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

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WINTER HABITAT SELECTION AND USE OF CLEARCUTS ELK I N THE WHITE RIVER DRAINAGE OF SOUTHEASTERN B R I T I S H COLUMBIA  by  BRIAN P H I L L I P B.Sc,  CHURCHILL  U n i v e r s i t y of V i c t o r i a ,  1973  A THESIS SUBMITTED I N PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF  SCIENCE  in  THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES (Department  we a c c e p t t h i s  of F o r e s t r y )  t h e s i s as conforming  to the required  standard  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA March, QBrian  1982  Phillip Churchill,  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 o f t h e r e q u i r e m e n t s f o r an advanced degree a t t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a , I a g r e e t h a t t h e 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 s t u d y . I f u r t h e r agree t h a t p e r m i s s i o n f o r e x t e n s i v e c o p y i n g o f t h i s t h e s i s i f o r s c h o l a r l y p u r p o s e s may be g r a n t e d by t h e head o f my department o r by h i s o r h e r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e s . It is understood that copying o r 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 g a i n s h a l l n o t be a l l o w e d w i t h o u t my w r i t t e n permission.  Brian P h i l l i p Churchill  Department o f  Forestry  The U n i v e r s i t y o f B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a 20 7 5 Wesbrook P l a c e V a n c o u v e r , Canada V6T 1W5 Date  March 26th, 1982  i i  Abstract:  This  conducted  study of e l k winter  from  June  1975  to  May  c o n d u c t e d f r o m November  to April  habitat,  patterns  use  reaction  to  Programmes pellet study  of  human  habitat 1977.  to observe  within  activities  selection  S u r v e y s were elk  use  clearcuts,  and  and  vehicle  elk  traffic.  d e s c r i p t i o n and  g r o u p c o u n t s were c o n d u c t e d d u r i n g  the r e s t of the  period.  two w i n t e r s  o f t h e s t u d y were m i l d .  Snow d e p t h s  n e v e r e x c e e d e d 45 cm, t h e d e p t h h y p o t h e s i z e d t o elk  movement  mild  snow c o n d i t i o n s  but  utilized  cover. 1978) months  t o areas of lower snowdepth. elk selected  forested  showed  contrasting  during  Within slopes  deep  for  these feeding  f o r r e s t i n g and escape  the  same  area  (McLellan  avoidance of c l e a r c u t s conditions  where  f o r two  snowdepths  t h a n 200 m f r o m a c t i v e r o a d s f o r f e e d i n g  Feeding a c t i v i t i e s  for Elk  accumulations  within clearcuts  ridges,  grass/forb  showed  varying  during  largest clearcut of  During  c l e a r c u t s e l k were o b s e r v e d t o s e l e c t m o d e r a t e  resting.  areas.  snow  in  initiate  cm.  further  selection  clearcuts  habitats  Subsequent s t u d i e s  e x c e e d e d 50  edge  of  of h a b i t a t mapping, v e g e t a t i o n  The  and  was  feeding  vegetation responses  activity.  s i t e a n d no p r e f e r e n c e  clearcuts  was  shown.  Elk  showed  and burned to  slash  E l k s e l e c t e d the for  areas  showed  a  near strong  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 fleeing for  and v e h i c l e  t o f o r e s t c o v e r when d i s t u r b e d .  f o r e s t management a r e i n c l u d e d .  traffic,  Recommendations  iv  TABLE OF CONTENTS Page List  of Figures  List  of Tables  1.0  Introduction  1  2.0  The s t u d y a r e a  6  2. 1  Geology  6  2.2  Landforms and s o i l  2.3  Vegetation  2.4  C l i m a t e . .'.  12  2.5  Study  14  3.0  4.0  viii i -  development  x  8 8  Period  Methods  .  17  3.1  H a b i t a t mapping  17  3.2  Vegetative sampling  18  3.3  Elkactivity  20  3.4  Elk diet  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 counts  28  3.7  E l k response  3.8  Analyses  t o human a c t i v i t i e s  29 30  Results  30  4.1  Habitat types  4.2  Elkactivity  4.3  Elkdiets  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  30 •.  42  V  Page 4.5.1  4.5.2  4.5.3  Description sites  Pellet  group  E l k response  5.0  Discussion  6.0  Management  Literature  cited  clearcut  study  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  clearcut 4.6  of  surveys  study  4  6  3  within  sites  t o human  5  activity  69 71 7  recommendations  7  85 91  vi  L I S T OF FIGURES Page  Figure  1.  The s t u d y a r e a  Figure  2.  V e g e t a t i o n z o n a t i o n of t h e study a r e a from t h e B r i t i s h Columbia M i n i s t r y of Environment mapping  10,11  .  7  Figure  3.  Logging h i s t o r y of the study area  13  Figure  4.  M o n t h l y mean t e m p e r a t u r e s f r o m 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 t e r m mean  15  Snow on g r o u n d a n d t o t a l m o n t h l y s n o w f a l l from Cranbrook, comparisons among w i n t e r s o f 1975-76, 1976-77, and 1977-78  16  Distribution study area  31  Figure  Figure  5.  6.  of h a b i t a t types i n t h e  Figure  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 g g e d and c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t s  34  Figure  8.  P i c t o r i a l views of c l e a r c u t and forested habitats  35  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 clearcut habitat  55  P i c t o r i a l views of i n t e n s i v e study s i t e - E l k Creek N o r t h  56  P i c t o r i a l views of i n t e n s i v e study s i t e - Jack Creek South  57  P i c t o r i a l views of i n t e n s i v e study s i t e - Jack Creek N o r t h  58  Figure Figure Figure Figure  9. 10. 11. 12.  V l l  L I S T OF TABLES Table I .  Table I I .  Table I I I .  T a b l e IV.  Table  V.  Table V I .  Table V I I .  Table  VIII  Table IX.  Table  X.  Table X I .  Table X I I .  Page  Area and p r o p o r t i o n s o f h a b i t a t types i n the White R i v e r study area  32  Canopy c o v e r a g e i n p e r c e n t f o r representative vegetation samples of h a b i t a t t y p e s  33  Summary o f numbers a n d c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of e l k observed d u r i n g t h e two w i n t e r s t u d y periods  43  Elk observed during surveys at d i f f e r e n t p e r i o d s throughout the day.  44  Elk a c t i v i t y during surveys at d i f f e r e n t periods throughout the day  46  Percent volumes of w i n t e r food t y p e s i n rumen s a m p l e s f r o m t h e 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 o f e l k a n d numbers o f e l k g r o u p s 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 counts 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 conditions  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 selectively-logged blocks  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 , elevation, aspect, vegetation subtypes, micro r e l i e f , burning 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 in c l e a r c u t study 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 o f 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 subtypes of clearcut habitat  62  Elk observations i n clearcut 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 study  sites Table  XIII.  surveyed  O b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k w i t h i n t h e 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 , slope, vegetation s u b t y p e , a n d b u r n i n g h i s t o r y . ..  Table XIV.  Observations 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 f r o m 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 ion  T a b l e XV.  Mean a n d 9 5 % 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 densities within a l l clearcut s t u d y s i t e s f o r O c t o b e r 1975, O c t o b e r 1976, a n d May 1977 surveys  Table XVI.  Mean d e n s i t y o f p e l l e t g r o u p s f r o m t h e O c t o b e r 1976 s u r v e y f o r the t h r e e study s i t e s  Table  XVII  C o m p a r i s o n o f 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 , O c t o b e r 1976 s u r v e y i n ECN s t u d y site  Table  XVIII  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 t h e two w i n t e r s t u d y p e r i o d s . ...  Table XIX.  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 f r o m d i s t u r b a n c e categories  ix  ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS  I  would  like  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  t h o s e who h e l p e d w i t h t h i s p r o j e c t . have for is  been o m i t t e d f o r t h e s a k e  Although  o f s p a c e , my a p p r e c i a t i o n  ongoing.  supervision,  are  given  stimulus,  h a v e made t h i s p r o j e c t  Next a s p e c i a l member a n d  mentor  to  Dr. Fred  financial  thank  Bunnell  whose  s u p p o r t , and p a t i e n c e  possible.  "thank whose  y o u " t o Ray D e m a r c h i , c o m m i t t e e assistance  in  s p o n s o r i n g t h e s t u d y was a l s o e s s e n t i a l .  designing  and  I would l i k e t o  D r . D a v i d S h a c k l e t o n a n d my o t h e r c o m m i t t e e members  their assistance.  Financial  support  U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h  for this Columbia,  study  sponsored  through  t h e B.C. F i s h a n d W i l d l i f e  Creek  support supplied  Research  was p r o v i d e d by  fellowships  Wildlife  Ta  names  t h e s u p p o r t and f r i e n d s h i p of a l l t h e p e o p l e i n v o l v e d  Many t h a n k s  for  some  in  Forest  by C a n f o r L t d . ; employment a n d h o u s i n g  Station);  Branch,  equipment  Cranbrook and  (Ta  logistic  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 by  Association.  the  Kimberley  Wilderness  and  Wildlife  X  Many field  others  were i n s t r u m e n t a l  i n the success of the  w o r k : t h a n k s t o Bob R u a l t , Dave M a l e n k a  Crestbrook others  Forest  Industries  f r o m t h e B.C. F i s h a n d  members o f t h e B.C. F o r e s t Canal  Flats  students, field  Bill  Wildlife  other  Warkenton and  Branch;  various  S e r v i c e , e s p e c i a l l y those  district;  f r i e n d s and  work.  physical  Ranger  staff;  and  Anthea  associates  Farr  who  from  and  assisted  other in  the  A s p e c i a l t h a n k s t o Norman B a r i c h e l l o whose  and  intellectual  contributions  are  fondly  remembered.  The  moral  job w i l l  support  of F r e d  a l w a y s be w a r m l y  appreciated.  My t h a n k s t o P a t M i l l s the  f o r her c o n t r i b u t i o n i n typing  r e v i s i o n s and t h e f i n a l  My a p p r e c i a t i o n encouragement  for  Harper i n completing the  edition.  my  family:  and f i n a n c i a l  my  parents,  support continued  through  u n i v e r s i t y years;  my c h i l d r e n , A r n i c a , S i l e n a a n d  whose  provides  existence  t o w a r d s p r o p e r management t o my w i f e , R i t a , a many  tangible  the  motivation  contributions  acknowledgement. to  this  t y p i n g of t h e t e x t , and f o r her l o v e , encouragement, I d e d i c a t e  my  Brant,  for efforts  of n a t u r a l systems; and  special  whose  work,  finally For  including  understanding  t h i s w i t h a l l my l o v e  her  and  to Rita.  1  1.0  INTRODUCTION  Clearcut the  East  late  concentrated  The  into mid-elevation sites in  Kootenay r e g i o n of B r i t i s h  1960's  affecting  l o g g i n g extended  and  early  1970's.  Logging  timber  i n southern  British  Columbia.  of  i n s e c t are  common  in  with  up  An  British infected  Since  i n the White R i v e r  The  1970  elaphus White attempt  area  for  al.  in southeastern  this  logging l e d to ( g r e a t e r than  the 80  drainage.  White River drainage  important  e_t  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  c l e a r c u t t i n g o f a number o f l a r g e b l o c k s ha)  stand  of mountain p i n e b e e t l e i n the mature  l e d . to  stands.  