UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Winter habitat selection and use of clearcuts by elk in the White River drainage of southeastern British.. 1982

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WINTER HABITAT SELECTION AND USE OF CLEARCUTS ELK IN THE WHITE RIVER DRAINAGE OF SOUTHEASTERN BRITISH COLUMBIA by BRIAN PHILLIP CHURCHILL B . S c , U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a , 1973 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE i n THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department of F o r e s t r y ) we a c c e p t t h i s t h e s i s as c o n f o r m i n g t o the r e q u i r e d s t a n d a r d THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March, 1982 Q B r i a n P h i l l i p C h u r c h i l l , 1982 In p r e s e n t i n g t h i s t h e s i s i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements f o r an advanced degree at the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree t h a t the L i b r a r y s h a l l make i t f r e e l y a v a i l a b l e f o r r e f e r e n c e and study. I f u r t h e r agree that permission f o r e x t e n s i v e copying of t h i s t h e s i s i f o r s c h o l a r l y purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by h i s or her r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . I t i s understood that copying or p u b l i c a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s f o r f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my w r i t t e n p e r m i s s i o n . Brian P h i l l i p Churchill Department of Forestry The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia 20 7 5 Wesbrook Place Vancouver, Canada V6T 1W5 D a t e March 26th, 1982 i i A b s t r a c t : T h i s study of e l k w i n t e r h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n was conducted from June 1975 t o May 1977. Surveys were conducted from November t o A p r i l t o observe e l k use of h a b i t a t , p a t t e r n s of use w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s , and e l k r e a c t i o n t o human a c t i v i t i e s and v e h i c l e t r a f f i c . Programmes of h a b i t a t mapping, v e g e t a t i o n d e s c r i p t i o n and p e l l e t group c o u n t s were conducted d u r i n g the r e s t of the study p e r i o d . The two w i n t e r s of the study were m i l d . Snow depths never exceeded 45 cm, the depth h y p o t h e s i z e d t o i n i t i a t e e l k movement t o a r e a s of lower snowdepth. D u r i n g t h e s e m i l d snow c o n d i t i o n s e l k s e l e c t e d c l e a r c u t s f o r f e e d i n g but u t i l i z e d f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s f o r r e s t i n g and escape c o v e r . Subsequent s t u d i e s i n the same ar e a ( M c L e l l a n 1978) showed c o n t r a s t i n g a v o i d a n c e of c l e a r c u t s f o r two months d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s where snowdepths exceeded 50 cm. W i t h i n c l e a r c u t s e l k were obse r v e d t o s e l e c t moderate s l o p e s f u r t h e r than 200 m from a c t i v e roads f o r f e e d i n g and r e s t i n g . F e e d i n g a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s showed s e l e c t i o n f o r r i d g e s , g r a s s / f o r b v e g e t a t i o n and burned a r e a s . E l k showed v a r y i n g r e sponses t o s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s d u r i n g f e e d i n g a c t i v i t y . E l k s e l e c t e d the l a r g e s t c l e a r c u t s i t e and no p r e f e r e n c e f o r a r e a s near edge of c l e a r c u t s was shown. E l k showed a s t r o n g a v o i d a n c e r e a c t i o n t o human a c t i v i t y and v e h i c l e t r a f f i c , f l e e i n g t o f o r e s t c o v e r when d i s t u r b e d . Recommendations f o r f o r e s t management a r e i n c l u d e d . i v TABLE OF CONTENTS Page L i s t of F i g u r e s v i i i L i s t of T a b l e s i - x 1.0 I n t r o d u c t i o n 1 2.0 The study a r e a 6 2. 1 Geology 6 2.2 Landforms and s o i l development 8 2.3 V e g e t a t i o n 8 2.4 C l i m a t e . .'. 12 2 .5 Study P e r i o d 14 3.0 Methods . 17 3 . 1 H a b i t a t mapping 17 3.2 V e g e t a t i v e s a m p l i n g 18 3.3 E l k a c t i v i t y 20 3.4 E l k d i e t 20 3 .5 E l k use of h a b i t a t s 23 3 . 6 E l k use of c l e a r c u t s 25 3 . 6 . 1 D i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n of e l k 25 3 . 6.2 P e l l e t c o u n t s 28 3.7 E l k response t o human a c t i v i t i e s 29 3.8 A n a l y s e s 30 4.0 R e s u l t s 30 4 . 1 H a b i t a t t y p e s 30 4.2 E l k a c t i v i t y •. 42 4.3 E l k d i e t s 47 4.4 E l k use of h a b i t a t s 49 4 .5 E l k use of c l e a r c u t s 54 V Page 4.5.1 D e s c r i p t i o n o f c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s 5 4 4.5.2 o b s e r v a t i o n s o f e l k w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s 6 3 4.5.3 P e l l e t g r o u p s u r v e y s w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s 69 4.6 E l k r e s p o n s e t o human a c t i v i t y 71 5.0 D i s c u s s i o n 7 7 6.0 Management re c o m m e n d a t i o n s 85 L i t e r a t u r e c i t e d 91 v i LIST OF FIGURES Page F i g u r e 1 . The study a r e a . 7 F i g u r e 2. V e g e t a t i o n z o n a t i o n of the st u d y a r e a from the B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y of Environment mapping 10,11 F i g u r e 3. Logging h i s t o r y of the study a r e a 13 F i g u r e 4. Monthly mean t e m p e r a t u r e s from C a n a l F l a t s ; comparison of w i n t e r s of 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78 t o l o n g term mean 15 F i g u r e 5. Snow on ground and t o t a l monthly s n o w f a l l from Cranbrook, comparisons among w i n t e r s of 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1977-78 16 F i g u r e 6. D i s t r i b u t i o n of h a b i t a t t y p e s i n the study a r e a 31 F i g u r e 7. P i c t o r i a l views of s e l e c t i v e l y - l o gged and c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t s 34 F i g u r e 8. P i c t o r i a l views of c l e a r c u t and f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s 35 F i g u r e 9. L o c a t i o n of i n t e n s i v e study s i t e s i n c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t 55 F i g u r e 10. P i c t o r i a l views of i n t e n s i v e s t u d y s i t e - E l k Creek N o r t h 56 F i g u r e 11. P i c t o r i a l v i ews of i n t e n s i v e s t u d y s i t e - Jack Creek South 57 F i g u r e 12. P i c t o r i a l v i ews of i n t e n s i v e study s i t e - Jack Creek N o r t h 58 V l l LIST OF TABLES Page T a b l e I . Tab l e I I . Tab l e I I I . T a b l e IV. Tab l e V. Tab l e V I . T a b l e V I I . Tab l e V I I I T a b l e IX. Tab l e X. T a b l e X I . Area and p r o p o r t i o n s of h a b i t a t t ypes i n the White R i v e r study a r e a 32 Canopy coverage i n p e r c e n t f o r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e v e g e t a t i o n samples of h a b i t a t t y p e s 33 Summary of numbers and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of e l k obser v e d d u r i n g the two w i n t e r study p e r i o d s 43 E l k o b s e r v e d d u r i n g s u r v e y s a t d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s throughout the day. 44 E l k a c t i v i t y d u r i n g s u r v e y s a t d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s t h r o u g h o u t the day 46 P e r c e n t volumes of w i n t e r food types i n rumen samples from the study a r e a and o t h e r E a s t Kootenay l o c a t i o n s 48 Numbers of e l k and numbers of e l k groups o b s e r v e d by h a b i t a t type d u r i n g both w i n t e r s ... 50 Track c o u n t s w i t h i n h a b i t a t s d u r i n g s h a l l o w ( < 4 5 c m ) snow c o n d i t i o n s 51 S i z e of c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s and a d j a c e n t c l e a r c u t and s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d b l o c k s 59 P r o p o r t i o n s of s t r a t a of s l o p e , e l e v a t i o n , a s p e c t , v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e s , m i c r o r e l i e f , b u r n i n g h i s t o r y and s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n i n c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s 60 A n a l y s i s of s t a n d i n g c r o p e s t i m a t e s of g r a s s and f o r b s w i t h i n v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e s of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t 62 T a b l e X I I . E l k o b s e r v a t i o n s i n c l e a r c u t study s i t e s i n comparison t o p r o p o r t i o n s of c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s s u r v e y e d T a b l e X I I I . T a b l e XIV. O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k w i t h i n the t h r e e s t u d y s i t e s s t r a t i f i e d by r e l i e f , s l o p e , v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e , and b u r n i n g h i s t o r y . .. O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k w i t h i n c l e a r c u t study s i t e s s t r a t i f i e d by d i s t a n c e from c o v e r , d i s t a n c e from r o a d , and s l a s h accumulat i o n T a b l e XV. Tab l e XVI. Tab l e XVII T a b l e X V I I I T a b l e XIX. Mean and 95% c o n f i d e n c e i n t e r v a l s of p e l l e t group d e n s i t i e s w i t h i n a l l c l e a r c u t s tudy s i t e s f o r October 1975, October 1976, and May 1977 s u r v e y s Mean d e n s i t y of p e l l e t groups from the October 1976 survey f o r the t h r e e study s i t e s Comparison of mean p e l l e t d e n s i t i e s between s t r a t a of s l o p e and d i s t a n c e from r o a d , October 1976 s u r v e y i n ECN stu d y s i t e E l k r e a c t i o n t o human a c t i v i t y , p r i m a r i l y motor v e h i c l e s d u r i n g the two w i n t e r s t u d y p e r i o d s . ... E l k r e a c t i o n t o human a c t i v i t y by d i s t a n c e from d i s t u r b a n c e c a t e g o r i e s i x ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS I would l i k e t o e x p r e s s my s i n c e r e a p p r e c i a t i o n t o those who h e l p e d w i t h t h i s p r o j e c t . A l t h o u g h some names have been o m i t t e d f o r the sake of space, my a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r the support and f r i e n d s h i p of a l l the p e o p l e i n v o l v e d i s o ngoing. Many thanks a r e g i v e n t o Dr. F r e d B u n n e l l whose s u p e r v i s i o n , s t i m u l u s , f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t , and p a t i e n c e have made t h i s p r o j e c t p o s s i b l e . Next a s p e c i a l "thank you" t o Ray Demarchi, committee member and mentor whose a s s i s t a n c e i n d e s i g n i n g and s p o n s o r i n g the study was a l s o e s s e n t i a l . I would l i k e t o thank Dr. D a v i d S h a c k l e t o n and my o t h e r committee members f o r t h e i r a s s i s t a n c e . F i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t f o r t h i s s tudy was p r o v i d e d by U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h C o lumbia, f e l l o w s h i p s i n F o r e s t W i l d l i f e sponsored by Canfor L t d . ; employment and hous i n g t h r o u g h the B.C. F i s h and W i l d l i f e Branch, Cranbrook (Ta Ta Creek Research S t a t i o n ) ; equipment and l o g i s t i c s u p p ort from C r e s t b r o o k F o r e s t I n d u s t r i e s ; and equipment s u p p l i e d by the K i m b e r l e y W i l d e r n e s s and W i l d l i f e A s s o c i a t i o n . X Many o t h e r s were i n s t r u m e n t a l i n the s u c c e s s of the f i e l d work: thanks t o Bob R u a l t , Dave Malenka and o t h e r C r e s t b r o o k F o r e s t I n d u s t r i e s s t a f f ; B i l l Warkenton and o t h e r s from the B.C. F i s h and W i l d l i f e B r a n c h ; v a r i o u s members of the B.C. F o r e s t S e r v i c e , e s p e c i a l l y those from C a n a l F l a t s Ranger d i s t r i c t ; Anthea F a r r and o t h e r s t u d e n t s , f r i e n d s and a s s o c i a t e s who a s s i s t e d i n the f i e l d work. A s p e c i a l thanks t o Norman B a r i c h e l l o whose p h y s i c a l and i n t e l l e c t u a l c o n t r i b u t i o n s a r e f o n d l y remembered. The moral s u p p o r t of F r e d Harper i n c o m p l e t i n g the j o b w i l l always be warmly a p p r e c i a t e d . My thanks t o Pat M i l l s f o r her c o n t r i b u t i o n i n t y p i n g the r e v i s i o n s and the f i n a l e d i t i o n . My a p p r e c i a t i o n f o r my f a m i l y : my p a r e n t s , whose encouragement and f i n a n c i a l s u p p o r t c o n t i n u e d t h r o u g h my u n i v e r s i t y y e a r s ; my c h i l d r e n , A r n i c a , S i l e n a and B r a n t , whose e x i s t e n c e p r o v i d e s the m o t i v a t i o n f o r e f f o r t s towards p r o p e r management of n a t u r a l systems; and f i n a l l y t o my w i f e , R i t a , a s p e c i a l acknowledgement. For her many t a n g i b l e c o n t r i b u t i o n s t o t h i s work, i n c l u d i n g t y p i n g of the t e x t , and f o r her l o v e , u n d e r s t a n d i n g and encouragement, I d e d i c a t e t h i s w i t h a l l my l o v e t o R i t a . 1 1.0 INTRODUCTION C l e a r c u t l o g g i n g extended i n t o m i d - e l e v a t i o n s i t e s i n the E a s t Kootenay r e g i o n of B r i t i s h Columbia d u r i n g the l a t e 1960's and e a r l y 1970's. L o g g i n g was o f t e n c o n c e n t r a t e d i n a r e a s where f o r e s t d i s e a s e s or p e s t s were a f f e c t i n g t i m b e r v a l u e s . The mountain p i n e b e e t l e (Dendroctonus ponderosae) i s endemic i n l o d g e p o l e - p i n e ( P i n u s c o n t o r t a v a r . l a t i f o l i a ) s t a n d s i n s o u t h e r n B r i t i s h Columbia. Epidemic o u t b r e a k s of t h i s i n s e c t are common i n m a t u r i n g l o d g e p o l e p i n e s t a n d s w i t h up t o 90% of the l o d g e p o l e p i n e i n a s t a n d k i l l e d w i t h i n a 5 t o 10 year p e r i o d ( S a f r a n y i k e_t a l . 1974). An outbreak of mountain p i n e b e e t l e i n the mature p i n e s t a n d s i n the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e i n s o u t h e a s t e r n B r i t i s h Columbia l e d . t o s a n i t a t i o n - s a l v a g e - l o g g i n g of i n f e c t e d s t a n d s . S i n c e 1970 t h i s l o g g i n g l e d t o the c l e a r c u t t i n g of a number of l a r g e b l o c k s ( g r e a t e r than 80 ha) i n the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e . The White R i v e r d r a i n a g e has been r e c o g n i z e d as an i m p o r t a n t a r e a f o r w i l d l i f e , p a r t i c u l a r l y e l k (Cervus e l a p h u s n e l s o n i ) , s i n c e the e a r l y 1900's. The l a r g e White R i v e r Game Reserve was c r e a t e d i n 1936 as an e a r l y attempt t o p r e s e r v e w i l d l i f e . More r e c e n t l y , p o r t i o n s of the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e have been obser v e d t o be w i n t e r 2 h a b i t a t f o r e l k (Demarchi p e r s . comm.). A review of r e c e n t l i t e r a t u r e on the w i n t e r e c o l o g y of e l k and o t h e r u n g u l a t e s ( B u n n e l l 1978) shows t h a t w i n t e r weather, e s p e c i a l l y snow-depths, det e r m i n e w i n t e r h a b i t a t use. P r e s e n t management of w i l d l i f e i n B r i t i s h Columbia i s more dependent on a c t i v e p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n m u l t i p l e r e s o u r c e p l a n n i n g than b l a n k e t p r o t e c t i o n . E f f e c t i v e m u l t i p l e r e s o u r c e p l a n n i n g depends on i n f o r m e d i n p u t based on an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the b a s i c e c o l o g y of w i l d l i f e s p e c i e s and an u n d e r s t a n d i n g of the impacts of l o g g i n g , m i n i n g , road c o n s t r u c t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , and o t h e r human a c t i v i t i e s on w i l d l i f e . I n s u f f i c i e n t d a t a were a v a i l a b l e t o e v a l u a t e the impacts on e l k of l a r g e c l e a r c u t openings i n f o r e s t h a b i t a t s . Such d a t a were e s s e n t i a l i f the B r i t i s h Columbia F o r e s t S e r v i c e was t o p l a n l o g g i n g w h i l e p r o t e c t i n g e s s e n t i a l e l k h a b i t a t r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r m u l t i p l e use of these two r e s o u r c e s , t i m b e r and e l k . The mountain p i n e b e e t l e i n f e s t a t i o n was e x p e c t e d t o s p r e a d , more c l e a r c u t t i n g was p l a n n e d f o r the v a l l e y , and s i t e s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n was needed t o manage both c r i t i c a l e l k h a b i t a t r e q u i r e m e n t s and t i m b e r h a r v e s t i n g . I n f o r m a t i o n on the v a l u e of d i f f e r e n t h a b i t a t s t o e l k , the f e a t u r e s t h a t c o n t r o l e l k use of h a b i t a t s , and 3 f a c t o r s which r e s t r i c t or modify e l k h a b i t a t use p a t t e r n s were r e q u i r e d f o r e f f e c t i v e m u l t i p l e use p l a n n i n g i n the White R i v e r a r e a . