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Home > Protecting Our Lands & Waters > Conservation > Conservation Practices > Livestock Exclusion/Access Control

Conservation Practices
Minnesota Conservation Funding Guide

Livestock Exclusion/Access Control

Excluding livestock from environmentally sensitive area. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.
Excluding livestock from environmentally sensitive area. Photo courtesy USDA NRCS.

Livestock exclusion or access control is the temporary or permanent exclusion of livestock from a designated area—often to protect streambanks, wetlands, woods, cropland, wildlife habitat or conservation buffers. Access controls can also be used to keep wildlife, people, equipment and vehicles out of an area.

Livestock exclusion is closely associated with stream corridor restoration and protection. Although well-managed streamside grazing of livestock can actually be an asset to stream corridors, there are situations where total exclusion of livestock from a stream is best. These situations include:

  • Streams so deeply incised into the landscape that grazing on streambanks or livestock use of stream water could cause serious soil erosion;
  • Very large streams/rivers that frequently flood onto adjacent pasture, especially those with are seriously eroding;
  • Streambanks with sand and gravel soils; vegetation growing in these soils is more susceptible to damage from livestock; and,
  • High vertical streambanks infeasible for livestock grazing.

Similar & related practices

More information

Guidance from USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service

Other resources


See contacts for specific programs that fund this practice in the side-by-side payment comparison or contact your local Soil and Water Conservation District