pine  in a  (Safranyik  i n the White R i v e r d r a i n a g e  Columbia  outbreaks  lodgepole  t o 90% o f t h e l o d g e p o l e p i n e  outbreak  stands  Epidemic  maturing  k i l l e d w i t h i n a 5 t o 10 y e a r p e r i o d 1974).  ponderosae) i s  (Pinus contorta var. l a t i f o l i a )  stands  stands  often  values.  mountain pine b e e t l e (Dendroctonus  this  was  the  i n a r e a s where f o r e s t d i s e a s e s o r p e s t s were  endemic i n l o d g e p o l e - p i n e  pine  Columbia during  has  wildlife,  nelsoni), since R i v e r Game R e s e r v e  the was  to preserve w i l d l i f e .  been  recognized  particularly  early  1900's.  c r e a t e d i n 1936  elk  as  an  (Cervus  The  large  a s an  early  More r e c e n t l y , p o r t i o n s of  t h e W h i t e R i v e r d r a i n a g e h a v e been o b s e r v e d  t o be  winter  2  habitat recent  for  elk  (Demarchi  l i t e r a t u r e on  p e r s . comm.).  t h e w i n t e r e c o l o g y o f e l k and  ungulates  (Bunnell  especially  snow-depths, determine  1978)  shows  that  dependent  resource  on  an  human a c t i v i t i e s available clearcut  to  requirements t i m b e r and  of t h e  impacts  of  wildlife.  while  input  the  Insufficient impacts  on  habitats.  and  other  data  were  elk Such  of  large  data  were  C o l u m b i a F o r e s t S e r v i c e was  protecting  multiple  use  essential of t h e s e  elk two  to  habitat  resources,  elk.  specific  information  planned was  e l k h a b i t a t requirements  I n f o r m a t i o n on t h e v a l u e the  informed  an u n d e r s t a n d i n g  mountain pine b e e t l e i n f e s t a t i o n  critical  elk,  on  of  s p r e a d , more c l e a r c u t t i n g was site  Effective  ecology  in forest  for  protection.  basic  the B r i t i s h  logging  multiple  the  evaluate  if  Columbia i s  in  depends of  other  weather,  road c o n s t r u c t i o n a c t i v i t i e s , on  openings  essential  blanket  understanding  mining,  in British  participation  planning  s p e c i e s and  logging,  The  than  resource  wildlife  plan  active  planning  multiple based  on  winter  of  w i n t e r h a b i t a t use.  P r e s e n t management o f w i l d l i f e more  A review  of  expected  to  f o r the v a l l e y ,  and  needed and  was  to  manage  both  timber h a r v e s t i n g .  different  f e a t u r e s t h a t c o n t r o l e l k use  habitats  of h a b i t a t s ,  to 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  White  area.  River  required  basic  Interpretation  knowledge  of  the  of such  background specific  k n o w l e d g e was a v a i l a b l e (Runka  information  Available  information  use  by  elk  however, during  have  (Kirsch  applicability  1962,  studies  summer.  to  the  Swanson  the  studies White  and  area.  for differential Lyon  1976),  were  of  questionable  River area,  a winter  to  range  restrict  elk  o f some h a b i t a t s .  Elk had  study  on e l k h a b i t a t u s e  where a v e r a g e s n o w d e p t h s were b e l i e v e d use  general  1969) b u t s i t e  1970,  concentrated  These to  Some  on f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g e l k u s e o f  p r e v i o u s l y been s t u d i e d  these  climate,  was l a c k i n g .  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 Clearcuts  information  geography,  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 t h e a r e a .  i n the  response  t o human a c t i v i t y  a l s o been s t u d i e d Jensen  developed suggested result Clearcut  1980)  (Ward 1976,  with  i n the logging  mixed of  or vehicular  Anonymous  results.  the  traffic  1975,  The many  White  River  human  openings  considerably  activity in  the  and  vehicular  study  area  l a r g e r than those i n p r e v i o u s  roads  drainage  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  from  Lyon  could  traffic. were  studies.  also  4  T h i s study winter ecology practice  in  was d e s i g n e d  to provide  of e l k  their  the  B r i t i s h Columbia. history, and  and  White  River  Specific  i n f o r m a t i o n on t h e  responses drainage  information  to  of  southeastern  on  the  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  d i e t s o f e l k was  factors affecting  legging  logging patterns,  required t o t e s t hypotheses  e l k use o f t h e a r e a .  treating  O b j e c t i v e s of the  r e s e a r c h were t o :  1)  Describe  the  vegetation  and  logging  history  p a t t e r n s of the a r e a .  2)  Describe  3)  Describe and  activity  elk  p a t t e r n s of e l k i n t h e a r e a .  food  habits specific  document any c h a n g e s  in  food  t o the area habits  with  and  document  elk  winter  during  both  s h a l l o w a n d d e e p snow c o n d i t i o n s .  4)  Identify  habitat  utilization  of h a b i t a t s i n  deep and s h a l l o w  5)  Identify  types  the  snow c o n d i t i o n s .  use  of c l e a r c u t logged  document p a t t e r n s o f u s e during both  6)  Test  of  deep and s h a l l o w  hypotheses t r e a t i n g  areas  clearcuts  by  and elk  snow c o n d i t i o n s .  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 These  was  objectives  hypothesized habitats,  on t h e l a t t e r  would  provide  relationships  while  applicable  placed  to  providing forest  three  objectives.  information  for elk site  on  within  specific  management.  between e l k use o f l o g g e d h a b i t a t s ,  The the  some  forested information  relationships major  climatic  f a c t o r s o f s n o w d e p t h , a n d t h e e f f e c t o f human a c t i v i t y i n modifying The  elk habitat  u s e were n o t c l e a r l y  f o l l o w i n g h y p o t h e s e s were p r o p o s e d t o  understood.  clarify  these  relationships:  a)  Elk  prefer  clearcuts  snow c o n d i t i o n s  f o r feeding  during  but a r e r e s t r i c t e d  shallow  in their  use  o f c l e a r c u t s when s n o w d e p t h s e x c e e d 45 cm.  b)  Elk  use  inverse  c)  Elk  of  clearcut  habitat  declines  r e l a t i o n s h i p t o the distance  use  of  clearcut  habitat  i n an  from  cover.  declines  with  increasing proximity  t o roads.  d)  E l k avoid  possible.  e)  E l k r e s p o n d t o human a c t i v i t y  by f l i g h t  and t h i s  r e s p o n s e i s l e s s common w i t h  increasing  distance  s l a s h when  6  from t h e d i s t u r b a n c e .  2.0 THE STUDY AREA  The  White  Kootenay R i v e r study  River in  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  southeastern  Columbia.  The  area comprises the e a s t e r n s i d e of the White  River  v a l l e y downstream from t h e river  near  White  (3300 about  major  Swan L a k e  included the v a l l e y  British  eastern  (Figure  turn  and  the  1 ) . The s t u d y a r e a  bottomlands at approximately  f t ) elevation  of  1000  m  t h e t e r r a c e s a n d s l o p e s up t o  1830 m (6000 f t ) e l e v a t i o n a l o n g t h e e a s t e r n  valley  side.  In g e n e r a l terms, t h e White R i v e r v a l l e y valley  in  the  following brief and c l i m a t i c  heart  of  the  Rocky  isa  Mountains.  d e s c r i p t i o n of geology, landforms,  influences  i s condensed  narrow The soils  f r o m Runka ( 1 9 6 9 ) .  2.1 GEOLOGY  The  Kootenay-White  River  White R i v e r Break, a major limits Ranges.  the Western  l i n e a m e n t i s c a u s e d by t h e  longitudinal  fault  zone  ( K o o t e n a y ) Ranges f r o m t h e P a r k  Throughout  i t s length  the  fault  zone  that (Main) lies  8  e n t i r e l y w i t h i n Cambro-Ordvician s h a l e of the McKay Group and  i s marked  calcareous  by  a  phyllite.  through-valley  of  wide  belt  Along  of  this  t h e Kootenay,  highly-sheared,  lineament, Beaverfoot  t h e wide and  White  R i v e r s has eroded the weak f a u l t zone (Runka 1969).  2.2 LANDFORMS AND SOIL DEVELOPMENT  Details  of  p r e d o m i n a n t l y by modified  The  the present the  last  of  formed  i c e advance  and  v a l l e y i s f l o o r e d t o a l a r g e extent with t e r r a c e d train  deposits.  The  Kootenay-Beaverfoot-White  is  stage  were  somewhat by e r o s i o n s i n c e t h e l a s t i c e r e t r e a t .  valley  Cedrus  topography  till  derived  wide  terraces  through-valley  a r e based  d e s c r i b e d by K e l l e y and H o l l a n d from  McKay  phyllites  and  strongly  calcerous,  eutric  (1961).  shales  t h e r e f o r e v e r y s i l t y and v i r t u a l l y stone f r e e . primarily  of the on It  and i s S o i l s are  b r u n i s o l s (Runka  1969).  2.3 VEGETATION  Krajina the  White  (1965) i n c l u d e d two b i o g e o c l i m a t i c River  valley.  zones i n  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 o f t h e Engelman higher  spruce valley  (Figure border for  2)  valley  -  subalpine  sides.  confirms  o f t h e s e two  indicator  that  wet  while  the  Subalpine  f i r zone e n c o m p a s s e s t h e  More  detailed, the  recent  study area  biogeoclimatic  mapping  includes the  zones.  Examination  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 t h e  S u b a l p i n e Engelman s p r u c e the  bottom  subzone  of  - s u b a l p i n e f i r zone the  valley.  Interior  and  from  Douglas-fir  zone  throughout  the  However,  false  (Pachistima  m y r s i n i t e s ) , an i n d i c a t o r o f t h e wet s u b z o n e  of  t h e I n t e r i o r D o u g l a s - f i r z o n e , was a b s e n t .  of  systems of c l a s s i f i c a t i o n  probable  the  is  classification  difficult,  of  Pfister  would i n c l u d e the v e g e t a t i o n of t h e Pseudotsuga m e n z i e s i i and P i c e a  Initial  timber  cutting  boxwood  Comparison but  i t is  e t a l . (1974)  study  area  i n the  series.  i n t h e s t u d y 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 t h e s o u t h e r n  portions  1954.  ha o f a m i d -  In  elevation  the  10  years  band on t h e s o u t h e a s t  were l o g g e d . (5%  next  850  p o r t i o n of the study  Infestation  of  of  100  trees  year  when  assessed  o l d or older  p i n e s t a n d s by m o u n t a i n p i n e b e e t l e i n i t i a t e d phase  of  which  were  logging.  infestations  area  These s e l e c t i v e l y - l o g g e d a r e a s h a d v a r i a b l e  t o 30%) c a n o p y c o v e r a g e  1975.  some  in  Older  susceptible constituted  lodgepole to an  lodgepole  the  pine forest  mountain additional  pine  in  second types beetle  3400 ha o f t h e  10  6. Ecological State  5. Biophysical Forest Regions, Zones and Subzones  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.  Forest Region  1  Map Symbol  2 1 Forest Zone and Subzone  DC  disciimax  INTERIOR ROCKY MOUNTAIN DOUGLAS-FIR ZONE (IDH  MCC  maturing climatic climax (usually older than 60 years)  MEC  maturing edaphic climax {usually older than 60 years)  a) Lodgepole pine subzone (lacks ponderosa pine as a potential serai species)  MS  maturing serai (usually between 60-140 years)  OS  overmature serai (usually older than 140 years)  b) Ponderosa pine subzone (with ponderosa pine and lacks western larch as potential serai species)  PS  pioneer serai  YCC  young climatic climax (usually younger than 60 years)  YEC  young edaphic climax (usually younger than 60 years)  YS  young serai (usually younger than 60 years)  c) Western larch - ponderosa pine subzone (with ponderosa pine and western larch as potential serai species)  7 Plant Species  SUBALPINE ENGLEMANN SPRUCE-ALPINE FIR ZONE (SAeS-alF)  Tree species symbols are used to signify a vegetation type. "'J* ° " * " ' v a r i a b i l i t y of the vegetation, the indicated species may be infrequent or even absent from some s i t e s , but many of the characteristics of the typical vegetation w i l l occur.  a) Lodgepole pine-whitebark pine subzone (lacks Rocky Mountain Douglas-fir as a potential serai species)  f  n  u r a  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  ' 'egclXtrtherllSided  * AB  i  ^  i  c  ^  t  ^  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  T^ot'X^ lTsJ&£ " 1  d  is an area within a forest Zone defined ,  M*****™-  ^ d e f i n i t i v e vegetation pattenTof the region.  