The BC Government is providing $500 000 to the BC Cattlemen’s Association to develop partnerships and investigate an initiative to use grazing livestock in managing fine fuels in parts of BC.
Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development Doug Donaldson says “Using cattle and livestock grazing minimizes the growth of annual and perennial grasses, helping to reduce wildfire risks.” He says the incentive It’s one example of what we’re doing to reduce the threat of wildfires while supporting the ranching sector and maintaining wildlife habitat in our province.”
Targeted grazing is not a solution to all fuel management challenges, but can be a powerful tool when used in conjunction with other methods such as selective tree harvesting and prescribed burns.
Kevin Boon, general manager of the BC Cattlemen’s Association said “The last two fire seasons have seen unprecedented resources burn in the province. These events have shown us the value of agriculture, specifically cattle grazing, in mitigating the start or spread of fires while assisting in firefighting efforts. Cattle grazing reduces the fine fuels available for fires to take hold. This funding will allow us to develop partnerships in interface areas to help protect our lands, forests, and communities while producing some of the best quality food in the world.”
The technique has been used in Europe and parts of the US successfully to graze fuel breaks around communities and reduce wildfire risk.