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n of such i n f o r m a t i o n r e q u i r e d b a s i c knowledge of the geography, c l i m a t e , l a n d f o r m s , and l o g g i n g h i s t o r y of the a r e a . Some g e n e r a l background knowledge was a v a i l a b l e (Runka 1969) but s i t e s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n was l a c k i n g . A v a i l a b l e i n f o r m a t i o n on f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g e l k use of h a b i t a t s had l i m i t e d a p p l i c a b i l i t y t o the study a r e a . C l e a r c u t s have p r e v i o u s l y been s t u d i e d f o r d i f f e r e n t i a l use by e l k ( K i r s c h 1962, Swanson 1970, Lyon 1976), however, these s t u d i e s c o n c e n t r a t e d on e l k h a b i t a t use d u r i n g summer. These s t u d i e s were of q u e s t i o n a b l e a p p l i c a b i l i t y t o the White R i v e r a r e a , a w i n t e r range where average snowdepths were b e l i e v e d t o r e s t r i c t e l k use of some h a b i t a t s . E l k response t o human a c t i v i t y or v e h i c u l a r t r a f f i c had a l s o been s t u d i e d (Ward 1976, Anonymous 1975, Lyon and Jensen 1980) w i t h mixed r e s u l t s . The many roads d e v e l o p e d i n the l o g g i n g of the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e suggested t h a t changes i n e l k h a b i t a t use p a t t e r n s c o u l d r e s u l t from human a c t i v i t y and v e h i c u l a r t r a f f i c . C l e a r c u t openings i n the study a r e a were a l s o c o n s i d e r a b l y l a r g e r than t h o s e i n p r e v i o u s s t u d i e s . 4 T h i s study was d e s i g n e d t o p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n on the w i n t e r e c o l o g y of e l k and t h e i r r e s p o n s e s t o l e g g i n g p r a c t i c e i n the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e of s o u t h e a s t e r n B r i t i s h Columbia. S p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n on the l o g g i n g h i s t o r y , c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of h a b i t a t s , a c t i v i t y p a t t e r n s , and d i e t s of e l k was r e q u i r e d t o t e s t h ypotheses t r e a t i n g f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g e l k use of the a r e a . O b j e c t i v e s of the r e s e a r c h were t o : 1) D e s c r i b e the v e g e t a t i o n and l o g g i n g h i s t o r y p a t t e r n s of the a r e a . 2 ) D e s c r i b e a c t i v i t y p a t t e r n s of e l k i n the a r e a . 3) D e s c r i b e e l k food h a b i t s s p e c i f i c t o the a r e a and document any changes i n food h a b i t s w i t h s h a l l o w and deep snow c o n d i t i o n s . 4 ) I d e n t i f y h a b i t a t t y p e s and document e l k u t i l i z a t i o n of h a b i t a t s i n w i n t e r d u r i n g both deep and s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s . 5) I d e n t i f y the use of c l e a r c u t l o g g e d a r e a s and document p a t t e r n s of use of c l e a r c u t s by e l k d u r i n g both deep and s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s . 6 ) Test hypotheses t r e a t i n g f a c t o r s which i n f l u e n c e 5 e l k use of c l e a r c u t s . Emphasis was p l a c e d on the l a t t e r t h r e e o b j e c t i v e s . These o b j e c t i v e s would p r o v i d e i n f o r m a t i o n on some h y p o t h e s i z e d r e l a t i o n s h i p s f o r e l k w i t h i n f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s , w h i l e p r o v i d i n g s i t e s p e c i f i c i n f o r m a t i o n a p p l i c a b l e t o f o r e s t management. The r e l a t i o n s h i p s between e l k use of logged h a b i t a t s , the major c l i m a t i c f a c t o r s of snowdepth, and the e f f e c t of human a c t i v i t y i n m o d i f y i n g e l k h a b i t a t use were not c l e a r l y u n d e r s t o o d . The f o l l o w i n g hypotheses were proposed t o c l a r i f y t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s : a) E l k p r e f e r c l e a r c u t s f o r f e e d i n g d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s but a r e r e s t r i c t e d i n t h e i r use of c l e a r c u t s when snowdepths exceed 45 cm. b) E l k use of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d e c l i n e s i n an i n v e r s e r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the d i s t a n c e from c o v e r . c) E l k use of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d e c l i n e s w i t h i n c r e a s i n g p r o x i m i t y t o r o a d s . d) E l k a v o i d s l a s h when p o s s i b l e . e) E l k respond t o human a c t i v i t y by f l i g h t and t h i s response i s l e s s common w i t h i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e 6 from the d i s t u r b a n c e . 2.0 THE STUDY AREA The White R i v e r i s a m i d - e l e v a t i o n t r i b u t a r y of the Kootenay R i v e r i n s o u t h e a s t e r n B r i t i s h C olumbia. The study a r e a c o m p r i s e s the e a s t e r n s i d e of the White R i v e r v a l l e y downstream from the major e a s t e r n t u r n of the r i v e r near White Swan Lake ( F i g u r e 1 ) . The st u d y a r e a i n c l u d e d the v a l l e y b ottomlands a t a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1000 m (3300 f t ) e l e v a t i o n and the t e r r a c e s and s l o p e s up t o about 1830 m (6000 f t ) e l e v a t i o n a l o n g the e a s t e r n v a l l e y s i d e . In g e n e r a l terms, the White R i v e r v a l l e y i s a narrow v a l l e y i n the h e a r t of the Rocky M o u n t a i n s . The f o l l o w i n g b r i e f d e s c r i p t i o n of g e o l o g y , l a n d f o r m s , s o i l s and c l i m a t i c i n f l u e n c e s i s condensed from Runka (1969). 2.1 GEOLOGY The Kootenay-White R i v e r l i n e a m e n t i s caused by the White R i v e r Break, a major l o n g i t u d i n a l f a u l t zone t h a t l i m i t s the Western (Kootenay) Ranges from the Park (Main) Ranges. Throughout i t s l e n g t h the f a u l t zone l i e s  8 e n t i r e l y w i t h i n Cambro-Ordvician shale of the McKay Group and i s marked by a wide b e l t of highly-sheared, calcareous p h y l l i t e . Along t h i s lineament, the wide through-valley of the Kootenay, Beaverfoot and White Ri v e r s has eroded the weak f a u l t zone (Runka 1969). 2.2 LANDFORMS AND SOIL DEVELOPMENT D e t a i l s of the present topography were formed predominantly by the l a s t stage of ice advance and modified somewhat by er o s i o n since the l a s t i c e r e t r e a t . The v a l l e y i s f l o o r e d to a la r g e extent with t e r r a c e d v a l l e y t r a i n d e p o s i t s . The wide terra c e s of the Kootenay-Beaverfoot-White through-valley are based on Cedrus t i l l d escribed by K e l l e y and Holland (1961). I t i s d e r i v e d from McKay p h y l l i t e s and shales and i s there f o r e very s i l t y and v i r t u a l l y stone f r e e . S o i l s are p r i m a r i l y s t r o n g l y c a l c e r o u s , e u t r i c b r u n i s o l s (Runka 1969). 2.3 VEGETATION K r a j i n a (1965) included two bi o g e o c l i m a t i c zones i n the White River v a l l e y . The I n t e r i o r D o u g l a s - f i r zone 9 c o v e r s most of the v a l l e y bottom w h i l e the S u b a l p i n e Engelman spruce - s u b a l p i n e f i r zone encompasses the h i g h e r v a l l e y s i d e s . More d e t a i l e d , r e c e n t mapping ( F i g u r e 2) c o n f i r m s t h a t the study a r e a i n c l u d e s the border of the s e two b i o g e o c l i m a t i c zones. E x a m i n a t i o n f o r i n d i c a t o r s p e c i e s r e v e a l e d i n d i c a t o r p l a n t s from the S u b a l p i n e Engelman spruce - s u b a l p i n e f i r zone and from the wet subzone of the I n t e r i o r D o u g l a s - f i r zone throughout the v a l l e y . However, f a l s e boxwood ( P a c h i s t i m a m y r s i n i t e s ) , an i n d i c a t o r of the wet subzone of the I n t e r i o r D o u g l a s - f i r zone, was a b s e n t . Comparison of systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n i s d i f f i c u l t , but i t i s p r o b a b l e the c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of P f i s t e r e t a l . (1974) would i n c l u d e the v e g e t a t i o n of the study a r e a i n the Pseudotsuga m e n z i e s i i and P i c e a s e r i e s . I n i t i a l t imber c u t t i n g i n the study a r e a began w i t h s e l e c t i v e c u t t i n g programmes i n the s o u t h e r n p o r t i o n s i n 1954. In the next 10 y e a r s some 850 ha of a mid- e l e v a t i o n band on the s o u t h e a s t p o r t i o n of the st u d y a r e a were l o g g e d . These s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d a r e a s had v a r i a b l e (5 % t o 30%) canopy coverage of t r e e s when a s s e s s e d i n 1975. I n f e s t a t i o n of 100 y e a r o l d or o l d e r l o d g e p o l e p i n e s t a n d s by mountain p i n e b e e t l e i n i t i a t e d t he second phase of l o g g i n g . O l d e r l o d g e p o l e p i n e f o r e s t t y p e s which were s u s c e p t i b l e t o mountain p i n e b e e t l e i n f e s t a t i o n s c o n s t i t u t e d an a d d i t i o n a l 3400 ha of the 10 6. Ecological State Ecological State 1s the successional stage to which vegetation has developed. The successional stages are determined by plant community structure and plant competition relationships in the community. disciimax maturing climatic climax (usually older than 60 years) maturing edaphic climax {usually older than 60 years) maturing serai (usually between 60-140 years) overmature serai (usually older than 140 years) pioneer serai young climatic climax (usually younger than 60 years) young edaphic climax (usually younger than 60 years) young serai (usually younger than 60 years) DC MCC MEC MS OS PS YCC YEC YS 7 Plant Species Tree species symbols are used to signify a vegetation type. " ' J * ° f " * n " u r a ' var iabi l i ty of the vegetation, the indicated species may be infrequent or even absent from some s i tes , but many of the characteristics of the typical vegetation wi l l occur. aL alpine larch tA trembling aspen alF alpine f i r U wi 11ow bCo black cottonwood wB common paper birch D Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir wC western red cedar eS Engelmann spruce wH western hemlock IP lodgepole pine whP whitebark pine pP ponderosa pine wL western larch sAl Sitka mountain alder wS white spruce 5. Biophysical Forest Regions, Zones and Subzones Forest Region1 Map Symbol 2 1 Forest Zone and Subzone INTERIOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN DOUGLAS-FIR ZONE (IDH a) Lodgepole pine subzone (lacks ponderosa pine as a potential serai species) b) Ponderosa pine subzone (with ponderosa pine and lacks western larch as potential serai species) c) Western larch - ponderosa pine subzone (with ponderosa pine and western larch as potential serai species) SUBALPINE ENGLEMANN SPRUCE-ALPINE FIR ZONE (SAeS-alF) a) Lodgepole pine-whitebark pine subzone (lacks Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir as a potential serai species) b) Krummholz subzone (trees have stunted growth form and are layered in island patterns) c) Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir-lodgepole pini subzone (with Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir as a potential serai species) ALPINE TUrlDRA ZONE (At) subzones have not been determined ' ' e g c l X t r t h e r l l S i d e d T^ot'X^ lTsJ&£1"d M*****™- ^def ini t ive vegetation pattenTof the region. * A B i ^ i c ^ t ^ is an area within a forest Zone defined , the basis of climate-related succession., tre*s of d-inan. vegetation. ' Figure 2 . Vegetation Zonation of the Study Area from the B r i t i s h Columbia Ministry of Environment mapping. 1 1 Figure 2. (Continued). 1 2 t o t a l 7000 ha of the study a r e a . The p r o g r e s s i o n of timb e r c u t t i n g i s i l l u s t r a t e d i n F i g u r e 3. 2.4 CLIMATE The E a s t Kootenay of B r i t i s h Columbia shows much c l i m a t i c v a r i a t i o n . The mosaic of the mountains and v a l l e y s i n f l u e n c e s the d i s t r i b u t i o n of c l i m a t i c t y p e s . Examining the r e g i o n as a u n i t , summers are u s u a l l y hot w i t h s p o r a d i c r a i n shower a c t i v i t y , w h i l e w i n t e r s range from m i l d t o s e v e r e . P r e c i p i t a t i o n i s f a i r l y u n i f o r m l y d i s t r i b u t e d throughout the y e a r w i t h a p p r o x i m a t e l y one t h i r d of the annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n f a l l i n g as snow. The main l o c a l i n f l u e n c e on c l i m a t e i s the m e c h a n i c a l i n f l u e n c e of topography on a i r movement throughout the r e g i o n (Runka 1969). The White R i v e r i s s e p a r a t e d from the n e a r e s t permanent weather s t a t i o n , a t C a n a l F l a t s , by the Hughes Range and weather d a t a from C a n a l F l a t s were not d i r e c t l y a p p l i c a b l e t o the White R i v e r v a l l e y . However, annual t r e n d s i n weather p a t t e r n s from C a n a l F l a t s and Cranbrook are i n d i c a t i v e of the r e l a t i v e degree of s e v e r i t y of a p a r t i c u l a r w i n t e r w i t h i n the r e g i o n . The monthly mean te m p e r a t u r e s from C a n a l F l a t s f o r the two w i n t e r s of the study 1975-76 and 1976-77 exceeded the l o n g t e r m averages 13 14 ( F i g u r e 4 ) . In c o n t r a s t , the w i n t e r of 1977-78, when M c L e l l a n (1978) r e p o r t e d on e l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n i n the a r e a , was s u b s t a n t i a l l y more s e v e r e . A l t h o u g h l o n g term d a t a on snowdepths were not a v a i l a b l e , a s i m i l a r c o n t r a s t i n snow measurements from Cranbrook between the 1977-78 w i n t e r p e r i o d and the 1975-76 and 1976-77 w i n t e r p e r i o d i s a p p a rent ( F i g u r e 5 ) . In t h i s s t u d y , d a t a on e l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n were g a t h e r e d d u r i n g two w i n t e r s of a t y p i c a l l y m i l d t e m p e r a t u r e s and low snow f a l l . 2.5 STUDY PERIOD F i e l d work commenced i n June of 1975 and t e r m i n a t e d i n May of 1977. Summer programmes c o n s i s t e d of h a b i t a t mapping, v e g e t a t i o n s a m p l i n g , and c o l l e c t i n g p e l l e t group d a t a . W i n t e r programmes (November t o A p r i l ) c o n c e n t r a t e d on o b s e r v i n g e l k d i s t r i b u t i o n s , r e c o r d i n g snow depths and n o t i n g human a c t i v i t i e s t o c o l l e c t d a t a on e l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n and use of c l e a r c u t s . 15 Figure 4. Monthly mean temperatures from Canal Flats, comparison of winters of 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78 to long term mean. 16 Ccm) 60 J Nov.Dec.Jan.Feb.Mar.Apr. Figure 5. Snow on ground and t o t a l monthly snowfall from Cranbrook comparison between winters of 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78. 