THEY ARE FIREFIGHTERS.
CATTLE ARE GREAT FIREFIGHTERS.
I love seeing cattle and wildlife around our county - especially in the spring when the calves are being born! In addition to being beautiful to look at - cattle are a great benefit to the land and our environment.
Cattle benefit public and private lands. They reduce erosion and enhance the environment and climate change positively. By doing so, they reduce the risk of wildfire.
Unlike wildlife - cows are strategically moved from one area to another (called pastures). Ranchers want the cows to eat the grasses and brush in each pasture before they are moved to a new pasture. Grasses and brush are quick burning “fuels.” By feeding them to the cattle, these fuels are not available to carry fire over the ranchlands and into our populated communities. An abundance of fuels, in addition to our dry climate, is why heavily forested and brushy areas burn so easily and are difficult to control.
As ranchers oversee the strategical use of cattle, they care for the land, build fences, create water systems, maintain waterways, and care for plant life. As ranchers, we take being caretakers very seriously! Our responsibility is to care for wildlife, animals, the land, the environment, and natural resources!
Responsible cattle grazing is a crucial component of managing our lands properly. Grazing promotes new growth of native grasslands and removes dead brush that serves as kindling for fires.
The Yavapai Cowbelles have some great information about cattle:
When cattle graze, they reduce the length of the grass, just as human does when he or she mows the lawn. This is very helpful in reducing the spread of wildfires since there is less material to burn.
Cattle fight fires in another way - components from their blood are utilized to manufacture fire retardants used in fire extinguishers.
Livestock grazing can be used as a tool to lower wildfire risk and reduce the fire's ultimate impact by slowing down how fast the flames spread and how hot the fire burns. They do this by grazing down the annual and perennial grasses, promoting new growth, and leaving far less dead underbrush that acts as kindling to a fire.
Not only are cattle preventing wildfires, but they also fertilize and aerate the soil and capture carbon. Cattle are environmental stewards! When cattlemen are in synch with nature, amazing things happen.
Next time you see cattle on our public lands, you will know they are doing their part to protect our communities from Wildfires.