Preliminary site selection was completed in January 2006. Five study areas were identified for field reconnaissance. Track transect and coarse habitat sampling was completed to evaluate candidate areas. Based on the results of the site selection, Dry Lake, Dillard, and Sheppard areas were proposed for continued monitoring. Working with licensee partners over the summer of 2006, the Sheppard area was replaced by Danish Lake to provide additional opportunity to collect pre-treatment data. Snow track transect and pellet plot sampling have been used to monitor deer activity. Pre-harvest sampling was completed at the Dry Lake, Dillard and Danish study areas in 2007. Over the summer of 2007, harvest treatments were completed at the Dry Lake and Dillard study areas. The first year of post harvest snow tracking was completed over the past winter. The first round of snow track sampling was completed from December 4th to 6th, following the first major snow event on December 3rd. The snow water equivalents for the surrounding region were generally below normal with the snow accumulating gradually over the winter. The late winter sampling was completed from February 5th to 7th, 2008. The snow conditions during the late winter sampling were light and fluffy. Low to normal snow accumulations combined with the late winter snow conditions likely allowed more animals to stay at mid-elevation winter range. The past winter was the first season of post harvest monitoring. Deer activity in the blocks was generally limited to areas of forest retention. Further monitoring will support determining if deer continue to use the forest retention as harvest in the surrounding area continues. In addition, continued monitoring will be valuable to confirm any shifts in deer activity resulting from the recovery of deciduous species and increase in forage availability.
Subject to funding availability, a workplan was proposed for 2008/09. For the upcoming field season post harvest vegetation sampling will be completed. In addition the snow track data from 06/07 to 08/09 seasons will be summarized.
Caswell, David F., van Rossum, Greg. 2008. Mule Deer Winter range Study. Forest Investment Account (FIA) - Land Base Investment Program - Innovative. Forest Investment Account Report
Topic: FLNRORD Research Program
Keywords: Forest, Investment, Account, (FIA), British, Columbia
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