17 3.0 METHODS 3.1 HABITAT MAPPING The l o g g i n g h i s t o r y of the a r e a was c o m p i l e d from B r i t i s h Columbia F o r e s t S e r v i c e r e c o r d s . Mapping of b o u n d a r i e s of lo g g e d a r e a s u t i l i z e d a v a i l a b l e B r i t i s h Columbia F o r e s t S e r v i c e f o r e s t c o v e r maps, r e c e n t a i r photographs (1975) p r o v i d e d by C r e s t b r o o k F o r e s t I n d u s t r i e s , and p e r s o n a l r e c o n n a i s s a n c e . The h a b i t a t of an a n i m a l , "the s p e c i f i c s e t of c o n d i t i o n s t h a t s u r r o u n d the organism" (Smith 1966), can be d e s c r i b e d or a n a l y s e d a t d i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of d e t a i l depending on the o b j e c t i v e s of the s t u d y . In terms of the a n n u a l home range of e l k , the e n t i r e study a r e a can be viewed as a s i n g l e h a b i t a t type as i t i s c o m p r i s e d of the s o u t h f a c i n g s l o p e s of the lower White R i v e r d r a i n a g e . However, a p r e l i m i n a r y r e c o n n a i s s a n c e of the ar e a and a review of the o b j e c t i v e s of the study suggested the l e v e l of d e t a i l r e q u i r e d f o r h a b i t a t a n a l y s i s i n t h i s s tudy s h o u l d be a t the l e v e l of f o r e s t c over or t i m b e r h a r v e s t i n g p r a c t i c e s . F i v e h a b i t a t t y p e s were chosen, each r e l a t e d t o f o r e s t c o v e r t y p e s and l o g g i n g h i s t o r y . F o r e s t c o v e r maps, l o g g i n g h i s t o r y maps, a e r i a l p hotographs, 1:50,000 18 t o p o g r a p h i c base maps (1957 e d i t i o n ) , p r e l i m i n a r y v e g e t a t i o n mapping (Environment and Land Use Committee S e c r e t a r i a t [E.L.U.C.S.], u n p u b l i s h e d ) , and ground c h e c k i n g were used. F i v e h a b i t a t t y p e s were d e l i n e a t e d i n the study a r e a . V e g e t a t i o n was sampled i n the most p r e v a l e n t landscape u n i t i n each h a b i t a t type t o p r o v i d e a c h a r a c t e r i s t i c d e s c r i p t i o n of the s p e c i e s c o m p o s i t i o n and canopy coverage. Names a s s i g n e d t o h a b i t a t t y p e s a r e p u r e l y d e s c r i p t i v e based on the p h y s i c a l s t r u c t u r e or dominant s p e c i e s i n the h a b i t a t t y p e . 3.2 VEGETATIVE SAMPLING V e g e t a t i v e sampling f o r s p e c i e s c o m p o s i t i o n and canopy coverage was m o d i f i e d from th e s t a n d a r d f i e l d methodology of the ELUCS, V e g e t a t i o n S e c t i o n , as o u t l i n e d by Van B a r n e v e l d (1976) and Walmsley and Van B a r n e v e l d (1977). A s i t e of a p p a r e n t l y homogeneous s o i l s and v e g e t a t i o n was chosen as recommended by A r l r i d g e (1960, i n Walmsley and Van B a r n e v e l d 1977) f o r the p r e v a l e n t l a n d s c a p e u n i t , i n each h a b i t a t u n i t . A v e g e t a t i o n r e l e v e (sample p l o t ) u s i n g ELUCS s t a n d a r d i z e d methodology and d a t a form ( 1 s t d r a f t ) was completed f o r each s i t e to d e s c r i b e the v e g e t a t i o n and r e p r e s e n t a v e g e t a t i o n t y p e . R e l e v e s d e s c r i b e v e g e t a t i o n by s p e c i e s i n a canopy s t r a t u m u s i n g o c u l a r e s t i m a t e s of p e r c e n t c o v e r by 19 s p e c i e s . Three r e l e v e s by V e g e t a t i o n S e c t i o n s t a f f (ECUCS) i n 1976 were i n c l u d e d i n the a n a l y s i s . S u f f i c i e n t r e s o u r c e s were not a v a i l a b l e t o sample a l l v e g e t a t i o n so sampling was r e s t r i c t e d t o the minimum number of p l o t s needed t o c h a r a c t e r i z e the v e g e t a t i o n of each h a b i t a t t y p e . In a d d i t i o n , v e g e t a t i o n subtypes were d e f i n e d u t i l i z i n g m i c r o - r e l i e f and m o i s t u r e regime i n the t h r e e c l e a r c u t s s e l e c t e d f o r i n t e n s i v e s t u d y of e l k use. These subtypes were sampled f o r s t a n d i n g c r o p of g r a s s and f o r b s i n the September-October p e r i o d . Methodology was chosen t o be d i r e c t l y comparable w i t h o t h e r s t u d i e s i n the r e g i o n (Kemper 1971, Demarchi 1971, F a r r 1974, C h u r c h i l l 1974). F i v e 1 m2 s u b p l o t s f o r each m a c r o p l o t were c l i p p e d f o l l o w i n g c e s s a t i o n of annua l growth. S u b p l o t s were l o c a t e d a t two meter i n t e r v a l s a l o n g a t r a n s e c t randomly l o c a t e d i n the v e g e t a t i v e subtype t o be sampled. Samples were s u b d i v i d e d i n t o g r a s s and f o r b components, o v e n - d r i e d , and weighed f o r s t a n d i n g c r o p e s t i m a t e s . B o t a n i c a l nomenclature f o l l o w s T a y l o r and McBryde (1977) c 20 3.3 ELK ACTIVITY Local knowledge on expected timing of winter concentrations of elk in the study area was s o l i c i t e d to determine the f i e l d season for c o l l e c t i o n of data on elk use and a c t i v i t y . Incidental sightings of elk and the observation of fresh tracks and p e l l e t s in the study area during summer programmes were used further to refine timing of winter study periods. Records were kept of the time of the observation, the date, the size of the elk group, the sex and age group of individual animals, and the a c t i v i t y of the elk group for each observation during periodic surveys .of the area. Elk group a c t i v i t y was assessed as the a c t i v i t y of the majority of individuals within the group during the observation. Surveys were planned to cover a l l of a predetermined route in the shortest amount of time to ensure a l l elk groups were seen. Observation numbers were assigned to each elk group sighting to aid in r e t r i e v a l of information in data processing. 3.4 ELK DIET During the two winter study periods rumen samples were taken from hunter k i l l e d elk ( 2 ) , c o l l e c t e d elk from 21 w i t h i n the study a r e a (5) and from road k i l l e d e l k from nearby Kootenay N a t i o n a l Park ( 2 ) . Rumen c o n t e n t s from each a n i m a l were mixed and one g a l l o n samples were p r e s e r v e d i n 10% f o r m a l i n . Rumen samples from t h i s study and o t h e r s c o l l e c t e d from the E a s t Kootenay r e g i o n were a n a l y s e d by the Re s e a r c h S e c t i o n , B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h and W i l d l i f e Branch , V i c t o r i a , B r i t i s h C olumbia. In the l a b o r a t o r y , subsamples of each j a r were d r a i n e d of e x c e s s f o r m a l i n . The c o n t e n t s were then p l a c e d i n t o a g r a d u a t e d 1000 ml beaker p a r t i a l l y p r e f i l l e d w i t h water i n o r d e r t o dete r m i n e the t o t a l volume. The c o n t e n t s were then t h o r o u g h l y washed w i t h t a p water through number 3 1/2 and number 5 s i e v e s (5.66 and 4.00 mm). The c o n t e n t s r e m a i n i n g on the s c r e e n s were washed i n t o a w h i t e p o r c e l a i n d i s h and s e p a r a t e d , w i t h the a i d of f o r c e p s , i n t o s p e c i e s . Each p l a n t s p e c i e s of the sample was then p l a c e d on n y l o n c l o t h and a l l e x c e s s m o i s t u r e was squeezed o u t . Measurements of a l l samples 0.5 ml and over were made by p l a c i n g the mo i s t m a t e r i a l i n t o a 250 ml g r a d u a t e d c y l i n d e r p a r t i a l l y p r e f i l l e d w i t h w a t e r . S i m i l a r l y a n a l y s e d d a t a from o t h e r l o c a t i o n s i n the Kootenays were s u p p l i e d by the B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h and W i l d l i f e Branch , Cranbrook o f f i c e . These d a t a were s t r a t i f i e d by b i o g e o c l i m a t i c zones i n which the a n i m a l 22 was found a t the time the rumen sample was c o l l e c t e d and are p r e s e n t e d f o r comparison w i t h data c o l l e c t e d from the study a r e a . D e t e r m i n a t i o n of foo d h a b i t s by o b s e r v a t i o n of a n i m a l s f e e d i n g , f o l l o w e d by e x a m i n a t i o n of the f e e d i n g s i t e , has been used t o i d e n t i f y d i e t of e l k (Capp 1968, J o s l i n 1975). A s i m i l a r t e c h n i q u e , t r a i l i n g , has been used f o r moose ( A l c e s a l c e s ) w i n t e r d i e t s ( S i l v e r 1976), but Peek (1974, o r i g i n a l not seen, c i t e d from S i l v e r 1976) suggested some l i m i t a t i o n s of the method. These problems were: 1. D e t e r m i n a t i o n of what c o n s t i t u t e s " f r e s h use". 2. D i f f e r e n t i a l o b s e r v a b i l i t y of use of d i f f e r e n t p l a n t s . 3. D e t e r m i n a t i o n of a s i n g l e b i t e . 4. D e f i n i t i o n of f e e d i n g a r e a s ( c a s u a l f e e d i n g or c u r i o u s b r o w s i n g v s . p r e f e r r e d f e e d i n g a r e a s ) . In t h i s study one o b j e c t i v e was t o determine changes i n e l k d i e t w i t h v a r y i n g snow d e p t h . I n i t i a l t e s t s of the t r a i l i n g t e c h n i q u e i n d i c a t e d : 23 a. I n d i v i d u a l a n i m a l s c o u l d not be t r a i l e d f o r adequate d i s t a n c e s due t o the herd b e h a v i o u r of the s p e c i e s o b s c u r i n g the t r a c k s of i n d i v i d u a l a n i m a l s . ~ b. T r a i l i n g , i n a r e a s of heavy e l k use w i t h l e s s e r use by moose, w h i t e t a i l deer ( O d o c o i l e u s v i r g i n i a n u s ) and mule deer ( O d o c o i l e u s hemionus hemionus), compared t o random t r a n s e c t i n a s i m i l a r a r e a i n d i c a t e d t h a t " f r e s h use" c o u l d not be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d from p r e v i o u s use of both g r a s s e s and s h r u b s . These c o n s i d e r a t i o n s i n d i c a t e d t h a t t h e t r a i l i n g t e c h n i q u e was not f e a s i b l e t o meet the o b j e c t i v e s of the r e s e a r c h . 3.5 ELK USE OF HABITATS Data c o l l e c t e d f o r documentation of e l k use of h a b i t a t s i n c l u d e d d i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k and measures of t r a c k abundance. These d a t a were c o l l e c t e d throughout two w i n t e r study p e r i o d s . S u r v e y s were c o n d u c t e d from a f o u r - w h e e l - d r i v e v e h i c l e a l o n g t h e p r i m a r y r o a d system and from e s t a b l i s h e d o b s e r v a t i o n p o i n t s . R e g u l a r s u r v e y s were supplemented by f o o t s u r v e y s when v e h i c l e a c c e s s was 24 r e s t r i c t e d . The U n i v e r s a l T r a n s v e r s e M e r c a t o r (U.T.M.) G r i d system p r i n t e d on 1:50,000 s c a l e t o p o g r a p h i c base maps was used t o r e c o r d the l o c a t i o n of e l k o b s e r v a t i o n s t h roughout the study a r e a , w i t h the e x c e p t i o n of those a r e a s s e l e c t e d f o r i n t e n s i v e study of e l k use. The U.T.M. G r i d system was superimposed on a combined h a b i t a t - l o g g i n g - t o p o g r a p h i c map t o a i d i n a c c u r a t e l y l o c a t i n g o bserved e l k . A l t h o u g h the g r i d system a l l o w s p r e - or p o s t - r e c o r d i n g of h a b i t a t t ype and o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , the b e s t r e s o l u t i o n of the g r i d i s 10,000 m2. A f t e r c o n s i d e r a t i o n , h a b i t a t type and o t h e r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of the o b s e r v a t i o n ' s i t e were r e c o r d e d a t the time of o b s e r v a t i o n . E l k t r a c k abundance was r e c o r d e d a l o n g the p r i m a r y road system f o l l o w i n g f r e s h s n o w f a l l s of s u f f i c i e n t depth t o e f f e c t i v e l y e l i m i n a t e p r e v i o u s t r a c k s . Track s u r v e y s were s t r a t i f i e d by h a b i t a t t y p e s . E v e r y i n d i v i d u a l s e t of f r e s h t r a c k s of e l k , o t h e r u n g u l a t e s , l y n x (Lynx l y n x c a n a d e n s i s ) and cougar ( F e l i s c o n c o l o r ) which c r o s s e d the road from berm t o berm were r e c o r d e d . When e l k t r a c k s were e n c o u n t e r e d i n groups, the number of t r a c k s r e c o r d e d were the number of i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t c o u l d be d e t e r m i n e d , not e s t i m a t e s of the s i z e of the group. Track abundance s u r v e y s were conducted 12 t o 24 hours f o l l o w i n g the 25 c e s s a t i o n of a s n o w f a l l . 3.6 ELK USE OF CLEARCUTS P o r t i o n s of t h r e e c l e a r c u t s were s e l e c t e d f o r i n t e n s i v e study of e l k use. Data on e l k use of c l e a r c u t openings were c o l l e c t e d by o b s e r v i n g e l k and by c o u n t i n g e l k p e l l e t groups. 3.6.1 DIRECT OBSERVATION OF ELK D u r i n g the two w i n t e r study p e r i o d s , s u r v e y s t o observe e l k i n the d e s i g n a t e d c l e a r c u t s were conducted c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h s u r v e y s t o observe e l k a c t i v i t y and h a b i t a t use. A g r i d system based on the c o n f i g u r a t i o n of the c l e a r c u t s d e s i g n a t e d f o r i n t e n s i v e s t u d y was d e v i s e d t o r e c o r d o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k . The t h r e e c l e a r c u t s were measured w i t h a m e t r i c tape ( n y l o n ) and g r i d p o i n t s were marked by d r i v i n g a c o l o u r coded wooden p o s t , 2.5 m i n l e n g t h , i n t o the ground. S p a c i n g between g r i d p o i n t s was f i f t y meters i n two of the c l e a r c u t s and one hundred meters i n the t h i r d c l e a r c u t . F i f t y meter s p a c i n g was r e q u i r e d t o p r o v i d e s u f f i c i e n t s a m p l i n g of h a b i t a t parameters i n the two 26 s m a l l e r c l e a r c u t s i t e s . The l a r g e r s i z e (3x) of the t h i r d s i t e and the l i m i t e d r e s o u r c e s of the study d i c t a t e d a wider s p a c i n g of sample p o i n t s i n the t h i r d s i t e . D i s t a n c e s between g r i d p o s t s were measured i n t r u e p r o f i l e , r a t h e r than c o r r e c t e d f o r v e r t i c a l p r o j e c t i o n , as i s the common p r a c t i c e i n f o r e s t r y . Each g r i d p o s t r e p r e s e n t e d the m i d p o i n t of a g r i d c e l l and a number of c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s f o r each c e l l were r e c o r d e d d u r i n g the summer f i e l d s e asons. The f o l l o w i n g were r e c o r d e d f o r each g r i d c e l l : a. s l o p e - measured w i t h a Suunto l e v e l and r e c o r d e d i n p e r c e n t . b. e l e v a t i o n - r e c o r d e d i n i n t e r v a l s of 7.62 m (25 f t . ) . c. a s p e c t - d e t e r m i n e d from a compass b e a r i n g and c o r r e c t e d f o r t r u e n o r t h . d. m i c r o r e l i e f p o s i t i o n s - a s s e s s e d and r e c o r d e d as g u l l y s l o p e , g u l l y bottom, r i d g e s l o p e , r i d g e t o p or f a n . e. v e g e t a t i o n - subtypes w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s d e t e r m i n e d from r e l e v e s . 27 f. e v i d e n c e of b r o a d c a s t b u r n i n g s i n c e l o g g i n g - r e c o r d e d as burned or not burned. g. s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n - a s s e s s e d as n i l , l i g h t , moderate or h i g h . h. d i s t a n c e from f o r e s t ( c u t b l o c k ) edge dete r m i n e d from g r i d l o c a t i o n and r e c o r d e d i n 50 m or 100 m c l a s s e s . i . minimum d i s t a n c e from n e a r e s t u s a b l e road e s t i m a t e d o c u l a r l y u s i n g g r i d p o s t s and r e c o r d e d i n 100 m c l a s s e s . At the time of o b s e r v a t i o n of e l k , snowdepth was r e c o r d e d from the c l o s e s t snow s t a k e t o the a n i m a l s . Snow s t a k e s were p a n e l s (10 cm x 122 cm), p a i n t e d w h i t e and marked i n 2 cm g r a d u a t i o n s i n b l a c k , a f f i x e d t o some g r i d p o s t s . Snow s t a k e s were l o c a t e d on two s e t s of two t r a n s e c t s p e r p e n d i c u l a r t o each o t h e r i n each of the t h r e e d e s i g n a t e d c l e a r c u t s i t e s . A d d i t i o n a l snow s t a k e s were l o c a t e d a t c o n v e n i e n t l o c a t i o n s throughout o t h e r p o r t i o n s of the s t u d y a r e a . Snowdepth c o u l d be read w i t h an a c c u r a c y of 1 cm by v i e w i n g snow s t a k e s w i t h a 15 or 25 x s p o t t i n g scope from the n e a r e s t p o i n t on the p r i m a r y road system or from an e s t a b l i s h e d o b s e r v a t i o n p o i n t . 