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They’re Back! Cattle Grazing Resumes at Live Oak Plaza Conservation Area

The award-winning program at TCA environmental site promotes native vegetation and mitigates wildfire risks

Irvine, Calif. - April 19, 2024

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) resumed its Cattle Grazing Program in which cattle graze the land at the Agencies’ Live Oak Plaza Conservation Area in Trabuco Canyon. Conservation grazing, or targeted grazing, utilizes livestock to improve and maintain the quality of biodiversity of natural areas and help minimize wildfire risks. The grazing period at Live Oak Plaza will be in place throughout April.

Last month, the Foothill Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency (F/ETCA) Board of Directors unanimously approved the ongoing adoption of targeted cattle grazing as part of Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) Adaptive Weed Management Program for its mitigation sites. The decision followed a successful three-year, award-winning cattle grazing pilot program at the 23-acre Live Oak Plaza Conservation Area, re-zoned to preserve open space near Trabuco Canyon. It is one of the 17 mitigation sites, and over 2,000 acres TCA restores and conserves for future generations. TCA partners with 5 Bar Beef, the only remaining cattle grazing rancher in Orange County, to perform the grazing activity.

Cattle Grazing

“TCA’s commitment to the environment is exemplified in this forward-thinking land management program,” said F/ETCA Chair and San Juan Capistrano City Council Member John Taylor. “With the high incident of devastating wildfires in our region, grazing provides an innovative, proactive approach to further mitigate risks that may otherwise impact our communities and our roadways.”

“The use of conservation grazing as part of a comprehensive approach to habitat management can increase biodiversity and reduce flashy fuels from nonnative annual plants that are associated with fire risk. Conservation grazing is a carefully monitored and managed science-based tool to maintain healthy ecosystems, habitats, and forage base for wildlife while improving the overall quality of these natural areas,” added Dr. Doug Feremenga, TCA’s Environmental Planning Manager.

Live Oak Plaza, located in Trabuco Canyon east of the 241 Toll Road, contains valuable oak woodlands, riparian, and coastal sage scrub habitat for the threatened coastal California gnatcatcher and the endangered Riverside fairy shrimp. Before being conserved as permanent open space by TCA, the site was zoned for commercial, residential, and gas station development. It now provides natural wildlife movement corridors to and from the Cleveland National Forest. To learn more about Live Oak Plaza as well as TCA’s other award-winning environmental sites and initiatives, visit

The Transportation Corridor Agencies (TCA) are two joint powers authorities formed by the California Legislature in 1986 to plan, finance, construct and operate Orange County’s public toll road system comprised of the 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads, which represents 20% of Orange County’s highway system.