This section will contain information about the student debates including guidelines, papers to read, and questions from opposing teams

Debate Guidelines 2015


Here are the teams:

1) Should livestock be allowed to continue grazing on public lands?
Yes: “Rancher Red Necks”  Sachi, Kail, Matt


Backgrounder (General)
1.) In managing livestock grazing on public range lands, what is the BLM’s overall objective?
2.) What are the five main legal mandates that apply to the BLM’s management of public lands grazing and briefly describe the purpose of each Act?
3.) In 2014, the BLM spent a total of $89.2 million. Of that figure, the agency spent $32.8 million on grazing permit administration. What did the remaining $56.4 million cover?

1.) According to the authors, what must you understand first in order to create appropriate grazing strategies?
2.) What are the three major considerations for maintaining or restoring riparian areas and what are some options for developing riparian grazing strategies?
3.) In the long run, what do grazing management strategies need to address?


No: “Environmental Hippies”Brendon, Miriam, Nicole

1. Name two and give examples of animals that are affected when cows graze in and near riparian areas.  
Amphibian breeding sites are trampled while eggs are killed and pools dry out before the frogs go through metamorphose. 
2. Livestock grazing is the ___ major cause to plant endangerment.  
3. True or False.  By eating the riparian plants, cattle give the ground more sunlight to grow the native plants. 
1. What are the benefits of riparian areas to many native animals?
2. In what ways do willow plants enhance stream banks?
3. What happens (in terms of cattle grazing) when crude protein levels of upland grasses change from 16% CP in the early spring to a low 5% CP in the late summer? 

2) Should the Washington and Oregon state department of fish and wildlife be allowed to eliminate certain wolf packs that predate livestock?
Yes: “Rancher with Guns”Amanda, Colin, Sai

Impact of Previous Exposure to Wolves on Temperament and Physiological Responses of Beef Cattle Following a Simulated Wolf Encounter

1. How did the researchers account for the different behavior of the two herds being that they are from two different environments exposed to different handling techniques? Why is it important that they accounted for these differences?

2. What is the hypothesis proposed by the authors and what do they measure in the experiment?

3. Would the presence of a predating wolf pack adversely and significantly affect secondary production in a herd of cattle?

People and Wolves in Washington: Stakeholder Conflict Assessment and Recommendations for Conflict Transformation

Part C: Livestock Producers

1. Why do many livestock producers see themselves as conservationist while they see the actions of environmentalists as being more in line with preservation? What is the difference?

2. Why are some livestock producers concerned about working with Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and environmentalist? Give two examples.

3. What are some ways livestock producers feel victimized in the conflict over wolves in the state of Washington? Explain.

No: “Protectors of the Wolves”Devin, Alex, Jamie

  1. What is the percentage of sheep killed by wolves in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho?
  2. What are three alternative wolf preventative methods?
  3. What are some ways wolves improve the ecosystem and the species within it?

 Fencing and Wolf Control

“Wolf Depredation Trends and the Use of Fladry Barriers to Protect Livestock in Western North America” (Musiani et. al.)

  1. What is Fladry?
  2. How much does installing fladry cost per meter?
  3. How long in the experiment was fladry effective at keeping wolves out of cattle ranches?



3) Is grass finished beef more environmentally sustainable than current grain fed feedlot practices?
Yes: “All-Natural Foodie Hipsters”  Liz, Spencer, Andrew

Three Questions for A Breath of Fresh Air (Background Paper) A-Breath-of-Fresh-Air-v1
  1. What are three reasons that grass fed cattle are better for the environment than grain fed cattle?
  2. Compare and Contrast the 4 main GHGs that pose a threat to the are they made and how long do they stay in the atmosphere?
  3. What is the author’s beef with corn? also how much oil could a feedlot steer chug if a feedlot steer could chug oil?
Impacts of Waste from CAFOs on Water Quality (scientific paper)Impacts of Waste from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations on Water Quality on JSTOR
  1. What are three ways that wastes can enter into the environment and what factors are needed to facilitate them?
  2. What can affect the transport of contaminants? how does this happen?
  3. In your own words describe Endocrine-Disrupting Compounds, and how they work

No: “Feed the World Industrialists”Emily, Haleigh, Cash


1. Define and support (provide in class field trip examples) Jude Capper’s definition of sustainability.
2. Describe how C.A.F.O.s efficiency relates to environmental sustainability
3. What is the number one limiting factor in Agriculture productivity?

The second Article: “Telling the Grass-Fed Beef Story”

1. How is this article highlighting the differences between grass fed vs. Grain fed cattle?
2. Explain the environmental impacts of grass fed cattle.
3. How are markets and advertising misleading consumers towards grassfed beef?