28 O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k i n the t h r e e c l e a r c u t s were r e c o r d e d on the same forms as tho s e used f o r o b s e r v a t i o n s i n o t h e r l o c a t i o n s of the study a r e a . V e g e t a t i o n type and o t h e r parameters were not r e c o r d e d f o r o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k use of the t h r e e c l e a r c u t s , as t h i s i n f o r m a t i o n had been p r e - d e t e r m i n e d f o r t h e s e s m a l l e r g r i d c e l l s d u r i n g summer f i e l d work. 3.6.2 PELLET COUNTS E l k use of the t h r e e study c l e a r c u t s was a l s o measured by c o u n t i n g p e l l e t g roups. P e l l e t groups were counted i n c i r c u l a r p l o t s c e n t e r e d on each g r i d p o i n t i n October 1975, October 1976, and May 1977. Leaf drop had o c c u r r e d b e f o r e the October s u r v e y s and l e a f growth had not commenced b e f o r e the May, 1977 survey so v i s i b i l i t y of" p e l l e t s s h o u l d not have been a f f e c t e d . P e l l e t p l o t s were 3.56 m i n di a m e t e r (10 m 2) and g r i d p o s t s s e r v e d as permanent markers of the c e n t e r of the p l o t s . Ten p e l l e t s of s i m i l a r appearance were a r b i t r a r i l y d e f i n e d as a group. Groups were i n c l u d e d o n l y i f the m a j o r i t y of the p e l l e t s l a y w i t h i n the p l o t b o u n d a r i e s . P e l l e t group p l o t s were not c l e a r e d and e f f o r t s were made not t o d i s t u r b them. Groups were t a b u l a t e d f o r each p l o t i n the two October s u r v e y s but 29 noted as o l d ( g r e a t e r than 9 months o l d ) or new i n the May, 1977 s u r v e y . S e l e c t i o n of type of p e l l e t p l o t was based on Smith (1977, p. 17). "The s m a l l p l o t s i z e chosen was based on a review by Nef f (1968) and work by Smith (1968). They f e l t t h a t s m a l l p l o t s were more e f f i c i e n t and more p r e c i s e than l a r g e r p l o t s because of the r e d u c t i o n of b i a s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h m i s s e d groups. B a t c h e l e r (1975) has shown, however, the i n v e r s e r e l a t i o n s h i p between p l o t s i z e and e s t i m a t e d d e n s i t y of groups i s ma i n l y the r e s u l t of b i a s due t o borde r e f f e c t and d e f i n i t i o n of p e l l e t g r o u p s , not missed groups. Thus s m a l l p l o t s may be more p r e c i s e , but they a r e not n e c e s s a r i l y more a c c u r a t e . . . " A l t h o u g h the d a t a may not p r o v i d e an a c c u r a t e » e s t i m a t e of t o t a l numbers, i t seems v a l i d t o assume t h a t any b i a s a s s o c i a t e d w i t h u s i n g s m a l l bounded p l o t s w i l l be e q u a l i n each h a b i t a t . S i n c e my main o b j e c t i v e i n c o u n t i n g p e l l e t groups was t o determine r e l a t i v e l e v e l s of use, any c o n s i s t e n t b i a s i s of no consequence." 3.7 ELK RESPONSE TO HUMAN ACTIVITIES The e f f e c t s of human a c t i v i t y on e l k b e h a v i o u r and c o n s e q u e n t l y on e l k h a b i t a t use a r e an i n t e g r a l p a r t of e l k e c o l o g y i n a r e a s of m u l t i p l e r e s o u r c e use. Records were kept of the t y p e s of human or v e h i c u l a r a c t i v i t y , the o b s e r v e d response of e l k , and the d i s t a n c e between the a c t i v i t y and e l k a t the time of e l k re s p o n s e . Data were c o l l e c t e d c o n c u r r e n t l y w i t h o t h e r s u r v e y s . Response d i s t a n c e s were e s t i m a t e d i n 100 m c l a s s e s from U.T.M. and e s t a b l i s h e d g r i d s . 30 3.8 ANALYSES A n a l y s i s of data u t i l i z e d computing f a c i l i t i e s a t the U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia and the M i c h i g a n I n t e r a c t i v e Data A n a l y s i s System (MIDAS) w r i t t e n by the S t a t i s t i c a l Research L a b o r a t o r y of the U n i v e r s i t y of M i c h i g a n . D e t a i l s of a n a l y t i c a l methodology a r e a v a i l a b l e from Fox and G u i r e (1976). A l l t e s t s were deemed s i g n i f i c a n t a t 0.05 l e v e l of p r o b a b i l i t y u n l e s s o t h e r w i s e n o t e d . 4.0 RESULTS 4.1 HABITAT TYPES F i v e h a b i t a t t y p e s , O l d P i n e F o r e s t , C l e a r c u t h a b i t a t , S e l e c t i v e Logged H a b i t a t , Mature Mixed C o n i f e r F o r e s t , and Young P i n e F o r e s t , were d e s c r i b e d f o r the study a r e a . F i g u r e 6 i s a map of the d i s t r i b u t i o n of these h a b i t a t t y p e s i n the study a r e a . T a b l e I l i s t s the p r o p o r t i o n s of h a b i t a t t y p e s and T a b l e I I l i s t s r e p r e s e n t a t i v e p l a n t s p e c i e s c o m p o s i t i o n i n the h a b i t a t s . F i g u r e s 7 and 8 p r e s e n t i l l u s t r a t i o n s of the v a r i o u s h a b i t a t t y p e s . 31 • Habitat types Old pine forest Clearcut Selectively logged Young pine forest Mature mixed conifer forest Figure 6. Distribution of habitat types i n the study area. Table I. Area and proportions of habitat types i n the White River study area. Study Area Total 6985 ha 1. Old Pine Forest 3425 ha 49% 2. Clearcut 1350 ha 19% 3. Selectively Logged 850 ha 12% 4. Mature Mixed Conifer Forest 695 ha 10% 5. Young Pine Forest 665 ha 10% A l l Forested Habitats Combined 4785 ha 69% Table I I . Canopy coverage i n percent for representative vegetation samples of habitat types. 3 o c_> u u o 3 Species c MISCFJiTANEOUS Mineral s o i l Mosses (unspecified) 20 10 w I o -p 1 8 TKKhS Populus tremuloides X 20 C X X Populus balsamifera trichocarpa 20 C Pseudotsuga menziesii X 18 15 X X L a r i x occidentalis X X 15 X X Pinus contorta var. L a t i f o l i a X X 30 60 50 Picea enqelmannii X X 10 X X SHRUBS Alnus incana t e n u i f o l i a X X 20 Betula papyrif era X X 10 X X Acer glabrum douglasii X 10 X Mahonia acfuifolium X X X X X X X Rubus idaeus X X 15 15 X Rosa woodsii X X 15 35 25 X 25 X X X Amelanchier a l n i f o l i a X X X 10 X X X X X X X Svmphoricarpos albus albus X 10 40 X X 10 X X X Shepherdia canadensis X 12 X X X 10 25 X Spirea b e t u l i f o l i a lucida X X X X X X X 10 X X Linnaea borealis X X X X 17 X FORBS Arnica c o r d i f o l i a 10 Cornus canadensis 10 10 Epilobium ancjustifolium 30 Chimaphila umbellata 25 A r a l i a nudicaulis 17 20 15 17 Lathyrus cchroleucus 10 15 GRASSES Calamacrrostis rubescens 35 78 35 X 25 60 65 20 60 70 10 Oryzopsis a s p e r i f o l i a 25 10 10 Elymus canadensis 10 X 35 20 30 Only species with canopy coverage greater than 5% by ocular estimate, k Several examples are given f o r these habitat types to show va r i a t i o n . c Shrub. x Canopy coverage i n percent,species >_ 5% <10% canopy coverage. 3 4 b) Large opening of clearcut habitat Figure 7. P i c t o r i a l views of selectively logged and clearcut habitats. a) Clearcut habitat - strip of old pine forest b) Mature mixed conifer forest - lower l e f t Clearcut habitat - centre Old pine forest - lower right Young pine forest i n background at higher elevations Figure 8 . P i c t o r i a l views of clearcut and forested habitats. 36 O l d P i n e F o r e s t O l d P i n e F o r e s t s c o v e r e d 3425 ha (49%) of the study a r e a . Most of the o l d p i n e s t a n d s a t lower e l e v a t i o n s have been logged ( F i g u r e 6) l e a v i n g most of t h i s h a b i t a t t y p e a t mid- or u p p e r - e l e v a t i o n s on s t e e p e r s l o p e s . The O l d P i n e F o r e s t h a b i t a t i s c h a r a c t e r i z e d by an even-aged s t a n d of l o d g e p o l e p i n e a p p r o x i m a t e l y 90 t o 120 y e a r s o l d . The t r e e s a r e p r e d o m i n a n t l y between 20 and 26 cm D.B.H. w i t h a canopy h e i g h t of up t o 26 m. B a s a l a r e a of the s t a n d was 55 m 2ha- 1. Other t r e e s p e c i e s o c c u r r e d w i t h i n the canopy i n minor p r o p o r t i o n s , however, the l a c k of a j u v e n i l e t r e e u n d e r s t o r y c r e a t e d the i m p r e s s i o n of an open f o r e s t w i t h r e l a t i v e l y l o n g s i g h t d i s t a n c e s . The shrub s t r a t a had seven s p e c i e s but was markedly dominated by s o o p o l a l l i e ( S h e p h e r d i a c a n a d e n s i s ) . T w i n f l o w e r ( L i n n a e a b o r e a l i s ) , a low growing shrub, combined w i t h P r i n c e ' s - p i n e ( C h i m a p h i l a u m b e l l a t a ) , mosses, a r n i c a ( A r n i c a c o r d i f o l i a ) and p i n e g r a s s ( C a l a m a g r o s t i s rubescens) t o form a m o i s t , spongy g r a s s / f o r b l a y e r . P i n e g r a s s i s v e r y w i d e s p r e a d i n t h i s h a b i t a t , however, i t s growth form of w i d e l y spaced s i n g l e s t a l k s r e s u l t e d i n l i t t l e biomass f o r the l a r g e amount of canopy co v e r a g e . 37 S o o p o l a l l i e has not been i d e n t i f i e d as a p r e f e r r e d f o r a g e s p e c i e s f o r e l k and no e v i d e n c e was o b s e r v e d of i t s u t i l i z a t i o n . The low biomass of p i n e g r a s s and p r e f e r r e d shrub s p e c i e s i n d i c a t e d low f o r a g e volumes f o r e l k i n t h i s h a b i t a t . The s u s c e p t i b i l i t y of p i n e t r e e s of t h i s age c l a s s t o b e e t l e i n f e s t a t i o n and the p o t e n t i a l c l e a r c u t t i n g of most of the O l d P i n e F o r e s t s t o remove i n f e s t e d t r e e s make the e v a l u a t i o n of the importance of t h i s h a b i t a t type f o r e l k c o v e r r e q u i r e m e n t s c r i t i c a l . C l e a r c u t H a b i t a t Recent c l e a r c u t t i n g c r e a t e d 1350 ha of t h i s h a b i t a t i n the study a r e a ( 1 9 % ) , m o s t l y at lower e l e v a t i o n s . C l e a r c u t t i n g had been p r a c t i c e d almost e x c l u s i v e l y i n b e e t l e i n f e s t e d p i n e s t a n d s f o r . removal of dead and p o t e n t i a l l y s u s c e p t i b l e t r e e s . C o n s i d e r a t i o n of economics and wind s t a b i l i t y l e d t o s m a l l i n c l u s i o n s of o t h e r t r e e s p e c i e s b e i n g c u t . The r e s u l t was a v a r i e t y of m i c r o - r e l i e f and m i c r o - water regimes i n t h i s h a b i t a t t y p e . E v a l u a t i o n of the movement p a t t e r n s of e l k i n d i c a t e d t h a t f o r the o b j e c t i v e s of t h i s s tudy the h i g h m o b i l i t y of the a n i m a l s n u l l i f i e d s e l e c t i o n of m i c r o - h a b i t a t s w i t h i n the C l e a r c u t h a b i t a t t y p e . Common f a c t o r s of u n l i m i t e d l i n e of s i g h t , abundant f o r a g e and r e l a t i v e l y u n i f o r m snowdepth p a t t e r n s 38 a l l o w e d c o n s i d e r a t i o n of c l e a r c u t s as a s i n g l e h a b i t a t t y p e f o r the purposes of the s t u d y . C l e a r c u t v e g e t a t i o n on a l l landforms except a l l u v i a l f a n s was dominated by p i n e g r a s s . In t h i s open h a b i t a t p i n e g r a s s grows i n dense t u f t s , p r o v i d i n g the major f o r a g e f o r e l k . F o r b s , a l t h o u g h r e p r e s e n t e d by a v a r i e t y of s p e c i e s , were not abundant d u r i n g the midsummer su r v e y p e r i o d w i t h o n l y s a r s a p a r i l l a ( A r a l i a n u d i c a u l i s ) , f i r e w e e d ( E p i l o b i u m a n g u s t i f o l i u m ) and p e a v i n e ( L a t h y r u s o c h r o l e u c u s ) h a v i n g canopy coverage g r e a t e r than 5%. Shrubs, a l t h o u g h not dominant except on a l l u v i a l f a n s , were abundant w i t h 10 s p e c i e s found i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t s . Rose (Rosa w o o d s i i ) , s a s k a t o o n ( A m e l a n c h i e r a l n i f o l i a ) , and r a s p b e r r y (Rubus i d a e u s ) , u t i l i z e d by u n g u l a t e s f o r f o r a g e , were abundant; w h i l e dogwood (Cornus s e r i c e a ) , the most h e a v i l y u t i l i z e d s h r u b , o c c u r r e d s p o r a d i c a l l y on v e r y moist s i t e s (not sampled). Other s h r u b s , not p r e f e r r e d as e l k f o r a g e , ( s o o p o l a l l i e , s p i r e a [ S p i r e a b e t u l i f o l i a l u c i d a ] and snowberry [Symphoricarpos a l b u s a l b u s ] ) were a l s o common. J u v e n i l e cottonwood ( P o p u l u s b a l s a m i f e r a t r i c h o c a r p a ) and aspen (Populus t r e m u l o i d e s ) were the dominant t r e e " s p e c i e s and were u t i l i z e d as f o r a g e . Spruce ( P i c e a e n q e l m a n n i i ) and l o d g e p o l e p i n e r e g e n e r a t i o n was e v i d e n t 39 w i t h p i n e abundant i n p l a n t e d a r e a s . P i n e s e e d l i n g s commonly were browsed w i t h p l a n t e d and n a t u r a l l y r e g e n e r a t i n g s t o c k showing needle and t i p removal. S e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d H a b i t a t S e l e c t i v e c u t t i n g i n the l a t e 1950's t o mid 1960's e f f e c t i v e l y removed a l l homogeneous sta n d s of mature D o u g l a s - f i r (Pseudotsuga m e n z i e s i i ) from the st u d y a r e a . The S e l e c t i v e Logged h a b i t a t , when a s s e s s e d i n 1975, c o n s i s t e d p r i m a r i l y of open a r e a s w i t h s c a t t e r e d mature t r e e s and a d e v e l o p i n g canopy of r e g e n e r a t i n g c o n i f e r s . T o t a l canopy coverage of t r e e s was e x t r e m e l y v a r i a b l e (5- 30%) and was made up m o s t l y of the secondary canopy of r e g e n e r a t i n g c o n i f e r s . The few r e m a i n i n g D o u g l a s - f i r and l a r c h ( L a r i x o c c i d e n t a l i s ) v e t e r a n s were 140 t o 190 y e a r s o l d and up t o 31 m t a l l . The secondary canopy c o n s i s t e d p r i m a r i l y of D o u g l a s - f i r w i t h l o d g e p o l e p i n e , s p r u c e , and l a r c h . P i n e g r a s s was the main component of the g r a s s / f o r b l a y e r , growing v i g o r o u s l y i n t u f t s i n the open a r e a s . The shrub community was heterogeneous w i t h up t o 10 s p e c i e s p r e s e n t . Rose was the most abundant shrub w i t h l e s s e r amounts of b i r c h ( B e t u l a p a p y r i f e r a ) and snowberry. More p e f e r r e d f o r a g e s h r u b s , i n c l u d i n g S a s k a t o o n , w i l l o w , and maple (Acer glabrum d o u g l a s i i ) 40 were p r e s e n t i n s m a l l e r amounts. The v e g e t a t i o n of t h e S e l e c t i v e Logged h a b i t a t was found t o be heterogeneous and the l i m i t e d s a m p l i n g of t h i s study was i n s u f f i c i e n t t o a d d r e s s p r o p e r l y the c o m p l e x i t y of the v e g e t a t i v e community. T h i s complex h a b i t a t has r e l a t i v e l y s h o r t s i g h t d i s t a n c e s and mode r a t e l y abundant f o r a g e s . T h i s h a b i t a t appeared t o be t r e a t e d as a homogeneous u n i t , by the h i g h l y m o b i l e e l k . Mature Mixed C o n i f e r F o r e s t F o r e s t s w i t h l a r c h and D o u g l a s - f i r codominant w i t h l o d g e p o l e p i n e were found on 695 ha (10%) of the study a r e a . Mature mixed s t a n d s were found t o be 100 t o 120 y e a r s o l d , 26 t o 34 m i n h e i g h t and w i t h b a s a l a r e a of 48 m2 h a - 1 . L a r c h were the l a r g e s t t r e e s i n thes e s t a n d s , 50-60 cm D.B.H., w h i l e l o d g e p o l e p i n e of a s i m i l a r h e i g h t were 20-30 cm D.B.H. Shrubs i n t h i s h a b i t a t , were s p a r s e , a l t h o u g h seven s p e c i e s were p r e s e n t . S o o p o l a l l i e and the low growing s p i r e a were the o n l y two shrubs w i t h canopy coverage g r e a t e r than 10%. The m o i s t , spongy g r a s s / f o r b l a y e r i n t h i s h a b i t a t was s i m i l a r t o the g r a s s / f o r b l a y e r of the O l d Pin e 41 F o r e s t h a b i t a t . P i n e g r a s s was v e