriptive grazing, brush thinning, green strips, and spring grazing on already cheatgrass dominated areas will help reduce the catastrophic fires that have moved through Nevada over the past several years.   

Fire has played a large role in Nevada, largely in the Great Basin ecosystem.  The State of Nevada can be a harsh environment for those who work the land.  Cattlemen are susceptible to wildfire on public and private grazing lands.

When fire moves through rangelands across the west, vegetation communities can change from shrub dominated to annual cheatgrass dominated landscapes.  Not only can the vegetation communities change, but the fire cycle increases, habitat for wildlife is decreased, and forage for both domestic livestock and wildlife is greatly reduced throughout the year. 

Wildfire is a primary threat to sensitive species such as the Greater Sage-grouse. Fire not only hurts the rancher during the fire, but for the years after when the federal land is closed off.

The National Interagency Fire Center estimates an average cost of $150/acre to reduce fuel loads. Grazing provides this service at virtually no cost to the taxpayer.

Along with reducing fire fuels, grazing is a win for the environment. Grassland ecosystems are dependent upon grazing to spur the lifecycle of perennial grasses, and modern managed grazing is the most efficient means of replicating this natural process. 

Livestock grazing captures carbon and increases the rate of sequestration. Ranchers finance critical range projects out of their own pocket, which can include watershed improvements, well installations, and invasive grass and weed treatments. 

These activities benefit the native flora and fauna as well as the outdoor enthusiasts that enjoy these vast landscapes.

Grazing and related industries are essential economic drivers for rural communities in the American West. 

Ranchers holding federal grazing permits support local businesses year-round, especially during the recreation and tourism off-seasons. 

Ranchers are community leaders, serving on local school boards, county commissions, advisory committees, and numerous other capacities. 

 The Nevada Cattlemen’s Association strongly believes livestock grazing is an essential land management tool that reduces the frequency and intensity of wildfires, cycles nutrients through the soil, fosters healthy habitats for wildlife, and supports rural economic development.