Beef cattle grazing plays an important role in reducing fuel loads to prevent wildfires, argued ag appraiser Tony Toso at the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers meeting of the California chapter.

He described how the industry is pushing for a process of managing for fires through prescribed burning first, followed by mechanical thinning and then regular grazing.

To do this, he argued, the state would need to overhaul regulatory impediments, like state and federal environmental protection laws. Toso called for liability insurance protections for private burn bosses. These CalFire certifications would allow for more range-improvement burns. He added that environmental lawsuits can be impediments to wildfire management.

“How do we get ahead of the game?” he asked. “Grazing, prescribed fire, mechanical thinning are resources that we just haven't been utilizing to the full extent over the last hundred years.”