r y w i d e l y d i s t r i b u t e d i n a s i n g l e s t a l k growth form, w h i l e r i c e g r a s s ( O r y z o p s i s a s p e r i f o l i a ) was p r e s e n t i n s m a l l t u f t s . R i c e g r a s s , a l t h o u g h p r e s e n t i n s m a l l q u a n t i t i e s , was o b s e r v e d t o be h e a v i l y u t i l i z e d by e l k i n t h i s h a b i t a t . Bunchberry (Cornus c a n a d e n s i s ) was the o n l y f o r b w i t h a canopy coverage g r e a t e r than 10% i n the midsummer sampl i n g p e r i o d . The r o l e of t h i s h a b i t a t as c o v e r f o r e l k must be e v a l u a t e d c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t fewer t r e e s i n t h i s h a b i t a t a r e s u s c e p t i b l e t o b e e t l e i n f e s t a t i o n and t h a t the v a l u e of l a r c h as cover i s m o d i f i e d by the shedding of n e e d l e s i n the w i n t e r . S i g h t d i s t a n c e s and f o r a g e q u a n t i t i e s were s i m i l a r t o O l d P i n e F o r e s t h a b i t a t s . Young P i n e F o r e s t Young P i n e F o r e s t was found i n s m a l l p a t c h e s at low e l e v a t i o n s and two l a r g e r s t a n d s a t h i g h e r e l e v a t i o n s i n the n o r t h e a s t p o r t i o n of the study a r e a . The 665 ha (10%) o f the study a r e a of Young P i n e F o r e s t was m a i n l y i n a c c e s s i b l e f o r i n t e n s i v e s t u d y . The 15 ha b l o c k a d j a c e n t t o the c l e a r c u t s o uth of Jac k Creek was the o n l y a c c e s s i b l e Young P i n e F o r e s t i n the study a r e a . T h i s h a b i t a t t ype was c h a r a c t e r i z e d u s i n g t h e v e g e t a t i o n r e l e v e of the ELUCS from a s t a n d a p p r o x i m a t e l y 5 km t o 42 the n o r t h of the s t u d y a r e a . Young P i n e F o r e s t s t a n d s were t o t a l l y dominated by young l o d g e p o l e p i n e . Trees i n the sampled s t a n d were a p p r o x i m a t e l y 60 y e a r s o l d , 20 m i n h e i g h t and had a b a s a l a r e a of 32 m 2ha- 1. Moss and p i n e g r a s s a r e the major components of the u n d e r s t o r y , a l t h o u g h seven s p e c i e s of shrubs had canopy coverage i n the 5% t o 10% c l a s s . Young P i n e F o r e s t s t a n d s had v e r y low f o r a g e q u a n t i t i e s and s h o r t s i g h t d i s t a n c e s . No use by e l k i n t h i s h a b i t a t was o b s e r v e d , both w i t h i n and o u t s i d e of the study a r e a . 4.2 ELK ACTIVITY Few e l k were obser v e d u s i n g the study a r e a i n the summer months. S u b s t a n t i a l numbers of e l k were f i r s t o b s e r v e d i n the s t u d y a r e a i n t h e mid- t o l a t e - O c t o b e r p e r i o d . S u b s t a n t i a l numbers of e l k were obser v e d throughout the two w i n t e r p e r i o d s of the study (Table I I I ) . P r o p o r t i o n a t e l y fewer e l k were observed d u r i n g the midday p e r i o d s than d u r i n g s u r v e y s i n e a r l y mornings and l a t e e v e n i n g s (Table I V ) . A n a l y s e s of v a r i a n c e show s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s i n the number of e l k seen per 43 Table I I I . Summary of numbers and classification of elk observed during the two winter study periods. December 1975 December 1976 - A p r i l 1976 - A p r i l 1977 Total Number of surveys 68 91 159 Number of elk groups observed 263 300 563 Classification: Cow elk 635 796 1431 Calf elk 388 359 747 Spike b u l l elk 26 100 126 Bu l l elk (exclusive of spikes) 31 25 56 Unclassified elk 530 1745 2275 Total number of elk observed 1611 3026 4637 44 Table IV. Elk observed during surveys a t d i f f e r e n t periods throughout the day with s t a t i s t i c a l treatment. _ o co & i -o co O co O m « No. of elk o o o elk per per _ survey _ group § § § x S.D. x S.D. Early inorning (before 9:00 am) 79 397 3223 41 26.4 8.1 7.9 Late morning (9:00 am to noon) 42 71 630 15 19.6 8.9 9.2 Early afternoon (noon to 4:00 pm) 17 35 303 18 17.2 8.7 9.3 Evening. (after 4:00 pm) 21 60 481 23 19.6 8.0 7.4 159 563 4637 a) Analysis of variance (F = 6.5771 DF = 3) indicates s i g n i f i c a n t differences i n numbers of e l k during d i f f e r e n t periods of the day. b) Analysis of variance (F = 0.21711 DF = 3) indicates no difference i n s i z e of elk groups during d i f f e r e n t periods of the day. 45 survey d u r i n g d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s of the day. S i m i l a r a n a l y s e s of t h e numbers of e l k w i t h i n groups i n d i c a t e no c o n c u r r e n t changes i n group s i z e s . E x a m i n a t i o n of the a c t i v i t y of the groups of e l k shows p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y more e l k were f e e d i n g i n t h e morning and e v e n i n g s u r v e y s ( T a b l e V) than d u r i n g midday. C o n v e r s e l y , l a r g e r p r o p o r t i o n s of e l k were observed r e s t i n g d u r i n g the midday p e r i o d s . D u r i n g a l l p e r i o d s of the day some e l k groups were obse r v e d w i t h a p r i m a r y a c t i v i t y of d i r e c t i o n a l movement. As most e l k were obser v e d i n c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d i r e c t i o n a l movement has been r e f e r r e d t o as c r o s s i n g i n T a b l e V. Most o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k a c t i v i t i e s i n t h i s s t u d y were i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t . E l k i n the f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s were s u f f i c i e n t l y wary t o p r e c l u d e o b s e r v a t i o n s of t h e i r a c t i v i t i e s i n t h i s h a b i t a t . O b s e r v a t i o n s a r e s t r o n g l y r e l a t e d t o a c t i v i t i e s of e l k i n c l e a r c u t s and may not r e f l e c t the o v e r a l l p r o p o r t i o n s of a c t i v i t i e s of a n i m a l s i n a l l h a b i t a t s . In g e n e r a l most e l k were obse r v e d f e e d i n g i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t i n the e a r l y mornings. ' Many e l k would move i n t o the f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t by midday as p a r t . o f t h e i r f e e d i n g a c t i v i t y o r when d i s t u r b e d . D u r i n g the midday p e r i o d more of the groups o b s e r v e d were r e s t i n g than i n 46 Table V. Elk activity during surveys at different periods throughout the day. "8* 6 «H z o c) Feeding3^ Resting1"^ Crossing No. of % i n No. of % i n No. of % i n groups period groups period groups period Early norning (before 9:00 am) 397 298 75 26 72 18 Late morning (9:00 am to noon) 71 30 42 27 38 14 20 Early afternoon (noon to 4:00 pm) 35 18 51.4 13 37.1 11.4 Evening (after 4:00 pm) 60 50 83 4 7 6 10 Total activity 563 396 71 70 12 96 17 Feeding - activity assessed as feeding when more than 50% of individuals feeding Resting - activity assessed as resting when more than 50% of individuals resting Crossing - activity assessed as crossing when group showed directional movement without feeding activity 47 the morning or e v e n i n g p e r i o d s . Most e l k o b s e r v e d i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t i n the e v e n i n g were f e e d i n g . I n f r e q u e n t and u n r e c o r d e d o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k d u r i n g the hours of d a r k n e s s i n d i c a t e d t h a t some e l k were f e e d i n g , moving about, and r e s t i n g i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t a t n i g h t . 4.3"ELK DIETS Samples were t a k e n from n i n e e l k rumens from a n i m a l s k i l l e d i n or a d j a c e n t t o the study a r e a d u r i n g the two w i n t e r p e r i o d s of the s t u d y . D e t e r m i n a t i o n of ' t y p i c a l ' e l k d i e t s from t h e s e samples was i m p o s s i b l e due t o the h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y between the d i f f e r e n t rumens ( T a b l e V I ) . G r a s s e s were the major d i e t volume (X = 52%; SD = 3 2 ) , but ranked not much g r e a t e r than shrubs (X = 39%; SD = 3 1 ) . C o n i f e r s (X = 6%; SD = 6) and f o r b s (X = 3%; SD = 6) were minor p r o p o r t i o n s by volume. M e e t i n g the o b j e c t i v e of d e s c r i b i n g e l k food h a b i t s r e l a t i v e t o snowdepth was p r o h i b i t e d by the a b n o r m a l l y m i l d w i n t e r s of the s t u d y , the l i m i t e d number of rumens a v a i l a b l e , and the h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y of the d a t a . Other u n r e p o r t e d rumen samples c o l l e c t e d from the E a s t Kootenay over a p e r i o d of y e a r s were a v a i l a b l e . These d a t a (Table V I ) show a s i m i l a r , h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y . A v e r y g e n e r a l Table VI. Percent volumes of winter food types i n rumen samples from the study area and other East Kootenay locations. a) Food types - % i d e n t i f i a b l e rumen content Sample Grasses Shrubs Conifers Forbs Biogeoclimatic Zone and L o c a l i t y s i z e x~ SD x SD x SD x SD c) East Kootenay samples from Engelmann ' spruce and Subalpine f i r zone outside of study area 7 49.7 39.8 20.4 34.6 12.6 11.6 17.4 37.3 c) East Kootenay samples from I n t e r i o r ' Douglas f i r or Ponderosa pine - Bunchgrass zones outside of study area 12 67.0 38.2 22.6 31.9 1.8 3.7 8.6 24.6 White River study area - low snow conditions 9 52.4 31.7 39.0 30.5 5.5 6.3 3.4 5.8 White River study area - severe snow conditions (McLellan, 1978) 2 0.0 0.0 97.0 4.2 3.0 4.2 0.0 0.0 Food volumes by species lumped i n t o types for analysis A l l samples included were col l e c t e d from animals k i l l e d i n winter From the B r i t i s h Columbia F i s h and W i l d l i f e Branch records 49 t r e n d of g r a s s e s b e i n g a major d i e t i tem was c o n s i s t e n t b o t h i n the d a t a p r e s e n t e d and i n the r e v i e w s of e l k d i e t by S i n g l e t o n (1976) and Capp ( 1 9 6 8 ) . Two samples c o l l e c t e d by M c L e l l a n (1978) from the s t u d y a r e a d u r i n g the s e v e r e w i n t e r p e r i o d f o l l o w i n g the two m i l d w i n t e r s of. t h i s s t u d y show l e s s v a r i a t i o n . However, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of t r e n d s from t h e s e two samples where almost a l l rumen c o n t e n t s i d e n t i f i e d were shrubs (X = 9 7 % ) , i s p r o h i b i t e d by both the s m a l l sample s i z e and the h i g h v a r i a t i o n i n o t h e r d a t a . The v a l u e of rumen samples as a t e c h n i q u e t o t e s t even major s h i f t s i n d i e t remains t o be d e t e r m i n e d . The h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y i n the d a t a c o l l e c t e d c o u l d r e s u l t from s m a l l sample s i z e s , i n a d e q u a c i e s i n the t e c h n i q u e of a n a l y s i s , or from h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y i n d i e t s . Reviews by S i n g l e t o n (1976) and Capp (1968) i n d i c a t e v a r i a t i o n between s t u d i e s , but no i n d i c a t i o n i s g i v e n of t h e v a r i a t i o n between samples w i t h i n a s t u d y . 4.4 ELK USE OF HABITATS D i r e c t o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k (Table V I I ) and t r a c k c o u n t s ( T a b l e V I I I ) were u t i l i z e d t o i d e n t i f y r e l a t i v e l e v e l s of e l k use of d i f f e r e n t h a b i t a t s . I n both c a s e s a 50 Table V I I . Numbers of elk and numbers of elk groups observed by habitat type during both winters. Habitat Proportion type as Number of Proportion Number of of elk proportion elk of elk elk groups groups of study Habitat type n = 4637 observed observed observed area Clearcut 4222 91% 521 92.5% 19.3% S e l e c t i v e l y Logged 83 1.8% 10 1.8% 12.2% A l l Forested Types 332 7.2% 32 5.7% 68.5% Table V I I I . Track counts within habitats during shallow (<45cm) snow conditions. Habitat Proportion of t o t a l survey distance Survey date Dec. Dec. Jan. Jan. Mar. Mar. Mar. Mar. Nov. Jan. Feb. Mar. Mar. Mar. 13, 1975 31, 1975 5, 1976 8, ]976 1, 1976 10, 1976 25, ]976 27, 1976 26, 1976 13, 1977 24, 1977 2, 1977 3, 1977 13, 1977 Summary a) in cq 3 & Id 12 271 69 42 54 190 107 115 96 136 99 111 142 22 1468 Clearcut Logged Habitat = 0.27 i O • 2 217 45 23 15 151 86 53 69 60 45 77 71 22 936 0.17 0.80 0.65 0.54 0.28 0.79 0.80 0.46 0.72 0.44 0.45 0.69 0.49 1.00 rrj B 8 •H +0.26 +0.06 +0.14 +0.18 +0.15 +0.07 +0.09 +0.11 +0.11 +0.10 +0.12 +0.10 +0.10 +0.00 1 o 0 + + + 0 + + + + + + + + + 0.638 +0.030 + Selective Logged Habitat = 0.43 • i B (TJ iJ O • 4 44 24 18 28 39 21 3 27 76 54 34 13 0 385 I *3 5 u-( U CO . rrj 0.33 0.16 0.35 0.43 0.52 0.20 0.20 0.03 0.28 0.56 0.55 0.30 0.09 0.00 +0.32 +0.05 +0.13 +0.18 +0.16 +0.07 +0.09 +0.04 +0.11 +0.10 +0.12 +0.10 +0.06 +0.00 o o 0 + + 0.262 +0.027 - A l l Forested Habitats = 0.30 o 6 10 0 1 11 0 0 59 0 0 0 0 60 0 147 cn 0.50 0.04 0.00 0.02 0.20 0.00 0.00 0.51 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.42 0.00 +0.34 +0.03 +0.00 +0.05 +0.13 +0.00 +0.00 +0.11 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.00 +0.10 +0.00 b) Confidence i n t e r v a l , u t i l i z i n g Bonferroni Z s t a t i s t i c . Selection i s indicated by one of 0, + or - when confidence i n t e r v a l of observation overlaps (0) , or i s greater than (+) , or i s less than (-) the proportion of the habitat i n that category. s rH + 0.104 +0.019 - 52 p a u c i t y of d a t a f o r some f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s encouraged g r o u p i n g of d a t a from o l d p i n e f o r e s t , young p i n e f o r e s t and mature mixed c o n i f e r f o r e s t under a s i n g l e c a t e g o r y , f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t . O b s e r v a t i o n s of 4639 e l k d u r i n g 159 o b s e r v a t i o n s u r v e y s , showed most e l k (92.5%) i n c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t , which c o m p r i s e d o n l y 19.3% of the study a r e a , i n d i c a t i v e of a s t r o n g p r e f e r e n c e f o r c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t . E l k were more e a s i l y o b s e r v e d i n t h i s open h a b i t a t . S i g h t d i s t a n c e s were up t o 3 km i n c l e a r c u t a r e a s , 200 m i n s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d h a b i t a t and 100 m i n f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s . C o n s e q u e n t l y , almost a l l c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t was sur v e y e d and o n l y a r e l a t i v e l y s m a l l p o r t i o n of s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d and f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s were s u r v e y e d . L o c a t i o n s of e l k o b s e r v e d were r e c o r d e d o n l y f o r the i n i t i a l o b s e r v a t i o n of the e l k t o reduce t h i s b i a s . V a r y i n g c l i m a t i c c o n d i t i o n s d u r i n g the 159 o b s e r v a t i o n s u r v e y s p r e c l u d e d q u a n t i f y i n g the p r o p o r t i o n of h a b i t a t s v i s i b l e . A n a l y s i s of t r a c k d e n s i t i e s a l s o i n d i c a t e s a s t r o n g p r e f e r e n c e f o r c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t ( T able V I I I ) . A goodness of f i t ( c h i - s q u a r e d ) t e s t showed h i g h l y s i g n i f i c a n t (P < 0.01) d i f f e r e n c e s from a p r o p o r t i o n a l d i s t r i b u t i o n f o r a l l t r a c k c o u n t s . 53 E v a l u a t i o n of p r e f e r e n c e or a v o i d a n c e of a h a b i t a t i s p r o v i d e d t h r o u g h use of a B o n f e r r o n i Z s t a t i s t i c as o u t l i n e d by Neu e t a l . (1974). P r o p o r t i o n s of t r a c k s found i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t showed e l k p r e f e r r e d t h i s h a b i t a t on 12 of 14 s u r v e y s . P r o p o r t i o n s of e l k t r a c k s o b s e r v e d were s i m i l a r t o the p r o p o r t i o n s of the c l e a r c u t s s u r v e y e d i n the o t h e r two c a s e s . E v a l u a t i o n of t r a c k c o u n t s f o r s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d h a b i t a t u t i l i z i n g t h i s t e c h n i q u e showed e l k a v o i d a n c e f o r 8 of the 14 s u r v e y s , p r o p o r t i o n a l use f o r 4 of the 14 s u r v e y s and s e l e c t i o n of s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d h a b i t a t type by e l k on o n l y 2 o c c a s i o n s . F o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s were s i m i l a r l y p r e f e r r e d by e l k on o n l y 2 s u r v e y s , u t i l i z e d p r o p o r t i o n a t e l y on 2 o c c a s i o n s , and a v o i d e d by e l k i n 10 of 14 s u r v e y s . E v a l u a t i o n of a l l t r a c k s u r v e y s combined shows s t r o n g s e l e c t i o n of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t s , w i t h the ob s e r v e d p r o p o r t i o n of t r a c k s 0.638 ± 0.030 compared t o the p r o p o r t i o n of the t o t a l s u r v e y ( 0 . 