Rangeland refers to any land supporting vegetation that can be consumed by domestic livestock and wildlife, and is managed as a natural ecosystem.
In general, rangelands are extensively managed for ecological values, rather than intensively managed for commodity values.
Rangelands are located throughout most of British Columbia. In B.C., broad variations in climate, soils, elevation, latitude, and topography combine to produce a diversity of plant communities for grazing and browsing and include:
- Open coniferous forests maintained by fire
- Dense coniferous forests
- Dry valley bottoms with bunchgrasses
- Moist/wet meadows
- Hardwood forests
- Mixed prairie
- Alpine and subalpine environments
Rangelands produce forage and browse (grass, sedges, forbs, shrubs and trees) for livestock and wildlife, botanical products, wood fibre, wildlife habitat, recreation values, and capture and store water.
Private and Crown Rangelands
B.C. rangelands are either owned privately or managed as Crown land through tenures or leases.
Range tenures cover more than 34 million hectares (roughly one-third of B.C.’s land base). Ranchers and guide-outfitters are allocated use through tenures to graze cattle, horses, sheep, and goats.