Mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) are an identified regionally important species in the Southern Interior Forest Region. As mule deer concentrate on winter ranges and have specific habitat requirements for overwintering, it is important to develop management plans to ensure that resource extraction occurs that allows for sustained mule deer populations (Regional Mule Deer Winter Range Strategy Committee 1996). An area of approximately 250,000 hectares has been identified as mule deer winter range in the former Cariboo Forest Region (Armleder et al. 1994). Most research in these areas has focused on the Interior Douglas-Fir (IDF) biogeoclimatic zone where the majority of the deer winter ranges and concentrated populations are located. Some research has been conducted in the moister Sub-Boreal Spruce and Sub-Boreal Pine Spruce biogeoclimatic zones but little has been conducted in the wettest winter ranges in the region, specifically the Interior Cedar Hemlock (ICH) zone. The wetter winter ranges are located near the northern-most distribution of mule deer winter range, where deep snow depths limit locomotion and forage availability.
prepared by Triton Environmental Consultants Ltd.