2 7 ) . A c o n c u r r e n t a v o i d a n c e of s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d h a b i t a t ( o b s e r v e d p r o p o r t i o n of t r a c k s 0.262 ± 0.027; p r o p o r t i o n of t o t a l s u r v e y 0.43) i s a l s o shown. S i m i l a r l y , f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s were a v o i d e d by e l k , (ob s e r v e d p r o p o r t i o n of t r a c k s 0.100 ± 0.019; p r o p o r t i o n of t o t a l s u r v ey 0.30). 54 4.5. ELK USE OF CLEARCUTS 4.5.1 DESCRIPTION OF CLEARCUT STUDY SITES A g e n e r a l i z e d d e s c r i p t i o n of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t was g i v e n i n s e c t i o n 4.1. The a r e a s chosen f o r i n t e n s i v e study were l a b e l l e d E l k Creek N o r t h (ECN), Jack Creek N o r t h (JCN) and Jack Creek South (JCS) f o r c o n v e n i e n c e . F i g u r e 9 shows the l o c a t i o n of the s e s i t e s and F i g u r e s 10, 11, 12 i l l u s t r a t e them. The s i t e s were chosen t o r e p r e s e n t some v a r i a t i o n s w i t h i n c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t i n the st u d y a r e a w h i l e c o n s i d e r i n g the l o g i s t i c s of b e i n g a b l e t o observe a l l e l k w i t h i n the s i t e d u r i n g s u r v e y s . C o n s e q u e n t l y two of the s i t e s a r e o n l y p o r t i o n s of l a r g e r l o g g e d b l o c k s . T a b l e IX summarizes the s i z e of the study s i t e s and p r e s e n t s a r e a s of a l l the log g e d b l o c k s i n the stud y a r e a . D e s c r i p t i o n s of the s l o p e , e l e v a t i o n , a s p e c t , m i c r o r e l i e f , v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e s , burned a r e a s , and s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n a r e l i s t e d f o r the t h r e e s i t e s i n Ta b l e X. E l k Creek N o r t h a t 130 ha was the l a r g e s t of the t h r e e s i t e s s e l e c t e d and i t was p a r t of a 301 ha b l o c k j u s t n o r t h of E l k Creek. T h i s s i t e i n c l u d e d two r i d g e f e a t u r e s and p o r t i o n s of two a l l u v i a l f a n s which r e s u l t e d i n h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n s of the mesic g r a s s / f o r b v e g e t a t i o n subtype (35%) and the presence of shrub dominated 55 Figure 9. Location of intensive study sites i n clearcut habitat. 56 b) D e t a i l Figure 10. P i c t o r i a l views of intensive study s i te - Elk Creek North. 57 a) Overview Figure 11. P i c t o r i a l views of intensive study site - Jack Creek 58 Figure 1 2 . P i c t o r i a l views of intensive study site - Jack Creek North. 59 Table IX. Size of clearcut study sites and adjacent clearcut and selectively logged blocks. Size of Clearcut Study sites Elk Creek North (ECN) 130 ha Jack Creek North (JCN) 40 ha Jack Creek South (JCS) 43 ha Size of Clearcut blocks . 749 ha a ; 301 ha (includes ECN) 143 ha (includes JCS) 40 ha 67 ha Size of Selectively Loaged blocks 102 ha 113 ha 47 ha 593 ha Includes a l l continuous clearcut area surrounding isolated 102 ha block of recent selective logging. 60 Table X. Proportions of s t r a t a of slope, elevation, aspect, vegetation subtypes, micro r e l i e f , burning hist o r y and slash accumulation i n clearcut study s i t e s . ECN JCS JCN X (n = 229) (n = 142) (n = 139) (n = 51( Slope <10 0.33 0.38 0.10 0.28 (in percent) 11-20 0.26 0.43 0.25 0.30 21-30 0.18 0.15 0.46 0.25 31-40 0.14 0.04 0.17 0.12 >41 0.09 — — 0.05 Elevation 3700-3800 0.21 0.26 — 0.17 (in feet) 3801-3900 0.36 0.54 — 0.31 3901-4000 0.18 0.20 — 0.14 4001-4100 0.13 — 0.17 0.10 4101-4200 0.08 — 0.33 0.13 4201-4300 0.04 — 0.34 0.11 4301-4400 — — 0.16 0.04 Aspect E 0.02 — 0.22 0.08 SE 0.04 0.06 0.35 0.15 S 0.36 0.28 0.27 0.31 sw 0.41 0.37 0.15 0.31 w 0.11 0.25 — 0.12 NW 0.01 0.03 — 0.01 N • 0.04 0.01 0.01 0.02 Vegetation Subtypes Mesic grass/forb 0.35 0.05 0.15 0.21 Shrub dominated 0.11 — — 0.05 Xeric grass/forb 0.34 0.74 0.61 0.53 Disturbed 0.20 0.22 0.24 0.22 Mi c r o - r e l i e f Ridge 0.61 0.88 0.66 0.69 Gully 0.09 0.13 0.34 0.17 A l l u v i a l fan 0.26 — — 0.12 Logging landing 0.04 — — 0.02 Burning hist o r y Burned 0.43 0.03 0.03 0.21 Unbumed 0.57 0.97 0.97 0.79 Slash Accumulation N i l 0.57 0.07 0.10 0.30 Light 0.31 0.35 0.68 0.42 Moderate 0.12 0.58 0.22 0.28 61 v e g e t a t i o n ( 1 1 % ) . Some b r o a d c a s t b u r n i n g had o c c u r r e d i n ECN (43% burned) a c o n t r a s t t o JCS and JCN ( 3 % burned) where o n l y l a n d i n g s had been burned. S l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s were c o n s e q u e n t l y l e s s i n ECN. Aspect i n ECN was g e n e r a l l y s o u t h t o southwest w i t h 77% of the g r i d c e l l s i n t hese two a s p e c t c a t e g o r i e s . J a c k Creek N o r t h (JCN) and Jack Creek South (JCS) s i t e s were s i m i l a r i n s i z e (40 and 43 h a ) . JCS was s l i g h t l y f l a t t e r ( 81% of a r e a < 21% s l o p e ) and more w e s t e r l y i n a s p e c t (90% of a r e a S, SW or W a s p e c t ) than JCN (63% of a r e a > 20% s l o p e , 84% of a r e a S, SE and E a s p e c t ) . E l e v a t i o n of JCN c l e a r c u t was e n t i r e l y between 4001 and 4400 f t w h i l e JCS was e n t i r e l y between 3700 and 4000 f t . ECN was between 3700 and 4000 f t w i t h 75% of the s i t e below 4000 f t . D i s t u r b e d v e g e t a t i o n and g r i d s were noted f o r more than 20% of a l l g r i d c e l l s f o r a l l s i t e s (ECN 20%, JCN 24%, JCS 2 2 % ) , w i t h most of the d i s t u r b a n c e r e s u l t i n g from s k i d t r a i l s . A n a l y s i s of measures of s t a n d i n g c r o p of g r a s s and f o r b s c l i p p e d i n October r e v e a l e d no d i f f e r e n c e between v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e s , when d i s t u r b e d s i t e s where l i t t l e o r no v e g e t a t i o n grew were e x c l u d e d . V a r i a t i o n wi-thin a l l subtypes was h i g h (Table X I ) . A mean v a l u e of 68 g m-2 (SD = 36.1) of s t a n d i n g c r o p of g r a s s and f o r b s f o r a l l samples from t h e c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t was o b s e r v e d . In co m p a r i s o n , mean g r a s s and f o r b s t a n d i n g c r o p from f o r e s t h a b i t a t was 24 g m-2 (SD = 62 Table XI. Analysis of standing crop estimates of grass and forbs within vegetation subtypes of clearcut habitat. Analysis of variance table Source DF Sum of Mean F- sqrs sqrs s t a t i s t i c Signif Between Within Total 2 45 47 8112.6 4056.3 53073 1179.4 61185 3.4393 .0407 (random effects statistics) vegetation subtype Mesic grass/forb Shrub dominated Xeric grass/forb Grand N Meana) 16 80.862 10 44.860 22 70.395 48 68.565 Variance Std Dev 1429.2 37.805 545.42 23.354 1272.6 35.674 1301.8 36.081 weight of standing crop of grass and forbs i n October i n ( g m ). 63 18.0). C l e a r c u t study s i t e s i n d i c a t e d t h a t c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t i n c l u d e d a complex of m i c r o r e l i e f f e a t u r e s , s l o p e s , v e g e t a t i o n subtypes and h i s t o r y of b u r n i n g . These f e a t u r e s c o u l d a f f e c t e l k p a t t e r n s of use of the s i t e s . 4.5.2. OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITHIN CLEARCUT STUDY SITES D u r i n g the two w i n t e r s of t h i s study 2287 e l k were o b s e r v e d i n the t h r e e c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e s . P r o p o r t i o n a t e l y more e l k were o b s e r v e d i n the l a r g e r s tudy s i t e (ECN), than i n the o t h e r two ( T a b l e X I I ) . Goodness of f i t comparisons and a n a l y s i s of t h i s d a t a u s i n g the B o n f e r r o n i Z s t a t i s t i c as o u t l i n e d by Neu e t a l . (1974) i n d i c a t e s a s e l e c t i o n f o r ECN. S e c t i o n 4.5.1 i n d i c a t e d d i f f e r e n c e s between r e l i e f f e a t u r e s , s l o p e s , v e g e t a t i o n subtypes and b u r n i n g h i s t o r y f o r t h e t h r e e study s i t e s . O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k w i t h i n the t h r e e s t u d y s i t e s and s t r a t i f i e d w i t h i n t h e s e f e a t u r e s a r e p r e s e n t e d i n T a b l e X I I I . Goodness of f i t c omparisons were s i g n i f i c a n t f o r a l l c a s e s . S e l e c t i o n c r i t e r i a show a p r e f e r e n c e f o r r i d g e s i n a l l t h r e e s i t e s and l e s s than p r o p o r t i o n a l use of 64 Table XII. E l k observations i n c l e a r c u t study s i t e s i n comparison t o proportions o f c l e a r c u t study s i t e s surveyed. Proportion combined area o f Number Expected 3 study o f e l k number Proportion Study s i t e s observed of e l k a* of e l k Confidence s i t e (213 ha) (n=2287) observed observed i n t e r v a l S e l e c t i o n ECN 0.61 1701 1395 0.74 +0.01 + JCN 0.20 410 457 0.18 +0.01 JCS 0.19 176 435 0.08 +0.01 X 2 = 226.2 df = 2 a) b) Expected number o f e l k i s proportion of t o t a l c l e a r c u t study s i t e area times the t o t a l number of e l k observed. S e l e c t i o n i s i n d i c a t e d by one of 0, + or - when confidence i n t e r v a l o f observation overlaps, or i s greater than, o r i s l e s s than the proportion of the h a b i t a t i n that category. 65 Table X I I I . Observations of elk within the three study s i t e s s t r a t i f i e d by r e l i e f , slope, vegetation subtype and burning history. R e l i e f features Ridge Gully /Alluvial fan Logging landing Slope (%) <10 11-20 21-30 31-40 >41 Vegetation .> sub-type Mesic grass forb Shrub dominated Xeric grass forb Disturbed Burning history Burned Unburned B •H CO m o c 0 CN CN CM ECN CD f0 o c in a, CD a) am H S & CD ft o w .61 1205 .73 .09 121 .07 .26 324 .20 .04 8 <1 1658 .33 366 .22 .26' 355 .21 .18 496 .30 .14 345 .21 .09 96 .06 1658 .35 449 .27 .11 149 .09 .34 738 .85 .20 322 .14 1658 .43 1016 .61 .57 642 .39 1658 + + B •H CO m o s JCN i-i CD in O "O 3 CD O Q cn - P.rH Cn P3 O Cn O rd 6 CD .66 362 .89 + .47 .45 .11 - 407 .10 .25 43 .46 254 1 <.01 .11 .17 .02 .15 62 91 .22 18 .04 + + + 407 .01 - .61 347 .85 .24 _55 .14 407 .03 407 1.0 .97 _0_ .0 407 + JCS CM — 2 O CM O .87 170 .98 + .13 4 .02 - 174 .38 25 .43 126 .15 .04 23 0 174 .04 0 .74 125 .22 _49 174 .15 - .72 + .13 - .00 - .00 - .72 - .28 + a) Selection i s indicated by one of 0, + or - when of observation overlaps, or i s greater than, or proportion of the habitat i n that category. .03 174 1.0 + .97 0 .0 - 174 confidence i n t e r v a l i s less than the 66 g u l l i e s , a l l u v i a l f a n s , and l a n d i n g s . S e l e c t i o n f o r moderate s l o p e s ( 2 1 % t o 40%) i n two c l e a r c u t s , moderate but s l i g h t l y f l a t t e r (11-20%) s l o p e s i n the t h i r d c l e a r c u t (JCS) and s e l e c t i o n of g r e a t e r than 41% s l o p e s i n JCN i s e v i d e n t . Moderate s l o p e s occur on r i d g e s so s e l e c t i o n t o the s e f e a t u r e s i s p r o b a b l y r e l a t e d . The x e r i c g r a s s f o r b v e g e t a t i o n s u b t y p e s , found on w e l l d r a i n e d s i t e s a l s o p r i m a r i l y o c c u r s on r i d g e s , so s e l e c t i o n f o r t h i s f e a t u r e i n two of the s i t e s and heavy though s l i g h t l y l e s s than p r o p o r t i o n a l use i n the t h i r d s i t e ( J C S ) , was c o n s i s t e n t w i t h s e l e c t i o n f o r r i d g e s and moderate s l o p e s . More b u r n i n g had o c c u r r e d i n ECN than i n the o t h e r s i t e s , however, o b s e r v a t i o n s show s e l e c t i o n f o r burned h a b i t a t i n a l l s i t e s . E l k were not ob s e r v e d u s i n g unburned s i t e s i n e i t h e r JCN or JCS a l t h o u g h unburned s i t e s c o m p r i s e d 97% of the a v a i l a b l e h a b i t a t . T a b l e XIV p r e s e n t s d a t a on o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k use of the s t u d y s i t e s s t r a t i f i e d by d i s t a n c e from c o v e r , d i s t a n c e from r o a d , and s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n . These f e a t u r e s of the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t were h y p o t h e s i z e d t o a f f e c t e l k p a t t e r n s of use. Goodness of f i t comparisons show d i f f e r e n c e s from p r o p o r t i o n a l d i s t r i b u t i o n s i n a l l c a s e s . Table XTV. Observations of elk within clearcut road and slash acxamulation. study sites stratified by distance from cover, distance from Distance from edge (m) <100 ECN rrj 6 & CO & " Q a, O J .22 429 .26 + CO . . . O J P J O J C O .65 207 .51 - 101-200 .20 348 .21 0 .35 200 .49 + .38 78 .45 + .29 626 .28 201-300 .23 394 .24 0 .18 17 .10 - .15 411 .15 301-40O .17 336 .20 + .08 336 .15 401-500 .11 66 .04 - .05 66 .03 501-600 .07 67 .04 - .03 67 .03 >600 .01 18 1658 .01 0 407 174 .01 18 2239 .01 Distance from road (m) <100 .32 329 .20 - .14 11 .03 - .28 31 .18 - .26 371 .17 101-200 .15 80 .05 - .16 13 .03 - .30 64 .37 + .20 157 .07 201-300 .14 398 .24 + .21 83 .21 0 .25 35 .20 - .18 516 .23 301-400 .15 381 .23 + .17 88 .23 + .16 44 .25 + .16 513 .23 401-500 .13 224 .13 0 .12 77 .20 + .01 0 .00 - .09 301 .14 501-600 .09 196 .12 + .10 91 .23 + .07 387 .13 >600 .02 50 1658 .03 0 .10 26 407 .07 — 174 .04 76 2239 .03 Slash Nil .57 1150 .69 + .10 14 .03 - .07 7 .04 - .57 1171 .52 Light .30 309 .19 - .68 341 .84 + .35 97 .56 + .31 747 .33 Moderate .13 199 1658 .12 0 .22 52 407 .13 — .58 70 174 .40 .13 321 2239 .14 CO .44 79 .45 0 i 2 "8 & 0J $ .40 715 .32 - 0 0 + + + Selection is indicated by one of 0, + or - when confidence interval of observation overlaps, or is greater than or is less than the proportion of the habitat in that category. 68 S e l e c t i o n of a r e a s w i t h i n 100 m from the edge i s d i f f e r e n t f o r each of the c l e a r c u t s and i n o v e r a l l e v a l u a t i o n shows s l i g h t a v o i d a n c e . O b s e r v a t i o n s show p r o p o r t i o n a l use or s e l e c t i o n of a r e a s from 100 m t o 400 m from the edge, a v o i d a n c e of the 400 t o 500 m a r e a , and p r o p o r t i o n a l use or a v o i d a n c e of a r e a s more than 500 m from t h e edge. O b s e r v a t i o n s showed e l k a v o i d a n c e of the a r e a w i t h i n 100 m of road f o r a l l s i t e s . E l k showed avo i d a n c e of a r e a s between 101 and 200 m from roads i n two of t h e t h r e e s i t e s and o v e r a l l . O v e r a l l , s e l e c t i o n or p r o p o r t i o n a l use was observed f o r a l l a r e a s more than 200 m from the road. Assessment of e l k o b s e r v a t i o n s i n r e l a t i o n t o s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s i s not c l e a r . S e l e c t i o n f o r a r e a s w i t h o u t s l a s h i n ECN i s c o n t r a s t e d w i t h e l k a v o i d a n c e of such a r e a s i n JCN and JCS. L i g h t s l a s h was a v o i d e d i n ECN but s e l e c t e d f o r i n the o t h e r two s i t e s . Moderate s l a s h a r e a s were used i n p r o p o r t i o n i n ECN and a v o i d e d i n the o t h e r two s i t e s . A l a r g e p r o p o r t i o n of ECN had been b r o a d c a s t burned and c o n s e q u e n t l y had no s l a s h . These burned a r e a s were w e l l v e g e t a t e d . L i g h t s l a s h o c c u r r e d i n a r e a s t h a t had been unburned. Moderate s l a s h was seen e i t h e r i n a r e a s 69 t h a t had not been burned, or i n a r e a s t h a t had c o n s i d e r a b l e s l a s h b u i l d u p b e f o r e b u r n i n g t h a t r e s u l t e d i n a t a n g l e of p a r t i a l l y burned t r u n k s r e m a i n i n g . I n c o n t r a s t the areas w i t h no s l a s h i n JCN and JCS were the a r e a s of d i s t u r b a n c e where v e g e t a t i o n growth was s p a r s e or non e x i s t e n t . L i g h t and moderate s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s were u s u a l l y v e g e t a t e d s i t e s . 