The University of Arizona

The Art and Science of Targeted Grazing—A Producer’s Perspective

Dan Macon


With a population of nearly 60,000 people, the city of Rocklin in the western foothills of California’s Placer County (east of Sacra- mento) barely recalls the small town where George Whitney and his son Parker decided to establish one of the largest sheep ranches in Gold Rush-era California.1 Today, the once oak-studded, rolling grasslands are covered by gated communities, golf courses—and a fair amount of county-mandated open space. But while the Parker Whitney Ranch is now the Whitney Oaks community and country club—home to 5,000+ people and nearly 2,000 homes—it is once again being grazed by sheep and goats. Indeed, in a 15- mile corridor from Rocklin north to the city of Lincoln, more than 10,000 sheep and goats are used to manage vegetation in the late winter and early spring. Across much of urban and suburban California, municipalities, nonpro ts, govern- ment agencies, and private landowners are turning to targeted grazing as a tool for managing rangeland landscapes. 

DOI: 10.2458/azu_rangelands_v36i5_macon

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