Clayton Marlow, Professor in Animal and Range Sciences at Montana State University

Clayton Marlow is a professor in Animal and Range Science at MSU. Over the past fifteen years he has been investigating the behavior patterns of grazing cattle and their interaction with the physical and biological factors that form and maintain riparian ecosystems.

Livestock grazing is one of the most widespread uses of land in the western states. Sheep, cattle and horses graze desert grasslands, shrub steppe, prairies and forestlands. Because many of these ecosystems are drained by streams and rivers there exists a very real possibility that livestock feces can be flushed into municipal and private water supplies by rainstorms and snow melt. Something must be done because illnesses caused by waterborne pathogens are a fairly frequent occurrence.

Clayton writes: "My scientific investigations help me to identify the linkage between stream fecal levels and livestock grazing behavior and then use this information to develop management strategies that would reduce the likelihood of fecal coliform being washed into surface waters. If successful, these strategies could be used instead of costly fencing."

 

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