“Grazing management on the Tahoe National Forest is a collaborative effort involving landowners, land managers, permittees, universities, other agencies and the public,” said Karen Hayden, District Ranger for the Yuba River Ranger District on the Tahoe National Forest. “Livestock grazing at an appropriate level is part of our mission. Anyone driving, hiking, mountain biking, or engaging in another recreational activity near grazing animals or herd dogs should use caution and be respectful of permittee property.”
Livestock can behave unpredictably. For your safety, if you encounter livestock or herd dogs on national forest lands, keep calm, do not disturb or frighten the livestock or dogs, and give them a wide berth. Bikers should get off and walk their bikes. Hikers should slow down and walk away calmly.
If you encounter livestock while driving a motorized vehicle, slow down and allow them to move a safe distance away. Be aware that livestock can suddenly change directions when frightened. Do not “drive” livestock down roads in front of your vehicle, since this could push livestock onto dangerous roadways, or increase work for permittees who work hard to keep livestock where they belong.
Herd dogs are often used by ranchers to protect livestock from predators, and unless provoked, they generally are not aggressive toward people. Avoid eye contact with herd dogs, and retreat slowly, but do not turn your back on them. Pets can unwittingly provoke defensive behavior in herd dogs. Do not try to walk through a protected herd with your dog. Put your dog on a leash and keep it under control.
Grazing permittees are charged with maintaining most range improvements such as fences, corrals, water troughs and gates. Please respect these improvements, as well as private land inholdings. If you encounter a closed gate while hiking, biking, or driving, be sure and close it after going through it.
Our grazing permittees on the Tahoe National Forest have an active interest in the long-term health of their grazing allotments, and in keeping all forest lands healthy for a variety of uses, including recreation.
For more information about the Tahoe National Forest Range Program, you can contact Ayn Shlisky in Nevada City at (530) 478-6227, or Brianne Boan in Sierraville at (530) 994-3401.