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).  12  total  7000 ha o f t h e  timber c u t t i n g  2.4  study  area.  is illustrated  The  i n Figure  progression 3.  CLIMATE  The  East  Kootenay  of  British  Columbia  variation.  The  mosaic  valleys  influences  the  d i s t r i b u t i o n of c l i m a t i c  Examining the region as a u n i t , with  sporadic  from m i l d  Precipitation  throughout  the  local  influence  (Runka  The  is  fairly  y e a r w i t h a p p r o x i m a t e l y one  on  f a l l i n g as  climate  is  snow.  the  throughout  River  is  separated  from  the  the  nearest  d a t a from C a n a l F l a t s  the  t r e n d s i n weather  White R i v e r v a l l e y .  of t h e r e l a t i v e degree of  winter  within  the region.  Hughes  were n o t d i r e c t l y However, a n n u a l  p a t t e r n s from C a n a l F l a t s and  t e m p e r a t u r e s from C a n a l F l a t s study  The  mechanical  Range a n d w e a t h e r  particular  range  uniformly  s t a t i o n , a t C a n a l F l a t s , by t h e  indicative  hot  1969).  White  to  types.  usually  permanent weather  applicable  and  while winters  i n f l u e n c e o f t o p o g r a p h y on a i r movement region  mountains  summers a r e  of the annual p r e c i p i t a t i o n  main  the  shower a c t i v i t y ,  to severe.  distributed third  rain  of  shows much  climatic  are  of  Cranbrook  severity  of  The m o n t h l y mean  f o r t h e two w i n t e r s o f  1975-76 and 1976-77 e x c e e d e d  a  the long term  the  averages  13  14  (Figure  4).  McLellan  ( 1 9 7 8 ) 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  area, data  In  contrast,  t h e w i n t e r o f 1977-78, when  was s u b s t a n t i a l l y more s e v e r e .  Although  long  on s n o w d e p t h s were n o t a v a i l a b l e , a s i m i l a r  i n snow m e a s u r e m e n t s f r o m C r a n b r o o k b e t w e e n winter  period  i s apparent  the term  contrast  the  1977-78  a n d t h e 1975-76 a n d 1976-77 w i n t e r  period  (Figure 5).  In t h i s gathered  in  study, during  data  on  two  elk  habitat  winters  t e m p e r a t u r e s and l o w snow  of  selection  were  atypically  mild  fall.  2.5 STUDY PERIOD  Field in  May  work commenced i n J u n e o f 1975 o f 1977.  Winter  on o b s e r v i n g  terminated  Summer programmes c o n s i s t e d o f h a b i t a t  mapping, v e g e t a t i o n sampling, data.  and  programmes  and c o l l e c t i n g  p e l l e t group  (November t o A p r i l )  concentrated  elk distributions,  n o t i n g human a c t i v i t i e s  r e c o r d i n g snow d e p t h s a n d  t o c o l l e c t data  s e l e c t i o n a n d use o f c l e a r c u t s .  on  elk  habitat  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 s n o w f a l l from Cranbrook comparison between winters o f 1975-76, 1976-77, 1977-78.  17  3.0 METHODS  3.1 HABITAT MAPPING  The  logging  history  B r i t i s h Columbia boundaries Columbia  of  of  Forest logged  t h e a r e a was c o m p i l e d  Service areas  (1975)  Mapping  utilized available  Forest Service forest  photographs  records.  cover  provided  maps,  by  from of  British  recent a i r  Crestbrook  Forest  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  habitat  conditions  of  an  animal,  that surround  "the  the organism"  be d e s c r i b e d o r a n a l y s e d a t d i f f e r e n t depending  on  the annual  home r a n g e  be  as a s i n g l e h a b i t a t  viewed  the  south  and  review  suggested  the  analysis  in this  levels  of e l k , t h e e n t i r e  slopes  However, a  (Smith  of  s e t of 1966), can  of  o b j e c t i v e s of the study.  facing  drainage. area  the  specific  detail  In terms of  study  area  can  t y p e as i t i s c o m p r i s e d o f the  lower  White  River  a p r e l i m i n a r y reconnaissance of the of  level  the  of  objectives  detail  of  required  the for  s t u d y s h o u l d be a t t h e l e v e l  study habitat  of  forest  cover or timber h a r v e s t i n g p r a c t i c e s .  Five  habitat  types  f o r e s t c o v e r t y p e s and maps,  were logging  chosen, history.  l o g g i n g h i s t o r y maps, a e r i a l  each  related to  Forest  photographs,  cover  1:50,000  18  topographic  base  vegetation  mapping  Secretariat checking i n the  maps  study  edition),  (Environment  [E.L.U.C.S.],  were  prevalent  (1957  used.  area.  L a n d Use  unpublished),  Five h a b i t a t types  Vegetation  landscape  and  preliminary  was  Committee  and  ground  were d e l i n e a t e d  sampled  in  the  u n i t i n each h a b i t a t type  to  most  provide  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  species  and  to h a b i t a t types  canopy coverage.  purely  descriptive  dominant s p e c i e s  3.2  Names a s s i g n e d based  on  i n the h a b i t a t  canopy  the p h y s i c a l s t r u c t u r e or type.  sampling  coverage  was  for  species  modified  by Van  Barneveld  (1977).  A  site  v e g e t a t i o n was Walmsley  landscape releve  (1976) and of  and  each  habitat  field  Van  Barneveld  homogeneous  1977)  soils  Arlridge f o r the  (1960,  prevalent  ( s a m p l e p l o t ) u s i n g ELUCS s t a n d a r d i z e d  methodology  ( 1 s t d r a f t ) was  d e s c r i b e t h e v e g e t a t i o n and Releves  describe  stratum  using  completed f o r each s i t e  represent  vegetation  ocular  unit.  and  vegetation  form  in  and  recommended by Barneveld  standard  A  data  unit,  Van  the  and  S e c t i o n , as o u t l i n e d  Walmsley  apparently  chosen as  composition  from  m e t h o d o l o g y of t h e ELUCS, V e g e t a t i o n  and  are  VEGETATIVE SAMPLING  Vegetative  in  composition  by  estimates  a vegetation  species of  in  percent  a  to  type. canopy  cover  by  19  species.  Three  (ECUCS)  in  releves  1976  were  Sufficient  resources  vegetation  so s a m p l i n g  number  by  Vegetation  included were  not  was  Section  in  the  staff  analysis.  a v a i l a b l e t o sample a l l  restricted  to  the  minimum  of p l o t s needed t o c h a r a c t e r i z e t h e v e g e t a t i o n  each h a b i t a t  In  type.  addition,  utilizing  vegetation  micro-relief  subtypes  were  defined  and m o i s t u r e regime i n t h e 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 study of e l k use. s u b t y p e s were s a m p l e d f o r forbs  in  standing  crop  the September-October p e r i o d .  of  These  grass  and  Methodology  c h o s e n t o be d i r e c t l y  comparable with  other  studies  the  1971,  1971,  Farr  region  Churchill were  (Kemper  1974).  clipped  Five  1 m  following  Demarchi subplots  for  cessation  of  2  transect  i n the vegetative  Samples  were  subdivided  components, o v e n - d r i e d ,  and  estimates.  nomenclature  McBryde  Botanical  (1977)  c  weighed  was in  1974,  macroplot  annual  two  randomly l o c a t e d  meter  each  S u b p l o t s were l o c a t e d a t  sampled.  of  intervals  growth. along  a  s u b t y p e t o be  i n t o g r a s s and f o r b for  standing  follows  Taylor  crop and  20  3.3 ELK ACTIVITY  Local  knowledge  concentrations  expected  timing  of  winter  of e l k i n the study area was s o l i c i t e d to  determine  the f i e l d  use  activity.  and  on  season  f o r c o l l e c t i o n of data on  elk  I n c i d e n t a l s i g h t i n g s of e l k and the  o b s e r v a t i o n of f r e s h t r a c k s and p e l l e t s d u r i n g summer programmes  were  used  i n the study area  further  to  refine  t i m i n g of winter study p e r i o d s .  Records were kept of the time of the o b s e r v a t i o n , the date, the s i z e of the e l k group,  the sex and age group of  i n d i v i d u a l animals, and the a c t i v i t y of the e l k group f o r each  observation  during  periodic  surveys .of the a r e a .  E l k group a c t i v i t y was assessed as the  activity  majority  the  group  d u r i n g the  to  cover  a l l of  of  observation. predetermined  individuals  Surveys were planned route  in  ensure a l l e l k groups were  assigned  within  to  the  were  each  the  a  s h o r t e s t amount of time to  seen.  elk  of  Observation  group  sighting  numbers to a i d i n  r e t r i e v a l of i n f o r m a t i o n i n data p r o c e s s i n g .  3.4 ELK DIET  During the two winter  study  periods  rumen  samples  were taken from hunter k i l l e d e l k ( 2 ) , c o l l e c t e d e l k from  21  within  the  nearby each  Kootenay animal  preserved and  were  by  and W i l d l i f e  the  drained placed  of  mixed  Branch  volume.  a  with  gallon  s a m p l e s were study  region  were  S e c t i o n , B r i t i s h Columbia  Fish  , Victoria,  British  subsamples  formalin.  The  graduated  1000  water  order  in  Columbia.  of  each  j a r were  contents  ml  were  beaker  partially  t o determine thoroughly  then  the t o t a l  washed  with  t h r o u g h number 3 1/2 a n d number 5 s i e v e s ( 5 . 6 6  4.00 mm).  The c o n t e n t s r e m a i n i n g on t h e 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  the  Each p l a n t  a i dof f o r c e p s , i n t o species.  separated,  was  squeezed  out.  with  s p e c i e s of  t h e s a m p l e was t h e n p l a c e d on n y l o n c l o t h a n d a l l moisture  from  Rumen s a m p l e s f r o m t h i s  The c o n t e n t s were t h e n  water  one  e l k from  contents  from t h e E a s t Kootenay  laboratory, excess  ( 2 ) . Rumen  and  the Research  into  prefilled  and  N a t i o n a l Park  others collected  In  (5) and from road k i l l e d  i n 10% f o r m a l i n .  analysed  tap  study area  excess  Measurements of a l l samples  0.5 ml a n d o v e r were made by p l a c i n g  the  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  moist  material  prefilled  with  water.  Similarly  analysed  d a t a from o t h e r l o c a t i o n s  Kootenays  were s u p p l i e d by t h e B r i t i s h C o l u m b i a  Wildlife  Branch  stratified  ,  Cranbrook  by b i o g e o c l i m a t i c  office.  zones  i n the  Fish  and  T h e s e d a t a were  i n which  the  animal  22  was  f o u n d a t t h e t i m e t h e rumen  are presented study  s a m p l e was c o l l e c t e d a n d  f o r comparison w i t h data  c o l l e c t e d from the  area.  Determination animals site,  of  feeding,  food  habits  1975).  observation  f o l l o w e d by e x a m i n a t i o n  h a s been u s e d t o i d e n t i f y d i e t  Joslin  by  A  similar  of t h e  of e l k  technique,  feeding  (Capp  trailing,  of  1968,  has been  u s e d 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  Silver  Peek  (1974,  original  not  seen, c i t e d  1976) s u g g e s t e d some l i m i t a t i o n s o f  the  from  method.  These  problems were:  1.  2.  Determination  Differential  o f what c o n s t i t u t e s " f r e s h u s e " .  o b s e r v a b i l i t y o f use o f  different  plants.  3.  Determination  4.  Definition  of a s i n g l e b i t e .  of f e e d i n g a r e a s  (casual  feeding  curious browsing vs. p r e f e r r e d feeding  In  this  study  areas).  one o b j e c t i v e was t o d e t e r m i n e c h a n g e s  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 . the t r a i l i n g  or  technique  indicated:  Initial  tests  of  23  a.  Individual  animals  could  not  be  trailed for  a d e q u a t e d i s t a n c e s due t o t h e h e r d b e h a v i o u r the  species  obscuring the tracks of  of  individual  animals. ~  b.  Trailing, use  i n a r e a s of heavy e l k use w i t h  by  moose,  whitetail  v i r g i n i a n u s ) and m u l e d e e r hemionus),  compared  s i m i l a r area not  be d i f f e r e n t i a t e d  g r a s s e s and  These technique  indicated  to  deer  (Odocoileus  (Odocoileus random  that  lesser  hemionus  transect  "fresh  use"  in a could  f r o m p r e v i o u s use o f b o t h  shrubs.  