4.5.3. PELLET GROUP SURVEYS WITHIN CLEARCUT STUDY SITES. E v a l u a t i o n of l e v e l s of use of the a r e a by e l k as measured by p e l l e t group c o u n t s i n d i c a t e s s i g n i f i c a n t d i f f e r e n c e s between s u r v e y s ( p a i r e d t - t e s t s by p l o t s ) ; T a b l e XV. E l k use d u r i n g the 1975-76 w i n t e r (October 1976 s u r v e y ) was a p p r e c i a b l y lower than use d u r i n g the 1974-75 w i n t e r (October 1975 s u r v e y ) . Use l e v e l s as r e c o r d e d f o r the 1976-77 w i n t e r a r e not d i r e c t l y comparable as the survey was co n d u c t e d i n the s p r i n g and c o n s i d e r a b l e l o s s of p e l l e t s c o u l d be e x p e c t e d d u r i n g the summer. Comparison of o l d p e l l e t groups i n the 1977 survey and o l d p e l l e t groups i n the 1976 survey i n d i c a t e no s i g n i f i c a n t l o s s of p e l l e t groups d u r i n g the seven month w i n t e r p e r i o d ( p a i r t - t e s t by p l o t , t = 1.3362, df = 227, s i g = 0.1828). D i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of e l k use of the t h r e e 70 Table XV. Mean and 95% confidence intervals of pellet group densities within a l l clearcut study sites for October 1975, October 1976, and May 1977 surveys. x pellet group 2 density m- SD Confidence interval (95%) October 1975 .10627 .13976 (0.092510, 0.12002) October 1976 .064637 .10979 (0.055076, 0.074197) May 1977 .26287 .21245 (0.24437, 0.28131) ( a l l groups) 71 d i f f e r e n t study s i t e s were measured, the October 1976 survey i s p r e s e n t e d t o i l l u s t r a t e the d i f f e r e n c e s ( T a b l e X V I ) . O r t h o g a n o l comparison of the t h r e e s i t e s i n d i c a t e s t h a t e l k use l e v e l s i n JCN and JCS were not d i f f e r e n t but t h a t use i n ECN was s i g n i f i c a n t l y h i g h e r . Of the seven f e a t u r e s of the c l e a r c u t study s i t e s e v a l u a t e d o n l y two were s i g n i f i c a n t l y c o r r e l a t e d (product-moment c o r r e l a t i o n c o e f f i c i e n t ) t o p e l l e t d e n s i t y . S l o p e and d i s t a n c e from road were c o r r e l a t e d w i t h p e l l e t d e n s i t y i n a l l s u r v e y s . S e l e c t i o n or av o i d a n c e of the s t r a t a c a t e g o r i e s was e v a l u a t e d u t i l i z i n g use of B o n f e r r o n i Z c o n f i d e n c e i n t e r v a l s f o r observe d p r o p o r t i o n s of p e l l e t groups i n comparison t o the p r o p o r t i o n of the study s i t e . T a b l e XVII g i v e s of the outcome f o r the October 1976 survey i n ECN as an example. 4.6. ELK RESPONSE TO HUMAN ACTIVITY Data were g a t h e r e d on e l k r e a c t i o n t o d i s t u r b a n c e d u r i n g the two seasons of t h i s s t u d y . E l k appeared t o r e a c t o n l y t o v i s i b l e d i s t u r b a n c e . A l t h o u g h n o i s e of v a r i o u s i n t e n s i t i e s was noted a t d i f f e r e n t t i m e s t hroughout the s t u d y , no e l k were o b s e r v e d t o r e a c t t o n o i s e i n any f a s h i o n o t h e r than a few moments of Table XVT. Mean density of pellet groups from the October 1976 survey for the three study sites. Study site ECN JCN JCS (JCN + JCS) X SD .094737 .13689 .048921 .081975 .031690 .062308 .040214 .073085 Confidence interval (95%) (.076873, .11260) (.035173, .062669) (.021353, .042027) (.031631, .048796) 73 Table XVII. Comparison of x pellet densities between strata of slope and distance from road, October 1976 survey i n ECN study s i t e . Pellet Proportion Proportion groups of pellet Confidence , Slope category (%) of ECN content groups interval Selection 3 < lu- l l - 20 21 - 30 31 - 40 >41 Distance from road (m) .33 .26 .18 .14 .09 36 46 42 70 22 X 2 = 72.83 df = 4 .17 .21 .19 .32 .10 .002 .003 .003 .004 .002 + + + < 100 101 - 200 201 - 300 301 - 400 401 - 500 501 - 600 > 600 .32 .15 .14 .15 .13 .09 .02 37 15 29 48 51 31 5 .17 .07 .13 .22 .24 .14 .02 .002 .001 .002 .002 .002 .002 .001 + + + 0 X = 51.62 df = 6 74 a l e r t n e s s , u s u a l l y i n response t o s h a r p sounds.. An e x t r e m e . i l l u s t r a t i o n of l a c k of r e a c t i o n t o n o i s e was a group of e l k obser v e d f e e d i n g out of s i g h t but w i t h i n 200 m of a c t i v e l o g g i n g w i t h l o g g e r s , s k i d d e r s , c h a i n s a w s , and f a l l i n g t r e e s c r e a t i n g c o n s i d e r a b l e n o i s e . No o p p o r t u n i t y was a v a i l a b l e t o r e c o r d e l k r e a c t i o n t o s m e l l s . D u r i n g the study 79% of a l l e l k groups obs e r v e d were w i t h i n a l i n e of s i g h t of human a c t i v i t y . Most e l k (86%) f l e d when they saw human a c t i v i t y ( T a b l e X V I I I ) . A t o t a l of 14% of a l l d i s t u r b e d e l k groups o b s e r v e d showed no f l i g h t r e s ponse, however, 4% of a l l d i s t u r b e d e l k groups showed no r e s p o n s e , i n d i c a t i n g the e l k were unaware of a d i s t u r b a n c e t h a t seemed t o the r e s e a r c h e r t o be w i t h i n t h e i r l i n e of s i g h t . Only 10% of e l k t h a t were exposed t o d i s t u r b a n c e were aware of the d i s t u r b a n c e and d i d not show an a v o i d a n c e r e a c t i o n . E l k response t o a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n l i n e of s i g h t d i d not appear t o change w i t h i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e ( T able X I X ) . Most groups (68%) were w i t h i n 100 m when the d i s t u r b a n c e was judged t o be w i t h i n t h e i r l i n e of s i g h t , due m a i n l y t o m i c r o t o p o g r a p h i c f e a t u r e s which o f t e n h i d a p p r o a c h i n g v e h i c l e s . A l t h o u g h s i g h t d i s t a n c e s w i t h i n l a r g e c l e a r c u t s or c o m b i n a t i o n s of l a r g e c l e a r c u t s were up t o 3 km no e l k i n d i c a t e d t h a t they were aware of 75 Table XVIII. Elk reaction to human activity, primarily motor vehicles during the two winter study periods. Proportion « of total No of elk Proportion Elk reaction to disturbance No of elk elk groups of elk within line-of-sight (n=3772) observed (n = 444) groups Fled to cover Immediate reaction. 2996 0.80 353 0.79 Delayed reaction c ) 233 0.06 27 0.06 Total 3229 0.86 380 0.85 Watched disturbance,or showed alertness ' 396 0.10 39 0.09 No reaction - elk probably not aware of disturbance 147 0.04 25 0.06 , a) b) c) d) Disturbance was any human activity. In this study 99% of disturbance was movement of motor vehicles; 1% was humans out of motor vehicles. Of a l l elk observed i n this study 79% were judged to be able to observe human disturbance. 21% of elk observed were either out of sight of human activity or there was no human activity i n the area at the time. Motor vehicle out of sight before reaction. Elk returned to pre-disturbance activity. 76 Table XIX. Elk reaction to human activity by distance from disturbance categories. Distance from Fled to disturbance (m) cover 1 0 0 no of groups 143 proportion . 8 5 2 0 0 no of groups 10 proportion . 8 3 2QQ no of groups 14 proportion 1 . 0 4QQ no of groups 9 proportion . 9 0 5 0 0 no of groups 9 proportion . 9 0 gQQ no of groups 8 proportion . 8 9 no of groups 6 proportion . 5 4 QQQ no of groups 4 proportion .66 g o o no of groups 3 proportion . 7 5 ^QQQ no of groups 1 proportion . 5 >1000 N O O F 9 R O U P S 1 proportion 1 . 0 Watched No reaction - disturbance elk probably or showed not aware of alertness disturbance Total 1 5 10 168 .09, . . 0 6 . 6 8 2 _ 12 . 1 6 . 0 5 — _ 14 . 0 6 1 _ 10 . 1 0 . 0 4 1 _ 10 . 1 0 . 0 4 — 1 9 . 1 1 . 0 4 3 2 1 1 . 2 7 . 1 8 . 0 4 2 — 6 . 3 3 . 0 2 — 1 4 . 2 5 . 0 2 1 2 . 5 . 0 1 — — 1 < .01 77 v e h i c l e s or human a c t i v i t y at such l o n g d i s t a n c e s . I u t i l i z e d t h e s e l o n g s i g h t d i s t a n c e s t o observe e l k w i t h the a i d of a s p o t t i n g scope but i t appeared t h a t e l k e i t h e r c o u l d not see or would not respond t o a c t i v i t y a t d i s t a n c e s g r e a t e r than a p p r o x i m a t e l y 1.5 km. 5.0. DISCUSSION The consensus of most workers i s t h a t weather, e s p e c i a l l y snowdepths, d e t e r m i n e s the a r e a s i n which e l k spend the w i n t e r (Lyon 1975). The r e l a t i o n s h i p s between f o r e s t c o v e r and u n g u l a t e w i n t e r - h a b i t a t had not been i n v e s t i g a t e d i n the i n t e r m o u n t a i n v a l l e y s of s o u t h e a s t e r n B r i t i s h Columbia. In the d r i e r Rocky Mountain Trench a r e a s t h e s e r e l a t i o n s h i p s have been w e l l documented (Smith 1977). F o r e s t c o v e r i n the s t u d y a r e a was b e i n g r a p i d l y m o d i f i e d by t i m b e r s a l v a g e o p e r a t i o n s f o l l o w i n g an epidemic of mountain p i n e b e e t l e s i n l o d g e p o l e p i n e s t a n d s , the predominant f o r e s t t y p e . The m o r t a l i t y r a t e of a t t a c k e d t r e e s i s h i g h , commonly up t o 100% i n even- aged st a n d s ( S a f r a n y i k e t a l . 1974), and s a l v a g e l o g g i n g o p e r a t i o n s i n the s t u d y a r e a o f t e n removed a l l f o r e s t c o v e r from l a r g e a r e a s . 78 Forage p r o d u c t i o n f o r u n g u l a t e s i s g r e a t l y enhanced i n a r e a s where f o r e s t s have been removed, i n the Rocky Mountain Trench (Kemper 1971, Smith 1977), i n D o u g l a s - f i r v e g e t a t i o n t y p e s (Lyon 1971) and as a g e n e r a l t r e n d (Smith 1977). C o n v e r s e l y , f o r e s t c o v e r reduces snowpack ( r e v i e w of B u n n e l l 1978), a c r i t i c a l f a c t o r f o r u n g u l a t e s u r v i v a l , i n a r e a s of heavy snow. F o r e s t c o v e r can be e s s e n t i a l u n g u l a t e w i n t e r - h a b i t a t , as on N o r t h e r n Vancouver I s l a n d where deer were c o n f i n e d t o f o r e s t s d u r i n g c o n d i t i o n s of deep snow (Jones 1975). Human a c t i v i t i e s , p a r t i c u l a r l y motor v e h i c l e t r a f f i c , have been observed t o a f f e c t e l k a c t i v i t y . A voidance of roads and v e h i c l e s w i t h i n 2 t o 6.4 km have been r e c o r d e d (Ward 1976, M o r g a n t i n i and Hudson 1979, Lyon and Jensen 1980, P e r r y and O v e r l y 1976, Marcum 1976, Redgate 1978, see B u n n e l l 1978 f o r o t h e r s ) . In t h i s s t u d y , e l k have been shown b o t h t o a v o i d h a b i t a t c l o s e t o roads and t o show avo i d a n c e r e a c t i o n s t o d i s t u r b a n c e . In c o n t r a s t , B e a l l (1974) and K i r s c h (1962) noted t h a t a few e l k became accustomed t o l o g g i n g a c t i v i t y and used a r e a s near a c t i v e l o g g i n g . Only the study r e p o r t e d by M o r g a n t i n i and Hudson (1979) documented e l k a v o i d a n c e of human a c t i v i t y d u r i n g w i n t e r . The o b j e c t i v e s of the study r e p o r t e d here i n c l u d e d the t e s t i n g of hypotheses examining e l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n 79 and b e h a v i o u r i n r e l a t i o n t o f o r e s t c o v e r and human a c t i v i t i e s . The f i r s t h y p o t h e s i s proposed t h a t e l k would s e l e c t c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t f o r f e e d i n g d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s but would be p r e v e n t e d from u s i n g t h e s e open a r e a s when snowdepths exceeded 45 cm. Snowdepths d u r i n g the e n t i r e two w i n t e r s of t h i s study were c o n s i d e r e d s h a l l o w , c o n s i s t e n t l y l e s s than 20 cm, and d i d not re a c h 45 cm, the approximate depth t h a t has been obse r v e d t o prompt e l k t o seek a r e a s w i t h s h a l l o w e r snowpack ( B e a l l 1974, Sweeny 1975, Hershey and Leege 1976, Leege and H i c k e y 1977). E l k s e l e c t e d c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t f o r f e e d i n g d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s , i n d i c a t i n g a c c e p t a n c e of the f i r s t p a r t of the h y p o t h e s i s . The second p a r t of the h y p o t h e s i s remained u n t e s t e d i n t h i s s t u d y . D u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s , e l k u t i l i z e d the f o r a g e i n the c l e a r c u t a r e a s and most e l k obse r v e d i n c l e a r c u t s were f e e d i n g . Fewer e l k were o b s e r v e d d u r i n g the midday p e r i o d , but a h i g h e r p r o p o r t i o n of the a n i m a l s o b s e r v e d a t midday were r e s t i n g r a t h e r than f e e d i n g . Movement of e l k t o h i g h e r e l e v a t i o n f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s was o b s e r v e d d u r i n g midday p e r i o d s . Throughout the two w i n t e r s of t h i s s t u d y , t e m p e r a t u r e s were r e l a t i v e l y m i l d , u s u a l l y between -18° and 2°C. B e a l l (1974) r e c o r d e d a c t i v i t y p a t t e r n s f o r e l k d u r i n g s i m i l a r m i l d t e m p e r a t u r e s : 80 ...a normal p a t t e r n would be t h a t daytime bedding s i t e s a r e l o c a t e d i n dense t i m b e r s t a n d s on r i d g e t o p s w i t h s l i g h t n o r t h a s p e c t . T r a v e l t o f e e d i n g a r e a s was n o r m a l l y 2-3 m i l e s , w i t h f e e d i n g p e r i o d s a t dusk and dawn...[For] n i g h t t i m e b e d s i t e s . . . e l k would bed w i t h i n the f e e d i n g a r e a . N i g h t b e d s i t e s appeared t o be s e l e c t e d f o r p r o x i m i t y t o the f e e d i n g s i t e , r a t h e r than p r o t e c t i o n from the c o l d . . . B e a l l (1976) f u r t h e r showed t h a t e l k movement t o h i g h e l e v a t i o n bedding s i t e s d u r i n g the day was s t r o n g l y a s s o c i a t e d w i t h s e l e c t i o n of c o v e r t y p e s t o a i d i n t h e r m a l r e g u l a t i o n . P r o v i s i o n of f o r e s t s t o p r o v i d e t h e r m a l c o v e r was needed a t a l l e l e v a t i o n s . A l t h o u g h snowpack might r e s t r i c t e l k use of f o r e s t s a t h i g h e r e l e v a t i o n s d u r i n g s e v e r e c o n d i t i o n s , h i g h e r s i t e s p r o v i d e d b e t t e r t h e r m a l c o v e r d u r i n g m i l d e r weather. M c L e l l a n (1978) s t u d i e d e l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n i n the White R i v e r study a r e a i n the w i n t e r of 1977-78 and e n c o u n t e r e d snowdepths e x c e e d i n g 50 cm f o r more than 2 months. E l k showed an almost t o t a l a v o i d a n c e of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d u r i n g t h a t t i m e . M e a s u r i n g e l k use of d i f f e r e n t h a b i t a t s by t r a c k c o u n t s , M c L e l l a n (1978) r e c o r d e d no c o n c u r r e n t i n c r e a s e i n t r a c k s i n o t h e r h a b i t a t s w i t h the d e c r e a s e d use of c l e a r c u t s . However, h i s m o n i t o r i n g of r a d i o - c o l l a r e d e l k d u r i n g t h i s p e r i o d showed t h a t e l k d e c r e a s e d t h e i r t o t a l movements d u r i n g deep, c r u s t e d snow c o n d i t i o n s . E l k used f o r e s t e d , r i p a r i a n , and s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d h a b i t a t s f o r f e e d i n g and t r a y e l d u r i n g the p e r i o d of deep snow i n M c L e l l a n ' s (1978) s t u d y . 