OSU distances itself from grazing study


Killefer: 'A need for continuing research in that area'


Capital Press

An Oregon State University College of Agriculture administrator said a report authored by an OSU College of Forestry professor that was critical of grazing on public lands does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the university.

Further, John Killefer, head of the College of Agricultural Sciences Department of Animal Health, said: "I think that livestock grazing can be an important part of a range management program."

A report published Nov. 15 by OSU forestry professor Robert Beschta and a team of scientists in the online publication Environmental Management determined grazing on public lands exacerbates the effects of climate change.

A USDA rangeland scientist and cattlemen rebuked the findings, saying it focused on isolated examples of poor rangeland management and did not present an accurate picture of the overall effect of grazing on federal lands.

In a phone interview Nov. 28, Killefer said: "As with any manuscript or publication produced by an author affiliated with OSU, it reflects the positions of the author and co-authors and not necessarily the opinion of the university.

"The area of climate change associated with impacts of grazing management on ranges is still a very open question," Killefer said. "There is a need for continuing research in that area so we can make decisions based on scientific evidence.

"And I feel that OSU and the many faculty associated with the university can play a significant role in that research," he said.

College of Agriculture scientists currently aren't researching the direct correlation between climate change and grazing management, Killefer said. "We do have faculty conducting research related to that."

Also, Killefer said: "I think we do need to do some of that research."

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