considerations  indicated  that  the  trailing  was n o t f e a s i b l e t o meet t h e o b j e c t i v e s of t h e  research.  3.5 ELK USE OF HABITATS  Data habitats  collected  documentation  elk  T h e s e d a t a were c o l l e c t e d  w i n t e r study p e r i o d s .  Surveys  four-wheel-drive v e h i c l e along the and  of  use  of  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 a b u n d a n c e . two  for  were c o n d u c t e d  from a  primary  road  system  Regular  surveys  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 .  were s u p p l e m e n t e d  throughout  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  restricted.  The  Universal  Transverse  Mercator  s y s t e m p r i n t e d on 1:50,000 s c a l e was  used  to  record  the  areas  selected  U.T.M. G r i d  for  system  topographic  location  throughout the study area,  with  of  superimposed  on  habitat-logging-topographic  map  to  aid  l o c a t i n g observed e l k . Although the g r i d pre-  or  post-recording  characteristics, 10,000  m.  the  best  of  habitat  resolution  After consideration,  2  of  those  e l k use. a in  accurately  type of  The  combined  system  habitat  maps  observations  exception  study  Grid  base  of e l k  the  intensive was  (U.T.M.)  allows  and  the  other  grid  t y p e and  is other  c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s o f t h e o b s e r v a t i o n ' s i t e were r e c o r d e d the  time of  Elk  observation.  track  abundance  was r e c o r d e d a l o n g  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 to e f f e c t i v e l y were of  eliminate previous  stratified  c a n a d e n s i s ) and c o u g a r from  berm  the primary  of s u f f i c i e n t  tracks.  by h a b i t a t t y p e s .  f r e s h t r a c k s of e l k , other  road  at  Track  depth  surveys  Every i n d i v i d u a l set  ungulates,  ( F e l i s concolor)  lynx  (Lynx  which crossed  t o berm were r e c o r d e d .  lynx the  When e l k t r a c k s  were e n c o u n t e r e d i n g r o u p s , t h e number o f t r a c k s  recorded  were t h e number o f i n d i v i d u a l s t h a t c o u l d  be  not  T r a c k abundance  estimates  of t h e s i z e of t h e group.  s u r v e y s were c o n d u c t e d  12  to  24  hours  determined,  following  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  Portions  of  three  clearcuts  i n t e n s i v e study of e l k use. openings  were c o l l e c t e d  elk pellet  were  selected for  D a t a on e l k u s e o f  clearcut  by o b s e r v i n g e l k a n d by c o u n t i n g  groups.  3.6.1 DIRECT OBSERVATION OF ELK  During observe  the  elk  two  in  winter  the designated  c o n c u r r e n t l y with surveys h a b i t a t use. the  study  A grid  to  periods,  surveys  c l e a r c u t s were  observe  elk  to  conducted  activity  and  s y s t e m b a s e d on t h e c o n f i g u r a t i o n o f  c l e a r c u t s designated  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 m e a s u r e d w i t h a m e t r i c  (nylon)  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  c o d e d wooden p o s t , 2.5 m Spacing the  between  clearcuts  clearcut. sufficient  tape  grid and  Fifty sampling  one  meter of  in  length,  into  p o i n t s was f i f t y hundred  the  ground.  m e t e r s i n two o f  meters  in  the  third  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 habitat  parameters  in  the  two  26  smaller  clearcut  third  site  dictated site.  and  the  wider  The  limited  size  resources  (3x) of  of  the  s p a c i n g of sample p o i n t s i n the  r a t h e r than c o r r e c t e d f o r  i s t h e common p r a c t i c e  Each cell  larger  the  study third  D i s t a n c e s b e t w e e n g r i d p o s t s were m e a s u r e d i n t r u e  profile, as  a  sites.  and  recorded  grid  d u r i n g t h e summer f i e l d  slope  -  recorded  b.  represented  f o r each g r i d  projection,  forestry.  the midpoint  a number o f c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s  were r e c o r d e d  a.  post  in  vertical  f o r each  seasons.  of a  grid  cell  The  were  following  cell:  measured  with  a  Suunto  level  and  in percent.  elevation  - recorded  i n i n t e r v a l s of 7.62  m  (25  ft.).  c.  aspect  - determined  corrected  d.  bearing  and  for true north.  microrelief gully  f r o m a compass  p o s i t i o n s - a s s e s s e d and  slope,  gully  recorded  as  bottom, r i d g e s l o p e , ridge  t o p or f a n .  e.  vegetation determined  -  subtypes  from r e l e v e s .  within  clearcuts  27  f.  evidence  of  broadcast  burning  since logging -  r e c o r d e d as burned or not burned.  g.  s l a s h accumulation  -  assessed  as  n i l ,  light,  moderate or h i g h .  h.  distance  from  forest  determined  from g r i d  (cut  block)  edge  l o c a t i o n and r e c o r d e d  i n 50  m o r 100 m c l a s s e s .  i.  minimum  distance  estimated in  At  the time  from  o c u l a r l y u s i n g g r i d p o s t s and  road recorded  snow s t a k e t o t h e a n i m a l s .  recorded  Snow  stakes  (10 cm x 122 c m ) , p a i n t e d w h i t e a n d m a r k e d i n  stakes  in black, affixed to  were  perpendicular designated  usable  o f o b s e r v a t i o n o f e l k , s n o w d e p t h was  2 cm g r a d u a t i o n s Snow  nearest  100 m c l a s s e s .  the c l o s e s t  were p a n e l s  from  to  located each  clearcut  located at convenient of t h e s t u d y a r e a .  some  grid  posts.  on two s e t s o f two t r a n s e c t s  other  sites.  in  each  of  the  three  A d d i t i o n a l snow s t a k e s  l o c a t i o n s throughout Snowdepth  could  be  were  other portions read  with  accuracy  o f 1 cm by v i e w i n g  spotting  s c o p e f r o m t h e n e a r e s t p o i n t on t h e p r i m a r y  an  snow s t a k e s w i t h a 15 o r 25 x  s y s t e m o r f r o m 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 .  road  28  Observations recorded in  of  elk  in  the  on t h e same f o r m s a s t h o s e  o t h e r l o c a t i o n s of t h e study  and  three  other  used f o r o b s e r v a t i o n s  area.  Vegetation  p a r a m e t e r s were n o t r e c o r d e d  of e l k use of t h e t h r e e c l e a r c u t s , had  c l e a r c u t s were  been  pre-determined  d u r i n g summer f i e l d  for  as  these  type  f o r observations this  information  smaller grid  cells  work.  3.6.2 P E L L E T COUNTS  Elk  use  measured counted  of  by  the  three  counting p e l l e t  study groups.  i n c i r c u l a r plots centered  October  1975, O c t o b e r  clearcuts Pellet  1976, and May  1977.  the October surveys  not  b e f o r e t h e May, 1977 s u r v e y  of" p e l l e t s  Ten  arbitrarily  pellets  of  d e f i n e d as a  boundaries.  tabulated  had  so v i s i b i l i t y  2  similar  group.  were  Pellet made  group not  f o r each p l o t  plots to  were  disturb  i n t h e two  center  and g r i d of  appearance  Groups  i f the m a j o r i t y of the p e l l e t s  efforts  d r o p had  growth  (10 m )  p o s t s s e r v e d as permanent markers of t h e  only  in  s h o u l d n o t 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 d i a m e t e r  plots.  Leaf  and l e a f  also  g r o u p s were  on e a c h g r i d p o i n t  occurred before commenced  was  were  the were  included  l a y w i t h i n the plot not them.  October  cleared  and  G r o u p s were surveys  but  29  noted  as  o l d ( g r e a t e r t h a n 9 months o l d ) o r new i n t h e  May, 1977 s u r v e y . b a s e d on S m i t h  S e l e c t i o n of type of p e l l e t  ( 1 9 7 7 , p.  plot  was  17).  "The s m a l l p l o t s i z e c h o s e n was b a s e d on a r e v i e w by Neff ( 1 9 6 8 ) a n d work by S m i t h ( 1 9 6 8 ) . They f e l t that small p l o t s were more e f f i c i e n t a n d more precise than l a r g e r p l o t s because of t h e 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 missed groups. Batcheler ( 1 9 7 5 ) h a s shown, h o w e v e r , t h e 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 o f groups i s m a i n l y t h e r e s u l t o f b i a s due t o b o r d e r e f f e c t and definition of p e l l e t groups, not missed groups. Thus s m a l l p l o t s may be more p r e c i s e , b u t t h e y a r e n o t n e c e s s a r i l y more a c c u r a t e . . . "Although the data may n o t p r o v i d e an a c c u r a t e » e s t i m a t e o f t o t a l numbers, i t seems v a l i d t o assume that 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 e a c h h a b i t a t . S i n c e my m a i n 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 g r o u p s was t o d e t e r m i n e r e l a t i v e l e v e l s o f u s e , a n y c o n s i s t e n t b i a s i s o f no consequence."  3.7 ELK RESPONSE TO HUMAN A C T I V I T I E S  The  effects  of  human a c t i v i t y  on e l k b e h a v i o u r a n d  c o n s e q u e n t l y on e l k h a b i t a t u s e a r e an i n t e g r a l elk  ecology  i n areas of m u l t i p l e resource  were k e p t o f t h e t y p e s o f human the  observed  the a c t i v i t y  response  use.  vehicular  activity, between  and e l k a t t h e time of e l k response.  were e s t i m a t e d  established grids.  with other  surveys.  of  Records  of e l k , and the d i s t a n c e  were c o l l e c t e d c o n c u r r e n t l y distances  or  part  Data  Response  i n 100 m c l a s s e s f r o m U.T.M. a n d  30  3.8  ANALYSES  A n a l y s i s of d a t a u t i l i z e d University  of  British  computing f a c i l i t i e s  Columbia  I n t e r a c t i v e Data A n a l y s i s System Statistical  Research  Michigan.  Details  available  from  Fox  deemed s i g n i f i c a n t otherwise  and  of  the  of  analytical  and  Guire  (1976).  level  of  by  the  University  methodology  are  A l l tests  probability  of  were  unless  noted.  4.0  RESULTS  4.1  HABITAT TYPES  Five  habitat  types,  Old  Pine  Forest,  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 Forest,  the  Michigan  (MIDAS) w r i t t e n  Laboratory  a t 0.05  the  at  and  study a r e a .  Young  Pine  proportions  of  the  i n the study a r e a .  I lists  the  i n the  habitats.  F i g u r e s 7 and  of  types.  and  Table  of  representative plant species composition present  types  distribution  II  8  habitat  Conifer  Table  habitat  of  Mixed  F o r e s t , were d e s c r i b e d f o r t h e  F i g u r e 6 i s a map  these h a b i t a t types  Clearcut  illustrations  the  lists  various  31  Habitat types Old pine forest  •  Clearcut  S e l e c t i v e l y logged  Young pine forest  Mature mixed conifer forest  Figure 6.  D i s t r i b u t i o n 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%  4785 ha  69%  A l l Forested Habitats Combined  Table I I . Canopy coverage i n percent f o r r e p r e s e n t a t i v e vegetation samples o f h a b i t a t types. -p  w  3o c_>  Species  I  3 u  u  o  o  1 8  c  TKKhS  Populus tremuloides X Populus balsamifera t r i c h o c a r p a Pseudotsuga m e n z i e s i i X Larix occidentalis Pinus contorta var. L a t i f o l i a P i c e a enqelmannii X SHRUBS Alnus incana t e n u i f o l i a B e t u l a p a p y r i f era Acer glabrum d o u g l a s i i Mahonia acfuifolium Rubus idaeus Rosa woodsii Amelanchier a l n i f o l i a Svmphoricarpos albus albus Shepherdia canadensis Spirea b e t u l i f o l i a lucida Linnaea b o r e a l i s  X X X X  FORBS Arnica c o r d i f o l i a Cornus canadensis Epilobium ancjustifolium Chimaphila umbellata A r a l i a nudicaulis Lathyrus cchroleucus GRASSES Calamacrrostis rubescens Oryzopsis a s p e r i f o l i a Elymus canadensis  20 20  C  X  X  C  18 X X X  X X X X X X X  12 X X  X X  15  X  10 X X X  X X  X  10  X X  15 35 10 40 X  10  15 25 X X X X  X X X X X X X  X X  10  10  X  35  15  17 15  78  35 25  X  25 10  10  50  X  X X  X  X  X X X  X X X  X X X X X X  10 10  X  30 20 10  60  X X  20  X  17  X X  X  X  25 X  15 15 30  25  X  X  17  10  10 10 25  60  65  20  60 10  70  10  35  20  30  X  MISCFJiTANEOUS  Mineral s o i l Mosses (unspecified)  20  10  Only species w i t h canopy coverage greater than 5% by o c u l a r estimate, k  Several examples are given f o r these h a b i t a t types t o show v a r i a t i o n .  