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Livestock play a central role in both the economy and culture of Montana.  How you manage your livestock impacts the health of nearby rivers and streams.

The Sun River Watershed Group - 1998 Pre-Project

Proper grazing helps protect our rivers!!

Here are a few resources from Montana State Extension to guide livestock owners in keeping their water clean.

Ranching for Rivers:  A cost-share program designed to assist landowners in protecting riparian habitat.  This is done through improved ranching practices which often utilizes fence placement, grazing management plans, and off-site water infrastructure.

Happy Cows, Happy Trout – How a watershed coordinator, a rancher, and an FWP Fisheries biologist found a way to conserve water and restore habitat on the Madison River Tributary.

Horse Keeping for Clean Water:  An article that lists considerations when grazing horses in riparian areas.

Modified Water Source:  An article reviewing the importance of quality water for cattle.

On-Site Guide for Livestock Operators:  An operator’s guide to self-assessing their operation and its relative risk for impacting surface and ground water.

Managed Grazing in Riparian Areas: This publication is designed to help farmers and ranchers identify and use locally appropriate grazing practices to protect riparian resources. Methods for protecting these environmentally fragile areas include keeping livestock from streambanks, properly resting pastures to restore degraded land, and determining the proper duration and season for grazing pastures. It examines adjusting general recommendations to fit your particular management objectives and environmental conditions.



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