U.S. Department of Agriculture: Forest Service -- National Agroforestry Center


Date of this Version

September 2003


Published by National Agroforestry Center, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Station, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, East Campus – UNL, Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0822.


Forestry and livestock production are mainstays of the natural resource-based economies of many rural communities in the western United States and Canada. Regenerating mixed conifer forests may produce considerable amounts of ground vegetation that is suitable as livestock feed, while open-canopied pine forests in more arid conditions produce forage throughout their lives. Not surprisingly, there is a strong tradition of livestock grazing within western forests. Silvopasture, the combination of forest management and improved forage species, is a more intensive, controlled application of this traditional use. It is most often implemented to increase profitability, reduce risk, and augment environmental benefits from land management.