c  Shrub.  x  Canopy coverage i n percent,species >_ 5% <10% canopy coverage.  3 4  b) Figure 7.  Large opening of clearcut habitat  P i c t o r i a l views of selectively logged and clearcut habitats.  a)  b)  Figure 8.  Clearcut habitat - s t r i p of o l d pine forest  Mature mixed conifer forest - lower l e f t Clearcut habitat - centre Old pine forest - lower r i g h t Young pine forest i n background at higher elevations  P i c t o r i a l views of clearcut and forested habitats.  36  Old Pine  Forest  Old area. have  Pine  Forests covered  3425 ha  M o s t of t h e o l d p i n e s t a n d s been l o g g e d  type a t mid-  The  ( F i g u r e 6)  at  o r u p p e r - e l e v a t i o n s on  Old Pine Forest h a b i t a t i s  old.  The  of the  lower  elevations  steeper  slopes.  characterized  pine approximately  t r e e s are predominantly  t h e s t a n d was  within  55 m h a - . 2  90  to  120  c r e a t e d the  an open f o r e s t w i t h r e l a t i v e l y  The  shrub  s t r a t a had  dominated  by  occurred  Twinflower  (Linnaea  combined  with  mosses,  arnica  (Calamagrostis grass/forb  boreali s),  (Arnica rubescens)  layer.  a  low  was  cordi folia)  Pinegrass  form  a  markedly  canadensis). growing  (Chimaphila  to  shrub,  umbellata), and  pinegrass  moist,  i s very widespread  h a b i t a t , however, i t s growth form of w i d e l y spaced stalks resulted coverage.  in l i t t l e  of  long sight d i s t a n c e s .  (Shepherdia  Prince's-pine  lack  impression  seven s p e c i e s but  soopolallie  26  area  t h e canopy i n minor p r o p o r t i o n s , however, the  of a j u v e n i l e t r e e u n d e r s t o r y  canopy  an  Basal  Other t r e e s p e c i e s  1  by  b e t w e e n 20 and  cm D.B.H. w i t h a c a n o p y h e i g h t o f up t o 26 m. of  study  l e a v i n g most o f t h i s h a b i t a t  e v e n - a g e d s t a n d of l o d g e p o l e years  (49%)  spongy in this single  b i o m a s s f o r t h e l a r g e amount o f  37  S o o p o l a l l i e has forage its  species  for  utilization.  preferred elk  not  e l k and The  infested  of  Clearcut  infestation the  of  preferred observed  pinegrass  forage volumes of p i n e t r e e s  and  the  of  the  to  and for of  remove  importance  requirements  of  potential  Pine Forests  evaluation  clearcutting  Clearcutting  had  potentially  been  The  stands  result  being  was  patterns  objectives  of t h i s  nullified  of  critical.  this  lower  trees.  habitat  elevations.  of  dead  Consideration  led to small  of  inclusions  a v a r i e t y o f m i c r o - r e l i e f and  of  and  of  cut.  type.  elk  study the  Evaluation  indicated  high  relatively  that  m o b i l i t y of within  Common f a c t o r s o f u n l i m i t e d  a b u n d a n t f o r a g e and  of  almost e x c l u s i v e l y i n  s e l e c t i o n of m i c r o - h a b i t a t s  type.  ha  f o r . removal  water regimes i n t h i s h a b i t a t movement  at  practiced  wind s t a b i l i t y  species  1350  mostly  susceptible  e c o n o m i c s and tree  created  (19%),  infested pine  habitat  Old  type f o r e l k cover  study area  beetle  biomass  susceptibility  of  a  Habitat  Recent  other  most  t r e e s make t h e  this habitat  in the  The  as  e v i d e n c e was  i n d i c a t e d low  c l a s s to beetle  clearcutting  no  low  shrub species  in this habitat.  t h i s age  been i d e n t i f i e d  of  the  for  the  the the  l i n e of  u n i f o r m snowdepth  micro-  animals Clearcut sight, patterns  38  allowed type  c o n s i d e r a t i o n of c l e a r c u t s as  f o r the p u r p o s e s of the  Clearcut f a n s was  forage  v e g e t a t i o n on a l l l a n d f o r m s  grows  for elk.  in  dense  Forbs,  single  habitat  except  alluvial  study.  d o m i n a t e d by p i n e g r a s s .  pinegrass  a  In  tufts,  although  this  open  providing  represented  habitat the  by a  major  variety  o f s p e c i e s , were n o t a b u n d a n t d u r i n g t h e midsummer period  with  fireweed  only  sarsaparilla  (Aralia  ( E p i l o b i u m a n g u s t i f o l i u m ) and  ochroleucus)  having  nudicaulis),  peavine  canopy coverage g r e a t e r than  Shrubs, although  not  dominant  except  on  f a n s , were a b u n d a n t w i t h  10  habitats.  Rose  w o o d s i i ) , saskatoon  alnifolia),  and  raspberry  ungulates  for  forage,  (Cornus occurred  sericea),  the  5%.  alluvial  (Rubus were  idaeus),  abundant;  most  (Amelanchier  heavily  utilized  betulifolia  by  while  dogwood  utilized  shrub,  sites  (not  not p r e f e r r e d as e l k f o r a g e ,  [Spirea  (Lathyrus  s p e c i e s found i n the c l e a r c u t  s p o r a d i c a l l y on v e r y m o i s t  Other shrubs, spirea  (Rosa  survey  lucida]  sampled).  (soopolallie, and  snowberry  [ S y m p h o r i c a r p o s 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 and  aspen  species  (Populus and  enqelmannii)  were and  (Populus  tremuloides) utilized  lodgepole  as  pine  balsamifera were  the  forage.  trichocarpa)  dominant Spruce  r e g e n e r a t i o n was  tree" (Picea  evident  39  with  pine  commonly  abundant were  regenerating  browsed  stock  effectively  with  areas.  Pine  planted  and  cutting  in  the l a t e  a l l homogeneous  (Pseudotsuga m e n z i e s i i )  stands  consisted  o f open a r e a s w i t h  primarily  t r e e s and a d e v e l o p i n g  when  canopy of  assessed  regenerating larch  made up m o s t l y  conifers.  The  primarily  1975,  conifers.  v a r i a b l e (5-  of t h e secondary canopy of  few r e m a i n i n g  The  area.  in  regenerating  (Larix o c c i d e n t a l i s ) veterans  o l d a n d up t o 31 m t a l l .  mature  s c a t t e r e d mature  T o t a l c a n o p y c o v e r a g e o f t r e e s was e x t r e m e l y was  of  1960's  from the study  habitat,  and  naturally  1950's t o m i d  The S e l e c t i v e L o g g e d  30%)  seedlings  Habitat  removed  Douglas-fir  planted  showing n e e d l e and t i p r e m o v a l .  Selectively-logged  Selective  in  D o u g l a s - f i r and  were  140 t o 190  secondary canopy  of D o u g l a s - f i r w i t h l o d g e p o l e  pine,  years  consisted spruce,  and  larch.  Pinegrass  was  the  m a i n component  l a y e r , growing v i g o r o u s l y i n t u f t s The  shrub  community  species present. lesser  Saskatoon,  the  heterogeneous  open with  Rose was t h e most a b u n d a n t  amounts  snowberry.  was  in  of the g r a s s / f o r b  More willow,  of  birch  peferred and  (Betula forage  maple  (Acer  areas. up t o 10  shrub  papyrifera)  shrubs,  with and  including  glabrum d o u g l a s i i )  40  were p r e s e n t  The found this  i n smaller  vegetation to  be  study  habitat  of t h e S e l e c t i v e  heterogeneous  was  complexity  amounts.  of  has  to  the vegetative  address  sight  was  sampling of  properly  community.  short  m o d e r a t e l y abundant f o r a g e s .  habitat  and t h e l i m i t e d  insufficient  relatively  Logged  This  the  complex  distances  and  T h i s h a b i t a t a p p e a r e d t o be  t r e a t e d a s a homogeneous u n i t , by t h e h i g h l y m o b i l e e l k .  Mature Mixed C o n i f e r  Forests lodgepole area.  with  Forest  larch  and D o u g l a s - f i r codominant  p i n e were f o u n d on 695 ha ( 1 0 % )  Mature  mixed  stands  o l d , 26 t o 34 m i n h e i g h t  m  1  ha- .  Larch  the  and w i t h b a s a l area  were t h e l a r g e s t t r e e s i n t h e s e  50-60 cm D.B.H., w h i l e  study  were f o u n d t o be 100 t o 120  years 2  of  with  lodgepole  pine  o f 48 stands,  of a s i m i l a r  height  were 20-30 cm D.B.H.  Shrubs  i n this  h a b i t a t , were s p a r s e ,  s p e c i e s were p r e s e n t . spirea  were  greater  t h a n 10%.  The was  moist,  similar  the only  S o o p o l a l l i e and two  the  low  shrubs w i t h canopy  spongy g r a s s / f o r b l a y e r to  although  the grass/forb  layer  in this  seven  growing coverage  habitat  of t h e O l d Pine  41  Forest habitat.  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 single stalk asperifolia)  growth form, was  although present heavily  present  in  ricegrass  small  (Oryzopsi s  tufts.  Ricegrass,  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  utilized  by  (Cornus canadensis) coverage  while  greater  elk  in  this habitat.  was  the  only  than  10%  in  forb the  to  be  Bunchberry  with  a  canopy  midsummer  sampling  period.  The r o l e o f t h i s h a b i t a t a s c o v e r evaluated  considering  that  for  elk  must  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 t h e of  l a r c h as cover  in the winter. were s i m i l a r  i s m o d i f i e d by t h e s h e d d i n g  Sight  be  distances  to Old Pine Forest  and  forage  of  value needles  quantities  habitats.  Young P i n e F o r e s t  Young  Pine  F o r e s t was f o u n d  i n small patches  a t low  e l e v a t i o n s a n d 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 the  northeast  portion  of  the  study area.  The 665 ha  ( 1 0 % ) o f t h e s t u d y a r e a o f Young P i n e F o r e s t inaccessible adjacent  for  intensive  t o the c l e a r c u t  study.  type  was  was 15  ha  mainly block  s o u t h o f J a c k C r e e k was t h e 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 habitat  The  in  the  characterized  study  using  area.  the  r e l e v e o f t h e ELUCS f r o m a s t a n d a p p r o x i m a t e l y  This  vegetation 5  km  to  42  the n o r t h of the study  Young  Pine  area.  Forest  young l o d g e p o l e p i n e . approximately  60  s t a n d s w e r e t o t a l l y d o m i n a t e d by Trees  years  major  Moss  1  components  of  sampled  o l d , 20  b a s a l a r e a o f 32 m h a - . 2  i n the  the  stand  were  m i n h e i g h t and had a  and  pinegrass  understory,  are  although  the seven  s p e c i e s of shrubs had canopy coverage  i n the  class.  had v e r y l o w f o r a g e  Young  Pine  Forest  stands  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 . t h i s h a b i t a t was o b s e r v e d , study  5%  to  No u s e by  10%  elk  in  b o t h w i t h i n and o u t s i d e o f t h e  area.  4.2 ELK A C T I V I T Y  Few  elk  were  summer m o n t h s .  observed  S u b s t a n t i a l numbers  observed  in  period.  Substantial  throughout  using the study area  the  the  study area  two  elk  were  first  i n t h e mid- t o l a t e - O c t o b e r  numbers winter  of  i n the  of  elk  were  observed  p e r i o d s of t h e s t u d y  (Table  III).  Proportionately midday  fewer  e l k were  p e r i o d s than d u r i n g surveys  l a t e evenings significant  (Table  IV).  differences  in  observed  the  i n e a r l y m o r n i n g s and  Analyses the  during  of  variance  show  number o f e l k s e e n p e r  43  Table I I I . Summary of numbers and c l a s s i f i c a t i o n of elk observed during the two winter study periods.  December 1975 - A p r i l 1976  December 1976 - A p r i l 1977  Total  68  91  159  263  300  563  Cow e l k  635  796  1431  Calf e l k  388  359  747  Spike b u l l elk  26  100  126  B u l l elk (exclusive of spikes)  31  25  56  530  1745  2275  1611  3026  4637  Number of surveys Number of elk groups observed Classification:  Unclassified elk Total number of elk observed  44  Table IV. E l k observed during surveys a t d i f f e r e n t periods throughout the day w i t h s t a t i s t i c a l treatment.  _  o  &i co  co  O  co O-o  o  « o  e l k per _ survey x S.D.  No. o f e l k per _ group x S.D.  §  §  §  E a r l y inorning (before 9:00 am)  79  397  3223  41  26.4  8.1  7.9  Late morning (9:00 am t o noon)  42  71  630  15  19.6  8.9  9.2  E a r l y afternoon (noon t o 4:00 pm)  17  35  303  18  17.2  8.7  9.3  Evening. ( a f t e r 4:00 pm)  21  60  481  23  19.6  8.0  7.4  159  563  4637  m  o  a)  A n a l y s i s o f variance (F = 6.5771 DF = 3) 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 i n numbers o f e l k during d i f f e r e n t periods o f the day.  b)  A n a l y s i s o f variance (F = 0.21711 DF = 3) i n d i c a t e s no d i f f e r e n c e i n s i z e o f e l k groups during d i f f e r e n t periods o f the day.  45  survey during analyses  different  periods  of  the  day.  Similar  o f t h e numbers o f e l k w i t h i n g r o u p s 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 .  Examination of the a c t i v i t y shows  proportionately  more  morning and e v e n i n g s u r v e y s Conversely,  larger  resting during the  day  of  observed  elk  groups  clearcut  were  in  habitats of  may  of  habitat  activities  elk  in  the  midday. observed  During a l l periods  As  most  of  a primary elk  were  d i r e c t i o n a l movement h a s  activities  habitat.  Elk  in in  wary t o p r e c l u d e  in this habitat.  related to a c t i v i t i e s  not r e f l e c t  were  of  i n T a b l e V.  of e l k  clearcut  feeding  elk  movement.  were s u f f i c i e n t l y  their  strongly  the  were  groups  were o b s e r v e d w i t h  been r e f e r r e d t o a s c r o s s i n g  Most o b s e r v a t i o n s  the  ( T a b l e V) t h a n d u r i n g  proportions  directional  in  elk  t h e midday p e r i o d s .  some  activity  of  of e l k  study  the forested observations  Observations are in  the o v e r a l l proportions  this  clearcuts  and  of a c t i v i t i e s of  animals i n a l l habitats.  In g e n e r a l clearcut  most e l k  habitat  were  activity  period  more  feeding  in  the  i n t h e e a r l y m o r n i n g s . ' Many e l k w o u l d  move i n t o t h e f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t feeding  observed  by m i d d a y a s p a r t . o f  o r when d i s t u r b e d .  During  the  their midday  o f t h e g r o u p s o b s e r v e d were r e s t i n g t h a n i n  46  Table V. Elk a c t i v i t y during surveys a t different periods throughout the day.  Feeding ^ 3  "8* 6  «H  z o  Early norning (before 9:00 am)  Resting "^ 1  No. of % i n No. of % i n groups period groups period  Crossingc) No. of % i n groups period  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  Evening (after 4:00 pm)  60  50  83  4  7  6  10  Total a c t i v i t y  563  396  71  70  12  96  17  11.4  Feeding - a c t i v i t y assessed as feeding when more than 50% of individuals feeding Resting - a c t i v i t y assessed as resting when more than 50% of individuals resting Crossing - a c t i v i t y assessed as crossing when group showed directional movement without feeding a c t i v i t y  47  the morning or evening  periods.  c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t i n the evening and  unrecorded  darkness about,  were f e e d i n g .  o b s e r v a t i o n s of e l k d u r i n g  indicated  and  Most e l k o b s e r v e d  resting  that  some  i n the  Infrequent  the  hours  of  e l k were f e e d i n g , m o v i n g  i n the c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t at n i g h t .  4.3"ELK DIETS  S a m p l e s were t a k e n killed  in  or  from  adjacent  diets  from  high v a r i a b i l i t y  Grasses 3 2 ) , but =31).  these  s a m p l e s was  n o t much g r e a t e r t h a n SD  6) were m i n o r p r o p o r t i o n s by  Meeting  mild  the  a v a i l a b l e , and unreported  = 6) and  show  prohibited  to  the  rumens ( T a b l e V I ) .  (X  =  52%;  shrubs  SD  =  (X = 39%;  SD  f o r b s (X = 3%;  by  the  SD  =  abnormally  of t h e s t u d y , t h e l i m i t e d number of the h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y  rumen s a m p l e s c o l l e c t e d  a  'typical'  volume.  of the from  o v e r a p e r i o d o f y e a r s were a v a i l a b l e . VI)  two  o b j e c t i v e of d e s c r i b i n g e l k f o o d h a b i t s  t o s n o w d e p t h was  winters  of  i m p o s s i b l e due  between the d i f f e r e n t  C o n i f e r s (X = 6%;  relative  Determination  were t h e m a j o r d i e t v o l u m e  ranked  animals  t o the study area d u r i n g the  w i n t e r p e r i o d s of t h e s t u d y . elk  n i n e e l k rumens f r o m  similar,  data.  the East  Other Kootenay  These d a t a  high v a r i a b i l i t y .  A very  rumens  (Table general  Table V I .  Percent volumes of w i n t e r food types i n rumen samples from the study area and other East Kootenay l o c a t i o n s . a) Food types  B i o g e o c l i m a t i c Zone and L o c a l i t y  Sample size  Grasses x~ SD  - % i d e n t i f i a b l e rumen content x  Shrubs SD  Conifers x SD  x  Forbs  SD  c)  East Kootenay samples from Engelmann ' spruce and Subalpine f i r zone outside o f study area 7  49.7  39.8  20.4  34.6  12.6  11.6  17.4  37.3  12  67.0  38.2  22.6  31.9  1.8  3.7  8.6  24.6  conditions  9  52.4  31.7  39.0  30.5  5.5  6.3  3.4  5.8  White R i v e r study area - severe snow c o n d i t i o n s (McLellan, 1978)  2  0.0  0.0  97.0  4.2  3.0  4.2  0.0  0.0  c)  East Kootenay samples from I n t e r i o r Douglas f i r o r Ponderosa pine Bunchgrass zones outside o f study area  '  White R i v e r study area - low snow  Food volumes by species lumped i n t o types f o r a n a l y s i s A l l samples i n c l u d e d were c o l 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 being a major d i e t both  i n the data presented  samples  was  consistent  and i n t h e 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 ( 1 9 7 6 ) a n d Capp  Two  item  collected  (1968).  by  McLellan  (1978) from t h e  study area during the severe winter p e r i o d f o l l o w i n g two  mild  winters  of. t h i s  However, i n t e r p r e t a t i o n where a l m o s t =  97%),  study  the h i g h v a r i a t i o n  major s h i f t s  high v a r i a b i l i t y small  sample  analysis, Singleton  variation  counts  test  r e m a i n s t o be d e t e r m i n e d .  The  inadequacies  and but  (X  to  Capp  technique  no  from  the technique of  in diets.  indication a  could result  in  (1968)  between samples w i t h i n  4.4 ELK USE OF  Direct  in diet  a  or from h i g h v a r i a b i l i t y  between s t u d i e s ,  samples  data.  i n the data c o l l e c t e d  (1976)  two  by b o t h t h e s m a l l s a m p l e s i z e a n d  i n other  sizes,  variation.  i d e n t i f i e d were s h r u b s  The v a l u e o f rumen s a m p l e s a s even  less  of t r e n d s from t h e s e  a l l rumen c o n t e n t s  i s prohibited  show  the  Reviews  indicate is  given  by  variation of  the  study.  HABITATS  observations  of  elk  ( T a b l e V I I I ) were u t i l i z e d  (Table to  V I I ) and  identify  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 .  track  relative  In both cases  a  50  Table V I I . Numbers of e l k and numbers of e l k groups observed by h a b i t a t type during both winters.  Habitat type Clearcut  Number o f elk n = 4637 4222  Habitat Proportion type as Proportion Number o f of elk proportion of elk e l k groups groups o f study observed observed observed area 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 w i t h i n h a b i t a t s during shallow (<45cm) snow conditions.  Habitat  Clearcut Logged H a b i t a t  S e l e c t i v e Logged Habitat  = 0.27  = 0.43  Proportion o f t o t a l survey distance  A l l Forested Habitats = 0.30  rrj • i  B  B in cq  8  i 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) b)  3  O •  •H  I (TJ  iJ  1  O  o  & Id  *3 5  s  u-(  U  CO  o  •  . 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  0.262  +0.027 -  12 271 69 42 54 190 107 115 96 136 99 111 142 22  2 217 45 23 15 151 86 53 69 60 45 77 71 22  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  +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  0 + + + 0 + + + + + + + + +  4 44 24 18 28 39 21 3 27 76 54 34 13 0  1468  936  0.638  +0.030 +  385  cn rH  o o 0  + +  6 10 0 1 11 0 0 59 0 0 0 0 60 0 147  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  0.104  +0.019 -  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 . S e l e c t i o n i s i n d i c a t e d by one o f 0, + o r - when confidence i n t e r v a l o f observation overlaps (0) , o r i s greater than (+) , o r i s l e s s than (-) the proportion o f the h a b i t a t i n t h a t category.  +  52  paucity  of  data  for  some f o r e s t e d  habitats  encouraged  g r o u p i n g of data from o l d p i n e f o r e s t , young p i n e and  mature mixed c o n i f e r  forested  surveys,  of  showed  4639  most  which comprised only  more  a  strong easily  distances  habitats. surveyed  up  in  to  only  a  (92.5%) i n c l e a r c u t  habitat, indicative  this  open  E l k were  habitat.  Sight  3 km i n c l e a r c u t a r e a s , 200 m i n and  100  relatively  and  m  in  climatic  small  forested  portion  f o r e s t e d h a b i t a t s were  of e l k observed observation  surveys  observation  for clearcut habitat.  habitat  selectively-logged  initial  159  Consequently, almost a l l c l e a r c u t h a b i t a t and  Locations  during  19.3% o f t h e s t u d y a r e a ,  observed  were  elk  elk  preference  selectively-logged  Varying  category,  habitat.  Observations  of  f o r e s t under a s i n g l e  forest  of  were the  conditions  recorded elk  during  precluded quantifying  to the  was of  surveyed.  only  for  reduce t h i s  the  bias.  159  observation  the proportion  of h a b i t a t s  visible.  Analysis  of t r a c k  densities also  preference for clearcut habitat of  f i t (chi-squared) test  0.01) d i f f e r e n c e s all  track  counts.  from a  indicates  (Table V I I I ) .  showed h i g h l y proportional  a  strong  A goodness  significant  (P <  distribution  for  53  Evaluation provided  of preference  through  use  o u t l i n e d by Neu e t found  in  or avoidance of a h a b i t a t i s  of  a  a l . (1974).  o b s e r v e d were s i m i l a r  counts  in  the  for  Z statistic  Proportions  the clearcut habitat  h a b i t a t on 12 o f 14 s u r v e y s .  surveyed  Bonferroni  tracks  showed e l k p r e f e r r e d  Proportions  of  t o the proportions  other  of  two c a s e s .  selectively-logged  as  elk  this  tracks  of t h e c l e a r c u t s  Evaluation  habitat  of track  utilizing  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 o f t h e 14  this  surveys,  p r o p o r t i o n a l u s e f o r 4 o f t h e 14 s u r v e y s a n d s e l e c t i o n o f selectively-logged  habitat  occasions.  Forested  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  occasions,  proportion  utilized  by  elk  of of  proportion  of  avoidance  of  proportion  of  of a l l t r a c k clearcut tracks the  on  habitats,  0.638 total  ±  survey  the  compared  (0.27). habitat  Similarly,  forested  were a v o i d e d by e l k , ( o b s e r v e d p r o p o r t i o n of t o t a l  survey  0.30).  strong  observed to  the  A concurrent  t r a c k s 0.262 ± 0.027; p r o p o r t i o n  s u r v e y 0.43) i s a l s o shown.  2  surveys.  with  0.030  2  on  s u r v e y s c o m b i n e d shows  selectively-logged  ± 0.019; p r o p o r t i o n  only  proportionately  a n d a v o i d e d by e l k i n 10 o f 14  Evaluation selection  surveys,  type  (observed of t o t a l habitats  of t r a c k s  0.100  54  4.5.  ELK USE OF CLEARCUTS  4.5.1  DESCRIPTION  OF CLEARCUT STUDY S I T E S  A generalized description given  in  study  section  4.1.  of  The a r e a s  were l a b e l l e d E l k C r e e k  North  (JCN)  and Jack  clearcut  (ECN),  11,  12  represent study  illustrate  them.  Jack  Creek  (JCS) f o r convenience.  F i g u r e 9 shows t h e l o c a t i o n o f t h e s e 10,  was  chosen f o r i n t e n s i v e  North  Creek South  habitat  sites  and  Figures  The s i t e s were c h o s e n t o  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 t h e  area while considering the l o g i s t i c s of being  to observe  a l l elk within  the  site  during  able  surveys.  