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Quit Your Horsin' Around! The Effects of Trampling on Vegetation in Montana

This article is from Issue Rocky Mountain - Vol. 2 No. 1.

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When people go hiking or camping in back country or wilderness areas, they almost always impact the natural environment in some way. When people use the back country, they sometimes use pack animals to make their trip easier. While much trampling occurs on trails, for pack animals, it can also occur where the animals are grazing. The scientists in this article studied what happens to vegetation that is being trampled by people, horses, and llamas.

Note to Educators

Education Standards Correlations

Meet the scientists that contributed to this article:

"Science Topics" covered in this article:
  • Earth Science
  • Life Science
  • People and Science

"Environmental Topics" covered in this article:
  • Forest and Grassland Use (Educators)
  • Growing and Using Trees and Other Plants (Students)
  • Importance of Forest to People (Students)
  • Protecting Trees and Other Plants (Students)
  • The Value of Forests and Grasslands (Educators)
  • Using Forests (Students)
  • Vegetation Management (Educators)

Regions covered in this article:
  • Rocky Mountain

"Thinking About Science Themes" covered in this article:
Specific 'Thinking About Science'Themes:
  »  The Scientific Process

"Thinking About the Environment Themes" covered in this article:

Specific 'Thinking About the Environment'Themes:
  »  Human impact on natural resources

Specific "Thinking About Science" Themes:
  • The Scientific Process

"Thinking About Environmental Themes" covered in this article:
Specific 'Thinking About the Environment'Themes:
  »  Human impact on natural resources

Specific "Thinking About the Environment" Themes:
  • Human impact on natural resources

NSE Standards covered in this article:
  • Abilities necessary to do scientific inquiry (A)
  • Nature of science (G)
  • Populations and ecosystems (C)
  • Populations, resources and environments (F)
  • Regulation and behavior (C)
  • Risks and benefits (F)
  • Science as a human endeavor (G)
  • Understandings about scientific inquiry (A)

Science Benchmarks covered in this article:
  • Habits of Mind: Communication Skils
  • Habits of Mind: Critical-Response Skills
  • Human Society: Social Trade-Offs
  • The Nature of Science: Scientific Inquiry
  • The Nature of Science: The Scientific Enterprise
  • The Nature of Technology: Issues in Technology
  • The Nature of Technology: Technology and Science
  • The Physical Setting: Processes that Shape the Earth