Golden Gate University Environmental Law Journal


As the population of the San Francisco Bay Area continues to in-crease, added pressures are placed on public land uses in the rural fringe. These uses include natural-resource conservation, scenic value, recreation, and historic activities, including agriculture and grazing. This Article will explore the use of public and nonprofit open space land for grazing, and the unique opportunities and challenges that this use presents in relation to the other public benefits that these lands provide. Key opportunities include the use of carefully managed grazing to restore and maintain California's native grasslands and to reduce the threat of catastrophic wildfire along the urban/rural interface. Key challenges include the need to manage cattle to avoid significant adverse impacts to the environment and conflicts with recreational and other open-space uses, and the need to identify mechanisms by which nonprofit organizations can pursue conservation-oriented grazing activities on their lands without the prospect of a resulting loss of tax-exempt status.