Welcome! Log In Create A New Profile Recent Posts
Pothole Dome (Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park)

The Moon is Waxing Crescent (22% of Full)


Advanced

Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra

All posts are those of the individual authors and the owner of this site does not endorse them. Content should be considered opinion and not fact until verified independently.

avatar Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 25, 2011 08:21AM
avatar Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 25, 2011 12:26PM
I've always found it odd and a bit of an oxymoron that on land that's designated as "wilderness" that the Forest Service allows cattle grazing. On the other hand, should these meadows have been considered true wilderness in the first place, since cattle grazing has been going on continuously since around the 1880's?

The L.A. Times article didn't delve too deeply how the cattle grazing specifically impacts the survivability of California's golden trout. I know the major impact grazing has on the meadows itself, but exactly what's the negative impacts on the streams and creeks in regards to the golden trout?

Anyway, if the Forest Service decides to renew the grazing permits, then they (or Congress) ought to come up with a better name for land like this that isn't true wilderness (because land that cattle regularly graze on doesn't really meet the federal definition of a wilderness area in my opinion).

On the other hand, if they finally ban cattle from this land, then calling it a wilderness would be entirely appropriate.
avatar Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 25, 2011 09:48PM
Quote
plawrence
I've always found it odd and a bit of an oxymoron that on land that's designated as "wilderness" that the Forest Service allows cattle grazing.

It would have been hard to create the wilderness areas if grazing was removed. Those ranchers are good at lobbying to protect their destructive activities.
Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 26, 2011 09:45PM
Quote
plawrence

The L.A. Times article didn't delve too deeply how the cattle grazing specifically impacts the survivability of California's golden trout. I know the major impact grazing has on the meadows itself, but exactly what's the negative impacts on the streams and creeks in regards to the golden trout? quote]

I would guess it has a lot to do with poo and a little bit to do with destruction of habitat. Cow poo gets into the water and introduces harmful microorganisms (harmful mostly to people) along with nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients stimulate algae growth and lead to Eutrophication (increase of "microplant" biomass) of lakes and streams. We re talking lots and lots of algae & phytoplankton. All the phytoplankton and algae choke the oxygen out of the water. If the water does not contain enough dissolved oxygen, the fish die. The reduction in dissolved oxygen will be compounded by increasing surface water temperatures which is also not good for fish. The increased temperature increases the chance of the release of toxins by cyanobacteria blooms (I think these can hurt the fish but I am not 100% certain of that). In addition to their impact on nitrogen cycle and "lake death by eutrophication I would imagine cows destroy habitat by trampling the banks and changing the way the river flows through a meadow. Perhaps they flatten the banks and broaden the river bed making the river more shallow and less hospitible for the fish. The cows are not only a threat to fish, they are also a threat to the water qualtiy of the Sierras and those who drink the water that flows from her magnificent peaks. I personally would like to see them go...
avatar Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 27, 2011 12:10AM
Quote
riverkat
Quote
plawrence

The L.A. Times article didn't delve too deeply how the cattle grazing specifically impacts the survivability of California's golden trout. I know the major impact grazing has on the meadows itself, but exactly what's the negative impacts on the streams and creeks in regards to the golden trout?

I would guess it has a lot to do with poo and a little bit to do with destruction of habitat. Cow poo gets into the water and introduces harmful microorganisms (harmful mostly to people) along with nitrogen and phosphorus. These nutrients stimulate algae growth and lead to Eutrophication (increase of "microplant" biomass) of lakes and streams. We re talking lots and lots of algae & phytoplankton. All the phytoplankton and algae choke the oxygen out of the water. If the water does not contain enough dissolved oxygen, the fish die. The reduction in dissolved oxygen will be compounded by increasing surface water temperatures which is also not good for fish. The increased temperature increases the chance of the release of toxins by cyanobacteria blooms (I think these can hurt the fish but I am not 100% certain of that). In addition to their impact on nitrogen cycle and "lake death by eutrophication I would imagine cows destroy habitat by trampling the banks and changing the way the river flows through a meadow. Perhaps they flatten the banks and broaden the river bed making the river more shallow and less hospitible for the fish. The cows are not only a threat to fish, they are also a threat to the water qualtiy of the Sierras and those who drink the water that flows from her magnificent peaks. I personally would like to see them go...


Thanks for the explanation.


avatar Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 25, 2011 09:32PM
Re: Cows vs. Trout in the Eastern Sierra
September 27, 2011 08:17AM
I think the habitat concerns also have to do with eroding banks and dissolved solids in the water---these tend to cover up the streambed rocks, thus destroying spawning habitat.



Balzaccom

follow our adventures, read our blog, or just to come hang out at our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/27/2011 08:20AM by balzaccom.
Sorry, only registered users may post in this forum.

Click here to login