Study was conducted in two montane riparian areas in the Black Range of western New Mexico, approximately 230 km northwest of Las Cruces to evaluate the effects of different grazing intensities and season of use on streambank morphology. Three grazing intensities (none, light, moderate) were evaluated during three seasons of use (dormant, cool season, warm season) for two years. Seven treatment enclosures (0.4 ha) were constructed in two separate watersheds based on three criteria: presence of 1) similar stream length running through each, 2) similar herbaceous species in riparian and upland areas of each, 3) similar basal area of dominant trees in each. Grazing intensity was estimated with cage method; after grazing paired plots (grazed and ungrazed) were clipped. Stream cross-sections were sampled before and after treatment. Stream channels were described by width/depth ratio of cross-sections and by mean percentage change of cross-sectional area.
Response of Streambanks to Different Intensities and Seasons of Cattle Grazing in Two Montane Riparian Areas in Western New Mexico