LA GRANDE, Ore. Feb.
21, 2013. The U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research
Station today released two new landscape models that predict elk
nutrition and habitat use across western Oregon and western Washington.
elk nutrition and elk habitat use models will help managers evaluate
the nutritional and habitat conditions of Westside landscapes and
how likely elk are to use these landscapes. The models also project
the effects of land management activities, like road closures and
thinning, on elk.
Our updated models account for habitat elements that affect elk,
especially those related to nutrition,” said Mary Rowland,
a station research wildlife biologist in La Grande, Ore.
Service’s Pacific Northwest Region and the Oregon
and Washington State Office of the Bureau of Land Management consider
the models the best available science to evaluate and manage elk
habitat on Westside public lands and have recommended their use
in land management planning.
The models are based on 20 years of research and emphasize recent
findings on the benefit of summer nutrition to elk populations,” said
Mike Wisdom, a research wildlife biologist and leader of the station’s
Starkey Ungulate Ecology Team. “Both landscape-scale models
focus on elk summer range, which affects elk survival and reproduction.”
for both models are readily available from free, corporate spatial
data so users can apply the models anywhere in western
Washington and Oregon. They are combined into a single downloadable
with sample data sets available online at http://www.fs.fed.us/pnw/research/elk.
The models were developed and validated by the Starkey Team in
collaboration with the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife;
for Air and Stream Improvement; Washington Department of Fish and
Wildlife (WDFW); Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe; Makah Nation; Muckleshoot
Indian Tribe; Quileute Indian Tribe; Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe;
WEST, Inc.; the Pacific Northwest Region of the Forest Service;
Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Oregon and Washington State
Office; Oregon State University; and more than 20 additional partners.
models were tested for more than a year by biologists and technicians
from a variety of agencies, including the Forest Service, BLM,
The Pacific Northwest Research Station—headquartered in Portland,
Oregon—generates and communicates scientific knowledge that
helps people make informed choices about natural resources and the
environment. The station has 11 laboratories and centers located
in Alaska, Washington, and Oregon and about 390 employees.