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Disclosure of authors’ competing interests

Posted by J_Carlson on 20 Jun 2014 at 23:53 GMT

Although the competing interests declaration states that "The authors have declared that no competing interests exist," the authors of this paper have potential economic conflicts. They may also have an established position on the question of how cattle grazing affects water quality. The study was funded by the USDA Forest Service, and the conclusions are quite favorable to the Forest Service's legal and policy positions regarding public land grazing. See, for example:

Also, the author Kenneth Tate filed a formal declaration in 2012 supporting a livestock ranch in their petition to lower water quality standards in the Lahontan Basin. See pp. 230-4 of

Accepting money from the USDA Forest Service to perform applied research, and advocating for the positions of the livestock industry, are perfectly okay in our democracy. However, readers should know the background behind this (or any other) manuscript.

No competing interests declared.