C o n s e q u e n t l y two o f t h e s i t e s a r e o n l y p o r t i o n s o f l a r g e r logged  blocks.  sites  and p r e s e n t s  study  area.  aspect, and  Table  areas  of a l l t h e logged  Descriptions  microrelief,  s l a s h accumulation  Table  IX summarizes the s i z e of the study  of  the  slope,  vegetation subtypes, are l i s t e d  blocks  i n the  elevation, burned  areas,  f o r the three s i t e s  in  X.  Elk  Creek  North  at  130  ha was t h e l a r g e s t o f t h e  three  s i t e s s e l e c t e d a n d i t was p a r t o f a  just  north  of  E l k Creek.  This s i t e  f e a t u r e s a n d p o r t i o n s o f two a l l u v i a l  301  (35%) and  the  presence  block  i n c l u d e d two r i d g e fans which r e s u l t e d  in higher p r o p o r t i o n s of the mesic g r a s s / f o r b subtype  ha  of  shrub  vegetation dominated  55  Figure 9.  Location of intensive study sites i n clearcut habitat.  56  b)  Detail  Figure 10. P i c t o r i a l views of intensive study s i t e - E l k Creek North.  57  a)  Overview  Figure 11. P i c t o r i a l views of intensive study s i t e - Jack Creek  58  Figure 1 2 .  P i c t o r i a l views o f intensive study s i t e - 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) Jack Creek North (JCN) Jack Creek South (JCS)  Size of Clearcut blocks  Size of Selectively Loaged blocks  130 ha 40 ha 43 ha  749 301 143 40 67  . ha ha (includes ECN) ha (includes JCS) ha ha  102 113 47 593  ha ha ha ha  a;  Includes a l l continuous clearcut area surrounding isolated 102 ha block of recent selective logging.  60  Table X.  Proportions o f s t r a t a o f slope, e l e v a t i o n , aspect, vegetation subtypes, micro r e l i e f , burning h i s t o r y and s l a s h accumulation i n c l e a r c u t study s i t e s . ECN (n = 229)  JCS (n = 142)  JCN (n = 139)  <10 11-20 21-30 31-40 >41  0.33 0.26 0.18 0.14 0.09  0.38 0.43 0.15 0.04  0.10 0.25 0.46 0.17  0.28 0.30 0.25 0.12 0.05  E l e v a t i o n 3700-3800 ( i n feet) 3801-3900 3901-4000 4001-4100 4101-4200 4201-4300 4301-4400  0.21 0.36 0.18 0.13 0.08 0.04  0.26 0.54 0.20  — — —  0.17 0.31 0.14 0.10 0.13 0.11 0.04  Aspect  0.02 0.04 0.36 0.41 0.11 0.01 0.04  Slope ( i n percent)  —  E SE S  sw w  NW N  •  —  —  — — — —  0.17 0.33 0.34 0.16  —  0.22 0.35 0.27 0.15  0.06 0.28 0.37 0.25 0.03 0.01  0.01  0.05  0.15  0.74 0.22  0.61 0.24  — —  X (n = 51(  0.08 0.15 0.31 0.31 0.12 0.01 0.02  Vegetation Subtypes Mesic grass/forb Shrub dominated X e r i c grass/forb Disturbed  0.35 0.11 0.34 0.20  Micro-relief Ridge Gully A l l u v i a l fan Logging l a n d i n g  0.61 0.09 0.26 0.04  0.88 0.13  0.66 0.34  — —  0.69 0.17 0.12 0.02  Burning h i s t o r y Burned Unbumed  0.43 0.57  0.03 0.97  0.03 0.97  0.21 0.79  Slash Accumulation Nil Light Moderate  0.57 0.31 0.12  0.07 0.35 0.58  0.10 0.68 0.22  0.30 0.42 0.28  —  — —  —  0.21 0.05 0.53 0.22  61  vegetation ECN  (11%).  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  ( 4 3 % b u r n e d ) a c o n t r a s t t o J C S and  where o n l y l a n d i n g s had been b u r n e d . were  consequently  generally  less  south t o southwest  in  these  and  Jack Creek South  and  43 h a ) .  slope)  and  E  in  w i t h 77% o f t h e  ECN  was  grid  cells  Jack Creek N o r t h  ( J C S ) s i t e s were s i m i l a r  J C S was s l i g h t l y  burned)  accumulations  Aspect  flatter  a n d more w e s t e r l y i n a s p e c t  SE  (3%  Slash  ECN.  two a s p e c t c a t e g o r i e s .  W a s p e c t ) t h a n JCN S,  in  JCN  (JCN)  in size  (81% of area <  21%  ( 9 0 % o f a r e a S, SW o r  ( 6 3 % o f a r e a > 20% s l o p e , 84% o f  aspect).  (40  Elevation  area  o f JCN c l e a r c u t  was  entirely  b e t w e e n 4001 a n d 4400 f t w h i l e JCS was  entirely  between  3700 a n d 4000 f t . ECN was b e t w e e n 3700 and 4000  f t w i t h 7 5 % o f t h e s i t e b e l o w 4000 f t .  D i s t u r b e d v e g e t a t i o n a n d g r i d s were than 24%, from of  20%  of  a l l grid cells  JCS 2 2 % ) , w i t h most skid t r a i l s . grass  difference  and  of  noted  for a l l sites the  (ECN 2 0 % , JCN  disturbance  between  clipped  in  vegetation  October  resulting  o r no v e g e t a t i o n grew  Variation  a l l subtypes  mean v a l u e o f 68 g m-  2  revealed  were  excluded.  was h i g h ( T a b l e X I ) .  (SD = 36.1) o f  standing  crop  g r a s s and f o r b s f o r a l l s a m p l e s from t h e c l e a r c u t observed.  s t a n d i n g c r o p from  In  comparison,  no  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  was  more  A n a l y s i s of measures of s t a n d i n g c r o p  forbs  wi-thin  for  mean  f o r e s t h a b i t a t was  grass 24  g  2  of  habitat  and m-  A  forb (SD  =  62  Table XI. Analysis of standing crop estimates of grass and forbs within vegetation subtypes of clearcut habitat.  Analysis of variance table DF  Sum of sqrs  Mean sqrs  Fs t a t i s t i c Signif  2  8112.6  4056.3  3.4393  Within  45  53073  1179.4  Total  47  61185  (random effects s t a t i s t i c s )  vegetation subtype  N  Mean  Mesic grass/forb  16  80.862  Shrub dominated  10  44.860  Xeric grass/forb  22  70.395  1272.6  35.674  Grand  48  68.565  1301.8  36.081  Source Between  a)  Variance 1429.2  .0407  Std Dev 37.805  545.42 23.354  weight of standing crop of grass and forbs i n October i n ( g m  ).  63  18.0).  Clearcut included  a  vegetation  study  sites  complex  indicated  of  subtypes  that clearcut habitat  microrelief  and  features,  history  of  slopes,  burning.  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 t h e s i t e s .  4.5.2.  OBSERVATIONS OF ELK WITHIN CLEARCUT STUDY S I T E S  During  t h e two w i n t e r s o f t h i s  observed  in  the  three  P r o p o r t i o n a t e l y more e l k study  site  (ECN),  observed  in  al.  the  Bonferroni  Z statistic  indicated  differences  for  the  three  the  three  features  study are  sites  presented  and  Selection c r i t e r i a all  three  sites  and  larger  of  this  data  relief  and b u r n i n g  history  Observations stratified  of e l k w i t h i n within  these  Goodness of f i t  f o r a l l cases.  show a p r e f e r e n c e less  the  between  i n Table X I I I .  c o m p a r i s o n s were s i g n i f i c a n t  sites.  f o r ECN.  slopes, v e g e t a t i o n subtypes sites.  in  were  a s o u t l i n e d by Neu e t  features,  study  study  analysis  (1974) i n d i c a t e s a s e l e c t i o n  S e c t i o n 4.5.1  elk  t h e o t h e r two ( T a b l e X I I ) .  G o o d n e s s o f f i t c o m p a r i s o n s and using  2287  clearcut  were  than  study  than  for  ridges  proportional  use  in of  64  Table XII.  Study site  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 s t u d y 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 3 study of elk sites observed (213 ha) (n=2287)  Expected number Proportion of elk * of elk Confidence observed observed interval a  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  a)  b)  2  Selection  +  = 226.2 d f = 2  E x p e c t e d number o f e l k i s p r o p o r t i o n o f t o t a l c l e a r c u t s t u d y s i t e a r e a times t h e t o t a l number o f e l k o b s e r v e d . S e l e c t i o n i s i n d i c a t e d by one o f 0, + o r - when c o n f i d e n c e i n t e r v a l o f observation o v e r l a p s , o r i s g r e a t e r than, o r i s l e s s than the proportion o f the h a b i t a t i n that category.  65  Table X I I I .  Observations of e l k w i t h i n 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 h i s t o r y .  ECN  B  B  •H CO  f0  in o  CN CN  CM  R e l i e f features  3  •H CO  CD  m o c 0  JCS  JCN  m o  c s Q cn  CD  i-i  CD in O "O  O  rd  6  -  a, CD a) P.rH am H S & CD Cn ft o w  P3 O  Cn O  CD  CM —  2 O  CM O  Ridge  .61  1205  .73  .66  362  .89  +  .87  170  .98  +  Gully  .09  121  .07  .47  .45  .11  -  .13  4  .02  -  /Alluvial fan  .26  324  .20  Logging landing  .04  8  <1  1658 Slope  407  174  (%)  <10  .33  366  .22  .10  1  <.01  .38  25  .15  -  11-20  .26'  355  .21  .25  43  .11  .43  126  .72  +  21-30  .18  496  .30  +  .46  254  62  +  .15  23  .13  -  31-40  .14  345  .21  +  .17  91  .22  +  .04  0  .00  -  >41  .09  96  .06  .02  18  .04  +  1658  407  174  Vegetation .> sub-type Mesic grass f o r b  .35  449  .27  Shrub dominated  .11  149  .09  X e r i c grass f o r b  .34  738  .85  .61  Disturbed  .20  322  .14  .24  .15  1658  .01  -  .04  0  .00  -  347  .85  +  .74  125  .72  -  _55  .14  .22  _49  .28  +  407  174  Burning h i s t o r y Burned  .43  1016  .61  .03  407  1.0  .03  174  Unburned  .57  642  .39  .97  _0_  .0  .97  0  1658 a)  407  1.0  +  .0  -  174  S e l e c t i o n i s i n d i c a t e d by one of 0, + o r - when confidence i n t e r v a l of observation o v e r l a p s , o r 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 t h a t category.  66  gullies, alluvial moderate but  fans,  slopes  slightly  clearcut  flatter  xeric grass  forb  features  slopes  selection  for this  also  slightly  subtypes,  primarily  occurs  third  41% s l o p e s  on  ridges  l e s s than  so  related.  on  The  on  well  ridges,  f e a t u r e i n two o f t h e s i t e s a n d  so  heavy  p r o p o r t i o n a l use i n t h e t h i r d  burning  had  occurred  however, o b s e r v a t i o n s  habitat  for  for ridges  and  slopes.  More sites,  the  found  ( 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  moderate  in  i s probably  vegetation  sites  site  (11-20%)  Moderate slopes occur  these  drained  though  Selection  and s e l e c t i o n of g r e a t e r than  i n JCN i s e v i d e n t . to  landings.  ( 2 1 % t o 40%) i n two c l e a r c u t s , m o d e r a t e  (JCS)  selection  and  in  a l l sites.  unburned s i t e s  i n ECN t h a n  show  Elk  i n e i t h e r JCN  selection  were  or  JCS  not  i n the other for  observed  although  burned using  unburned  s i t e s c o m p r i s e d 97% of t h e a v a i l a b l e h a b i t a t .  Table the  XIV presents  study  sites  distance  from  features  of  and  clearcut  a f f e c t e l k patterns of use. show cases.  differences  on o b s e r v a t i o n s o f e l k u s e o f  stratified  road, the  data  by  slash  distance  from  accumulation.  cover, These  h a b i t a t were h y p o t h e s i z e d Goodness of f i t  to  comparisons  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  in a l l  Table XTV. Observations of elk within clearcut study sites stratified by distance from cover, distance from road and slash acxamulation. ECN  i  rrj  6  Distance from edge (m) <100 101-200 201-300 301-40O  401-500 501-600 >600 Distance from road (m) <100 101-200 201-300 301-400 401-500 501-600 >600 Slash Nil Light Moderate  &  CO  &  " Q  a,  . . PJ  CO  OJ  .22 .20 .23 .17 .11 .07 .01  429 .26 + 348 .21 0 394 .24 0 336 .20 + 66 .04 67 .04 18 .01 0 1658  .32 .15 .14 .15 .13 .09 .02  329 80 398 381 224 196 50 1658  . OJ  OJ CO  .65 207 .51 .35 200 .49 +  2 "8 & 0J  CO  .44 .38 .18  79 78 17  .45 0 .45 + .10  .40 715 .29 626 .15 411 .08 336 .05 66 .03 67 .01 18 2239  .32 .28 .15 .15 .03 .03 0 .01 0  -  .26 .20 .18 .16 .09 .07 .04  .17 .07 .23 .23 + .14 + .13 + .03  -  .57 1171 .31 747 .13 321 2239  -  -  .57 1150 .30 309 .13 199 1658  .20 .05 .24 .23 .13 .12 .03  +  + 0 + 0  .69 + .19 .12 0  407 .14 .16 .21 .17 .12 .10 .10  11 13 83 88 77 91 26 407  .10 14 .68 341 .22 52 407  174 .03 .03 .21 .23 .20 .23 .07  -  -0  + + +  .28 .30 .25 .16 .01  31 64 35 44 0  .18 .37 + .20 .25 + .00  —  174  -  .03 .84 + .13 —  .07 .35 .58  7 97 70 174  $  .04 .56 + .40  371 157 516 513 301 387 76 2239  .52 .33 .14  Selection i s indicated by one of 0, + or - when confidence interval of observation overlaps, or i s greater than or i s less than the proportion of the habitat i n that category.  68  S e l e c t i o n of a r e a s w i t h i n different  for  evaluation  shows  proportional  each  of  100  the  slight  m  from  clearcuts  avoidance.  