Ministry of Forests

Cariboo Region Research Section

Mule Deer Response to Low-volume partial Cutting on Winter Ranges in Central Interior British Columbia

A specialized low-volume removal (20%) single-tree selection silvicultural system was designed to integrate timber harvesting with the needs of mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus hemionus) on interior Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca winter ranges in central interior British Columbia, Canada (Armleder et al. 1986).  The impact of this harvesting was assessed on mule deer during winter by counting mule deer tracks 2-3 days after snowfalls of 6 cm or greater.  The assessment was made during the winters of
1984 - 1991 in paired unlogged and partially cut blocks on two winter ranges.  To test the effect of snow depth on mule deer use of partially cut logged stands, snow depth for each track assessment date was characterized as shallow (0-25 cm), moderate (26-40 cm.), or deep (>40 cm) by measuring snow depth in the open.  The mean number of tracks per 50 m per week did not differ significantly between control and logged blocks for either winter range.  Increased snow depths did not significantly affect the number of tracks in either partially cut or unharvested areas.  This single-tree selection silvicultural system can be used to harvest portions of Douglas-fir winter ranges in central interior British Columbia while maintaining winter habitat requirements of mule deer.

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