You are here: Home / Research Topics / Research Highlights / Individual Highlight

Research Highlights

Individual Highlight

Public - Private Cooperation Improves Management of Deer and Forests

Photo of Map of the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative, highlighting the sub-project special hunting regulations areas sponsored by the cooperative. Susan Stout, USDA Forest ServiceMap of the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative, highlighting the sub-project special hunting regulations areas sponsored by the cooperative. Susan Stout, USDA Forest ServiceSnapshot : The Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative (KQDC) was established in 2000 to test new approaches to stewardship of white-tailed deer and forest habitat on a 30,000-hectare landscape in northwestern Pennsylvania. Partners included land managers, scientists, educators, tourism promoters, and hunters. KQDC goals were adaptive management of the deer herd, improved habitat quality and deer herd attributes, and sustained hunter participation. The KQDC's tools included novel Pennsylvania Game Commission programs, habitat management, monitoring of deer and habitat, and hunter outreach. Over the first decade, the stated goals were largely achieved.

Principal Investigators(s) :
Stout, Susan 
Research Location : Pennsylvania
Research Station : Northern Research Station (NRS)
Year : 2013
Highlight ID : 509

Summary

In 2012-2013, a coalition of landowners, scientists, and other deer-forest stakeholders - the Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative - agreed to share the cost of continuing a unique program of adaptive deer management. From 2001 through 2011, the coalition managed deer on 74,000 acres of public and industrial forest land in northwestern Pennsylvania. The goal was to optimize use of novel programs introduced by the Pennsylvania Game Commission. With a mix of in-kind services, volunteer participation, and foundation support, the cooperative monitored and adaptively managed deer populations and vegetation for 13 years. Cooperative members base annual requests for additional deer harvest coupons on the monitoring results. The programs reduced deer densities by half within a few years after the program began and kept hunters engaged enough to prevent the deer herd from rising back to levels above the target density. Plant diversity has increased. An independent international review team considered KQDC's first decade a success in 2011, which led to the 2012 decision, as foundation funding ran out, to share the costs of sustaining the cooperative's efforts. This case study of management of common-pool resources for deer and forests shows that engagement of local stakeholders can improve the effectiveness of broad governmental programs.

Forest Service Partners

External Partners

  • Allegheny National Forest
  • Bradford, PA, Watershed Authority
  • Collins Pine Company
  • Forest Investment Associates
  • Kinzua Quality Deer Cooperative Leadership Team
  • Michigan State University
  • Pennsylvania State University Cooperative Extension
  • Sand County Foundation
  • the Allegheny National Forest Visitors Bureau
  • the Pennsylvania Game Commission

Strategic
Program Areas

Priority
Areas