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WWRC 86-05r
Grazing Exclosures and Natural Rehabilitation of Eroding Streams


Recently, a certain degree of controversy has arisen over the use of "exclosures" as it were, in the management of streams for riparian recovery efforts in not only Wyoming, but throughout the west But, in all honesty, we must really ask ourselves, "What's the Beef?" Exclosures are nothing new in the science of range or land management...they've been used for decades, in fact Small "exclosures" are often referred to as "utilization cages" or "browse cages"; larger units are referred to as "range trend study plots" (several dozen of which have been funded and studied by numerous agencies and the University of Wyoming Range Management Department, for the last twenty years or more); even larger units are often referred to as simply "pastures," for in the true meaning of the word, whenever you fence something out of one area, you fence it in to another. In any intensive glazing management system, cattle are typically fenced into one pasture (the enclosure) and out of the others (the exclosures). So, "Where's the Beef?" (Unless properly managed, it's usually in the riparian zone!) And the basic rub of the issue of exclosures in riparian zone recovery or management is usually one of politics, rather than applied management techniques.

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