81 E l k s e l e c t i o n of c l e a r c u t a r e a s and open b r u s h l a n d s d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s and c o n t r a s t i n g a v o i d a n c e of t h e s e h a b i t a t s d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s has been shown by Hershey and Leege (1976) and Leege and H i c k e y (1977). B a g l i e n and Biggens (1976) a l s o have noted s e l e c t i o n of c l e a r c u t s d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow. Jensen (1973) s t a t e d t h a t e l k a v o i d e d open g r a s s l a n d a r e a s d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s . The f o l l o w i n g hypotheses were proposed t o t e s t r e s ponses of e l k t o f e a t u r e s w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s : a) E l k use of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d e c l i n e s w i t h i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e from c o v e r ; b) E l k use of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t d e c l i n e s w i t h i n c r e a s i n f p r o x i m i t y t o roa d s ; and c) E l k a v o i d s l a s h when p o s s i b l e . D i f f e r e n t i a l e l k use w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s was s t u d i e d u s i n g two methods. O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k and d e n s i t y of p e l l e t groups were compared between c a t e g o r i e s of v a r i o u s f e a t u r e s of the s i t e . O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k i n d i c a t e d t h a t e l k use was not p r o p o r t i o n a l w i t h i n t h e c a t e g o r i e s f o r seven of the n i n e f e a t u r e s a n a l y z e d ; e l e v a t i o n and a s p e c t were e x c e p t i o n s . P e l l e t group d e n s i t y , however, showed 82 s i g n i f i c a n t a s s o c i a t i o n s w i t h o n l y two of the n i n e f e a t u r e s , s l o p e and d i s t a n c e from r o a d . The two hy p o t h e s e s , e l k av o i d a n c e of a r e a s w i t h s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n and d e c r e a s i n g e l k use w i t h d i s t a n c e from c o v e r , were r e j e c t e d when e l k use was measured by p e l l e t group d i s t r i b u t i o n but b o t h these hypotheses were a c c e p t e d when e l k use was measured b y o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k . The h y p o t h e s i s t h a t e l k use d e c l i n e d w i t h i n c r e a s i n g p r o x i m i t y t o roads was a c c e p t e d u s i n g both measures of e l k use. The d i f f e r e n s e i n e l k use as measured by the two methods c o u l d i n d i c a t e e i t h e r a d i f f e r e n c e i n p r e c i s i o n or t h a t the two methods were measures of d i f f e r e n t e l k a c t i v i t i e s . Lyon and Jensen (1980) n o t e d t h a t fewer p e l l e t groups o c c u r r e d i n s i d e c l e a r c u t o p enings than were found i n the s u r r o u n d i n g f o r e s t , i n d i c a t i n g t h a t a n i m a l s used the open i n g s t o fee d but d i d not remain t o r u m i n a t e . O b s e r v a t i o n s of w h i t e - t a i l e d deer by Smith (1977) i d e n t i f i e d t h a t a n i m a l s d e c e f a c t e most o f t e n i n r e s t i n g a r e a s , r e s u l t i n g i n d i s p r o p o r t i o n a t e a c c u m u l a t i o n s of p e l l e t groups i n t h e s e h a b i t a t s . S i m i l a r l y , t h i s study i n d i c a t e s t h a t o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k were b i a s e d t o the f e e d i n g a c t i v i t y w h i l e p e l l e t group d e n s i t y was b i a s e d toward the r e s t i n g a c t i v i t y . 83 By u s i n g o b s e r v a t i o n s t o i n d i c a t e f e e d i n g a c t i v i t y and p e l l e t group d e n s i t y t o i n d i c a t e r e s t i n g a c t i v i t y , a number of i n f e r e n c e s can be drawn about e l k use of c l e a r c u t s . E l k a v o i d a n c e of a r e a s w i t h i n 200 m of roads was e v i d e n t from o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k . L e s s than average d e n s i t y of p e l l e t groups up t o 300 m away.from the roads i n d i c a t e d t h a t r e s t i n g e l k showed even g r e a t e r a v o i d a n c e of a r e a s near roads than f e e d i n g e l k . E l k c l e a r l y s e l e c t e d f o r moderate t o s t e e p s l o p e s f o r both f e e d i n g and r e s t i n g . Both methods of measuring e l k use showed no o v e r a l l a v o i d a n c e of a r e a s w i t h s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s ; however, s l a s h a c c u m u l a t i o n s i n the a r e a were g e n e r a l l y l i g h t and the r e s u l t s may r e f l e c t a l a c k of a c c u m u l a t i o n of s l a s h g r e a t enough t o cause a v o i d a n c e by e l k . W i t h i n c l e a r c u t s , the numbers of e l k o b s e r v e d a t d i f f e r e n t d i s t a n c e s from the edge of the c l e a r c u t were p r o p o r t i o n a l t o the amount of h a b i t a t i n t h a t d i s t a n c e - f r o m - e d g e c a t e g o r y . Both p e l l e t group d e n s i t i e s and o b s e r v a t i o n s showed e l k used the l a r g e r s tudy s i t e (130 ha.) more than the o t h e r s m a l l e r s i t e s , i n d i c a t i n g no g e n e r a l a v o i d a n c e of a r e a s f a r t h e r from c o v e r . An h y p o t h e s i s t h a t e l k respond t o human a c t i v i t y by f l i g h t and t h a t t h i s r esponse i s l e s s common w i t h i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e from the d i s t u r b a n c e was a l s o t e s t e d . Most e l k f l e d when they saw human a c t i v i t y i r r e s p e c t i v e of the d i s t a n c e t o the d i s t u r b a n c e . The f i r s t p o r t i o n of 84 t h i s hypothesis, that e l k f l e e from human a c t i v i t y , was supported by the data and was accepted. The second part of the hypothesis, that the f l i g h t r e a c t i o n diminishes with d i s t a n c e , was r e j e c t e d . Elk d i d not appear to respond to human a c t i v i t i e s at distances greater than 1.5 km. A l i n e - o f - s i g h t to the a c t i v i t y was required to i n i t i a t e an e l k avoidance r e a c t i o n to the disturbance. Observations of elk w i t h i n short d i s t a n c e s of logging a c t i v i t y were a l s o recorded i n the study, but the a c t i v i t y was not w i t h i n s i g h t of the elk and no avoidance r e a c t i o n was noted. C l e a r c u t t i n g was i n i t i a t e d i n the study area i n 1970 with the two l a r g e s t c l e a r c u t blocks cut f i r s t . Consequently, the elk using the area had been exposed to human a c t i v i t i e s on t h e i r winter range for a minimum of s i x to seven years. There i s l i t t l e evidence of the elk becoming accustomed to disturbance; 90% of the animals exposed to human a c t i v i t y f l e d from the disturbance. During shallow snow c o n d i t i o n s human disturbance c l e a r l y reduced the amount of time that elk could u t i l i z e c l e a r c u t s , the p r e f e r r e d feeding areas. In summary, t h i s study was conducted during two a t y p i c a l winters with m i l d temperatures and low s n o w f a l l . I n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of elk h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n and use of c l e a r c u t s are v a l i d only f o r shallow snow c o n d i t i o n s . 85 The v e g e t a t i o n , l o g g i n g h i s t o r y , e l k a c t i v i t y p a t t e r n s , and food h a b i t s were d e s c r i b e d as background i n f o r m a t i o n t o the p r i m a r y o b j e c t i v e s of the s t u d y - d ocumentation of e l k use of l ogged and unlogged h a b i t a t and t e s t i n g of h ypotheses of f a c t o r s i n f l u e n c i n g e l k use of c l e a r c u t s . E l k s e l e c t e d c l e a r c u t s , p r i m a r i l y f o r f e e d i n g , d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s . W i t h i n c l e a r c u t s , e l k s e l e c t e d moderate (20 t o 40%) s l o p e s and a v o i d e d a r e a s w i t h i n 200 t o 300 meters of a c t i v e r o a d s . E l k d i d not s e l e c t a r e a s near the edge of c l e a r c u t s , as e l k use w i t h i n c l e a r c u t s was p r o p o r t i o n a l t o the amount of h a b i t a t i r r e s p e c t i v e of the d i s t a n c e from edge. E l k a v o i d e d human a c t i v i t i e s w i t h i n a l i n e - o f - s i g h t and f l e d t o f o r e s t c o v e r when human a c t i v i t i e s were seen. 6.0. MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS The e l k of the White R i v e r v a l l e y are a p r o d u c t of f o r e s t e d l a n d . The numbers, h a b i t s , and even s u r v i v a l of the e l k a r e dependent upon how the f o r e s t s a r e managed. Normal snowpacks i n the White R i v e r v a l l e y can reach depths t h a t p r e c l u d e the s u r v i v a l of e l k i n open h a b i t a t s . M u l t i p l e - u s e management of the f o r e s t s must, t h e r e f o r e , c o n s i d e r not o n l y p r o v i d i n g s u b s t a n t i a l b e n e f i t s f o r e l k d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s , but a l s o must ensure the s u r v i v a l of e l k d u r i n g c r i t i c a l p e r i o d s 86 of deep snow c o n d i t i o n s . T h i s study has i d e n t i f i e d h a b i t a t s t h a t p r o v i d e f o o d , s h e l t e r , and s e c u r i t y d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s and noted the r o l e of human a c t i v i t y i n r e s t r i c t i n g e l k use of c l e a r c u t s . C l e a r c u t s p r o v i d e d the most v a l u a b l e component of e l k r e q u i r e m e n t s d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s - f e e d i n g a r e a s . F o r e s t s , p a r t i c u l a r l y f o r e s t s a t h i g h e r e l e v a t i o n s a l o n g r i d g e s , appeared t o p r o v i d e both s h e l t e r and s e c u r i t y d u r i n g t h e s e c o n d i t i o n s . E l k moved f r e e l y i n s h a l l o w snow but d i s t u r b a n c e by human a c t i v i t y r e s t r i c t e d e l k use of a r e a s w i t h i n a l i n e - o f - s i g h t . These c o n c l u s i o n s suggest the f o l l o w i n g recommendations f o r . j o i n t e l k - f o r e s t management: a) Logging p l a n s s h o u l d manage the f o r e s t s on s o u t h - f a c i n g s l o p e s such t h a t t h e r e a r e c l e a r c u t s l e s s than f i f t e e n y e a r s o l d on the s e s l o p e s throughout the f o r e s t r o t a t i o n t o p r o v i d e enhanced f o r a g e f o r e l k d u r i n g s h a l l o w snow c o n d i t i o n s . b) Main a c c e s s r o u t e s s h o u l d be l o c a t e d so t h a t s o u t h - f a c i n g s l o p e s a r e sc r e e n e d from t r a f f i c . S c r e e n i n g can be a c c o m p l i s h e d through u t i l i z a t i o n of t o p o g r a p h i c f e a t u r e s o r 87 v e g e t a t i v e c o v e r . S c r e e n i n g c o u l d be p r o v i d e d by regrowth of v e g e t a t i o n i f f l a t t e r s i t e s near main roads were l o g g e d t e n t o f i f t e e n y e a r s b e f o r e l o g g i n g the s o u t h - f a c i n g s l o p e . The c r i t i c a l f a c t o r i s p r e v e n t i o n of e l k from s e e i n g v e h i c l e s or human a c t i v i t y w h i l e u s i n g c l e a r c u t s . Main roads s h o u l d be l o c a t e d below p r e f e r r e d s o u t h - f a c i n g s l o p e s i f p o s s i b l e , because e l k g e n e r a l l y move u p h i l l f o r r e s t i n g or escape. Roads c r o s s i n g c l e a r c u t s u t i l i z e d by e l k s h o u l d be c l o s e d t o use i n w i n t e r . C r u i s i n g , l a y o u t , i n s e c t s u r v e y s , e t c . s h o u l d be c a r r i e d out a t time s of the year o t h e r than w i n t e r . Use of o f f - r o a d v e h i c l e s such as snowmobiles s h o u l d be p r o h i b i t e d d u r i n g w i n t e r i n a r e a s used as w i n t e r - r a n g e . E s s e n t i a l human a c t i v i t i e s on e l k w i n t e r ranges s h o u l d be ti m e d f o r the midday p e r i o d , as t h i s i s the p e r i o d of l e a s t e l k a c t i v i t y . A c t i v i t y i n the e a r l y morning hours i s t o be a v o i d e d most. A c t i v i t y d u r i n g d a r k n e s s appeared t o have l i t t l e e f f e c t . 88 g) W i n t e r l o g g i n g , i f r e q u i r e d , s h o u l d be c o n f i n e d t o an a r e a as s m a l l as p o s s i b l e and s c r e e n e d from e x i s t i n g c l e a r c u t s , o p e n i n g s , or s o u t h - f a c i n g s l o p e s t o a l l o w e l k use of t h e s e a r e a s . h) S o i l d i s t u r b a n c e from l o g g i n g , s k i d t r a i l s , and l a n d i n g s s h o u l d be reduced as much as p o s s i b l e as t h e s e s i t e s would be of more v a l u e t o e l k i f l e f t u n d i s t u r b e d . D u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s e l k i n the White R i v e r v a l l e y a r e r e s t r i c t e d from u s i n g the c l e a r c u t s and a r e found o n l y i n f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s ( M c L e l l a n 1978). S i m i l a r r e s u l t s have been shown by Hershey and Leege (1976) and Leege and H i c k e y (1977). S u r v i v a l of e l k d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s r e q u i r e s d i f f e r e n t emphasis than t h a t i n d i c a t e d i n the recommendations above. Recommendations f o r f o r e s t management have a l r e a d y been made by M c L e l l a n (1978) and I w i l l not r e p e a t those s p e c i f i c s h e r e . However, i t appears t h a t i f e l k a r e t o s u r v i v e d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s , adequate amounts of f o r e s t w i t h s u f f i c i e n t canopy c o v e r t o p r o v i d e snow i n t e r c e p t i o n must be m a i n t a i n e d a t a l l t i m e s throughout the l o g g i n g r o t a t i o n . C o r r i d o r s of f o r e s t , s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d , or r i p a r i a n h a b i t a t , must a l s o be m a i n t a i n e d t o p r o v i d e h a b i t a t f o r f e e d i n g and movement d u r i n g deep snow c o n d i t i o n s . 8 9 This study and others mentioned do not provide a l l the information required for m u l t i p l e - u s e planning for elk and timber i n the White River or other inter-mountain v a l l e y s i n southeastern B r i t i s h Columbia. Further s t u d i e s are needed to determine: 1. The canopy coverage and snow i n t e r c e p t i o n of various f o r e s t types and t h e i r a b i l i t y to provide s u i t a b l e h a b i t a t f o r elk during deep snow c o n d i t i o n s ; 2. The c a r r y i n g c a p a c i t y of f o r e s t h a b i t a t s c r i t i c a l to e l k during deep snow; and 3. The length of time u n t i l c l e a r c u t areas no longer provide s i g n i f i c a n t forage for elk during shallow snow c o n d i t i o n s . Observations of elk use of c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t s during shallow snow c o n d i t i o n s i n d i c a t e s preference f o r ridge areas with moderate slopes and a g r a s s / f o r b vegetation f o r feeding. Areas where broadcast or spot burning had occurred were s e l e c t e d by feeding e l k . Elk were observed to avoid areas w i t h i n 100 to 200 meters of a c t i v e roads. Measures of e l k use by p e l l e t group de n s i t y show s e l e c t i o n for moderate slopes (20 to 40%) and avoidance of areas w i t h i n 300 m of a c t i v e roads. Observations of 90 e l k response t o d i s t u r b a n c e showed most e l k ( 8 6 % ) r e a c t e d t o the s i g h t of v e h i c l e s or humans by f l e e i n g from c l e a r c u t s i n t o f o r e s t s . 91 LITERATURE CITED Anonymous. 1975. Montana C o o p e r a t i v e E l k - L o g g i n g Study. P r o g r e s s R e p o r t , Montana Department of F i s h and Game. B a g l i e n , J.W., and D.E. B i g g i n s . 1976. A p l a n f o r e l k management by h a b i t a t m a n i p u l a t i o n . In P r o c . E l k - L o g g i n g - R o a d s Symp. U n i v . of Idaho, Moscow. B a t c h e l e r , C L . 1975. Development of a d i s t a n c e method f o r deer census from p e l l e t groups. J . W i l d l . Manage. 3 9 ( 4 ) . B e a l l , R. 1974. W i n t e r h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n and use by a western Montana e l k h e r d . Ph.D. d i s s . U n i v . of Montana, M i s s o u l a . 1976. E l k h a b i t a t s e l e c t i o n i n r e l a t i o n t o t h e r m a l r a d i a t i o n . I_n P r o c e e d i g s E l k - L o g g i n g - Roads Symp., U n i v e r s i t y of Idaho, Moscow. B u n n e l l , . F.L. 1978. Snow, t r e e s and u n g u l a t e s . Report t o B.C. 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