Grazing land includes confined pastureland, rangeland and grassland where beef cattle, sheep and other ruminants typically spend their first six to nine months before being shipped to confined feedlots.
Through a unique digestive process called enteric fermentation, ruminant livestock constantly release substantial amounts of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The animals’ manure releases both methane and nitrous oxide, which has a warming potential 300 times greater than CO2.
Livestock manure and soil trampled near stream banks deposit sediment, nutrients and pathogens into waterways, contaminating drinking water and limiting recreational use. Roughly 48,000 miles of rivers and streams and 400,000 acres of lakes and reservoirs are currently fouled by grazing, according to the EPA.