the and  proportional  use  or  o f t h e 400  avoidance  is  in overall  Observations  use o r s e l e c t i o n o f a r e a s f r o m  m from t h e edge, a v o i d a n c e  edge  show  100 m t o  400  t o 500 m a r e a ,  and  o f a r e a s more t h a n 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 100  m  of  road  a r e a s b e t w e e n 101 three  sites  proportional m from the  of t h e a r e a  for a l l sites.  E l k showed a v o i d a n c e  and  200 m f r o m  roads  overall.  Overall,  and use was  observed  in  two  i n ECN  i s not c l e a r .  or  f o r a l l a r e a s more t h a n  200  for  in  a r e a s were used  A  Light  the  elk  other  two  to  slash  f o r areas without  avoidance  s l a s h was  of  such  a v o i d e d i n ECN  sites.  i n p r o p o r t i o n i n ECN  Moderate  and a v o i d e d  but slash  in  the  sites.  large  p r o p o r t i o n o f ECN  and c o n s e q u e n t l y had well  Selection  i s contrasted with  a r e a s i n JCN and J C S .  o t h e r two  the  road.  accumulations  selected  of  of  selection  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  slash  within  vegetated.  been u n b u r n e d .  no s l a s h .  Light  h a d been b r o a d c a s t These burned  burned  areas  were  slash occurred i n areas that  M o d e r a t e s l a s h was  seen e i t h e r  in  had  areas  69  that  had  not  considerable in  a  been  burned,  or  slash buildup before partially  burning  that  that  resulted  c o n t r a s t t h e a r e a s w i t h no s l a s h i n JCN a n d J C S were  the  disturbance  o r non e x i s t e n t .  where v e g e t a t i o n  sparse  accumulations  sites.  PELLET GROUP SURVEYS WITHIN CLEARCUT STUDY S I T E S .  Evaluation  of  m e a s u r e d by p e l l e t differences T a b l e XV. 1976  g r o w t h was  L i g h t and moderate s l a s h  were u s u a l l y v e g e t a t e d  4.5.3.  burned trunks  had  In  of  of  areas  remaining.  areas  tangle  in  group  between  was  1974-75 w i n t e r  the  considerable  the  1975 1976-77  comparable as the survey  use of t h e a r e a  counts  appreciably  (October  for  of  surveys  E l k use d u r i n g  survey)  recorded  levels  indicates  by e l k a s significant  ( p a i r e d t - t e s t s by p l o t s ) ; 1975-76 lower  winter  (October  than use d u r i n g t h e  survey). winter  Use are  was c o n d u c t e d  levels  not  as  directly  i n the spring  and  l o s s o f 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 t h e  summer.  Comparison and  of  old pellet  o l d p e l l e t groups i n  significant  the  g r o u p s i n t h e 1977 1976  survey  l o s s of p e l l e t groups d u r i n g  winter period s i g = 0.1828).  ( p a i r t - t e s t by p l o t ,  survey  indicate  no  t h e s e v e n month  t = 1.3362, d f = 2 2 7 ,  D i f f e r e n t l e v e l s of e l k use of t h e  three  70  Table XV. Mean and 95% confidence intervals of p e l l e t 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,  October 1976 May 1977 ( a l l groups)  .064637 .26287  .10979 .21245  (0.055076, 0.074197) (0.24437, 0.28131)  0.12002)  71  different  study  sites  survey  i s presented  XVI).  Orthoganol  were  m e a s u r e d , t h e O c t o b e r 1976  to illustrate  the d i f f e r e n c e s  comparison of the three  t h a t e l k use l e v e l s  the  evaluated  seven  only  density. with  of  utilizing  use  observed the  were  significantly  the of  in  strata  categories  Bonferroni  of  the study  t h e outcome f o r t h e O c t o b e r  site.  1976  correlated  was  in  or  evaluated  intervals for comparison  Table  survey  pellet  Selection  Z confidence groups  to  were  a l l surveys.  p r o p o r t i o n s of p e l l e t  proportion  road  sites  correlated  coefficient)  and d i s t a n c e from density  avoidance  higher.  of the c l e a r c u t study  correlation  Slope  pellet  features two  (product-moment  sites indicates  i n JCN a n d J C S were n o t d i f f e r e n t b u t  t h a t u s e i n ECN was s i g n i f i c a n t l y  Of  (Table  XVII  in  ECN  to  g i v e s of as  an  example.  4.6.  ELK RESPONSE TO HUMAN A C T I V I T Y  Data  were  gathered  on  during  t h e two s e a s o n s o f t h i s  react  only  various  visible  intensities  throughout noise  to  in  the any  was  study, fashion  e l k reaction to disturbance study.  Elk  disturbance. noted  appeared  Although  at  different  to  noise of times  no e l k were o b s e r v e d  to react to  other  moments  than  a  few  of  Table XVT. Mean density of p e l l e t groups from the October 1976 survey for the three study s i t e s .  Study s i t e  Confidence interval (95%)  X  SD  ECN  .094737  .13689  (.076873,  .11260)  JCN  .048921  .081975  (.035173,  .062669)  JCS  .031690  .062308  (.021353,  .042027)  (JCN + JCS)  .040214  .073085  (.031631,  .048796)  73  Table XVII. Comparison of x p e l l e t densities between strata of slope and distance from road, October 1976 survey i n ECN study s i t e .  Proportion Slope category (%) of ECN < lul l - 20 21 - 30 31 - 40 >41  Pellet Proportion groups of p e l l e t Confidence content groups interval  .33 .26 .18 .14 .09 X  2  36 46 42 70 22 = 72.83  Selection  .17 .21 .19 .32 .10  .002 .003 .003 .004 .002  + + +  .17 .07 .13 .22 .24 .14 .02  .002 .001 .002 .002 .002 .002 .001  + + + 0  df = 4  Distance from road (m) < 100 101 201 301 401 501 > 600  200 300 400 500 600  .32 .15 .14 .15 .13 .09 .02 X  37 15 29 48 51 31 5 = 51.62  df = 6  ,  3  74  alertness,  usually  in  extreme.illustration  response  of  and  active  logging  falling  trees  opportunity  was  sharp  of l a c k of r e a c t i o n  group of e l k observed f e e d i n g m  to  with  sounds..  t o noise  An  was  out of s i g h t but w i t h i n  loggers,  creating  available  skidders,  considerable to  record  200  chainsaws,  noise.  elk  a  No  reaction to  smells.  D u r i n g t h e s t u d y 79% o f a l l e l k groups o b s e r v e d within a line  o f s i g h t o f human a c t i v i t y .  f l e d when t h e y saw human a c t i v i t y of  14%  flight showed  of  that  response  appear t o Most  disturbance due  total  groups  mainly  Only  10% o f e l k t h a t  to a c t i v i t i e s within  change groups  with  increasing  ( 6 8 % ) were  to microtopographic  up t o 3 km no e l k  within  were e x p o s e d and d i d not  l i n e of s i g h t d i d distance  within  was j u d g e d t o be w i t h i n t h e i r  clearcuts  be  reaction.  approaching v e h i c l e s . large  elk  to  were aware o f t h e d i s t u r b a n c e  show an a v o i d a n c e  XIX).  A  e l k g r o u p s o b s e r v e d showed no  seemed t o t h e r e s e a r c h e r  of s i g h t .  to disturbance  not  (Table X V I I I ) .  no r e s p o n s e , i n d i c a t i n g t h e e l k were unaware o f a  line  Elk  Most e l k (86%)  r e s p o n s e , h o w e v e r , 4% o f a l l d i s t u r b e d  disturbance their  a l l disturbed  were  Although  features sight  (Table  100 m when t h e l i n e of  sight,  which often h i d  distances  within  or combinations of l a r g e c l e a r c u t s indicated  that  they  were  aware  were of  75  Table XVIII. Elk reaction to human a c t i v i t y , primarily motor vehicles during the two winter study periods.  Elk reaction to disturbance within line-of-sight Fled to cover Immediate reaction. Delayed reaction Total  «  Proportion of t o t a l No of e l k No of e l k elk groups (n=3772) observed (n = 444)  Proportion of e l k groups  2996 233 3229  0.80 0.06 0.86  353 27 380  0.79 0.06 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 ,  c )  a) b)  c) d)  Disturbance was any human a c t i v i t y . In this study 99% of disturbance was movement of motor vehicles; 1% was humans out of motor vehicles. Of a l l e l k 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 a c t i v i t y or there was no human a c t i v i t y i n the area at the time. Motor vehicle out of sight before reaction. Elk returned to pre-disturbance a c t i v i t y .  76  Table  XIX.  Elk reaction to human a c t i v i t y by distance from disturbance categories.  Distance from disturbance (m)  Fled to cover  Watched disturbance or showed alertness  No reaction elk probably not aware of disturbance  Total  no of groups proportion  143 .85  15 .09,.  10 .06  168 .68  no of groups proportion  10 .83  2 .16  _  12 .05  2QQ no of groups proportion  14 1.0  —  _  14 .06  QQ no of groups proportion  9 .90  1 .10  _  10 .04  no of groups proportion  9 .90  1 .10  _  10 .04  gQQ no of groups proportion  8 .89  —  1 .11  9 .04  no of groups proportion  6 .54  3 .27  2 .18  11 .04  QQQ no of groups proportion  4 .66  2 .33  —  6 .02  no of groups proportion  3 .75  —  1 .25  4 .02  ^QQQ no of groups proportion  1 .5  1 0 0  2 0 0  4  5 0 0  g o o  >1000  N  O  O  F  9  R O U  P  proportion  S  1  1.0  1  2 .01  .5 —  —  1 <.01  77  vehicles utilized the  or  human  these  aid  of  activity  at such  long s i g h t d i s t a n c e s to observe a  spotting  e i t h e r c o u l d not  scope but  see o r w o u l d n o t  with  respond  to a c t i v i t y  1.5  at  km.  DISCUSSION  The  consensus  especially spend  the w i n t e r  investigated British areas  of  (Lyon  workers  i n the  these  1975).  ungulate  that  In  the areas i n which  The  relationships  winter-habitat  the  weather,  had  between  not  been  southeastern  d r i e r Rocky M o u n t a i n  relationships  have  been  elk  well  Trench  documented  1977).  Forest  cover  in  the  modified  by  timber  epidemic  of  mountain  study  salvage pine  attacked  a r e a was  operations beetles  stands, the predominant f o r e s t  type.  ( S a f r a n y i k et a l . 1974),  operations  in  from  in The  being  the  study  large areas.  and  rapidly  following  an  lodgepole  pine  mortality  t r e e s i s h i g h , commonly up t o 100%  aged s t a n d s  cover  is  i n t e r m o u n t a i n v a l l e y s of  Columbia.  (Smith  most  snowdepths, determines  f o r e s t c o v e r and  of  elk  I  i t appeared t h a t e l k  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  5.0.  long distances.  salvage  rate  i n evenlogging  a r e a o f t e n removed a l l f o r e s t  78  in  Forage  production f o r ungulates i s  areas  where  Mountain  (Kemper  vegetation types 1977).  (Lyon  1971, S m i t h  1977),  in Douglas-fir  1971)  as  general  and  survival,  in  essential  ungulate  Vancouver  Island  areas  factor  o f h e a v y snow. winter-habitat,  where  deer  Human a c t i v i t i e s , h a v e been o b s e r v e d  and v e h i c l e s w i t h i n  shown  ungulate  on  Northern  confined to forests 1975).  elk activity.  2 t o 6.4  traffic,  Avoidance  km h a v e b e e n  1979, L y o n  both  recorded  and  Jensen  reactions to  Beall  and  (1974)  In t h i s  study,  elk  Kirsch  disturbance. (1962)  noted  In  contrast,  t h a t a few e l k  became a c c u s t o m e d t o l o g g i n g a c t i v i t y a n d u s e d a r e a s  and  logging.  Hudson  have  t o a v o i d h a b i t a t c l o s e t o r o a d s and t o  show a v o i d a n c e  active  of  and O v e r l y 1976, Marcum 1976, R e d g a t e 1978,  s e e B u n n e l l 1978 f o r o t h e r s ) . been  for  as  were  (Ward 1976, M o r g a n t i n i and Hudson Perry  snowpack  p a r t i c u l a r l y motor v e h i c l e  to affect  trend  F o r e s t c o v e r c a n be  d u r i n g c o n d i t i o n s o f d e e p snow ( J o n e s  1980,  a  Conversely, f o r e s t cover reduces  ( r e v i e w of B u n n e l l 1 9 7 8 ) , a c r i t i c a l  roads  enhanced  f o r e s t s h a v e been removed, i n t h e R o c k y  Trench  (Smith  greatly  Only  (1979)  the study documented  reported elk  by  avoidance  near  Morgantini o f human  a c t i v i t y during winter.  The o b j e c t i v e s o f t h e s t u d y the t e s t i n g of hypotheses  reported  examining  here  included  elk habitat  selection  79  and  behaviour  activities.  in  relation  The f i r s t  to  forest  hypothesis  cover  proposed t h a t e l k would  select clearcut habitat f o r feeding during conditions  but  w o u l d be p r e v e n t e d  entire  two  winters  of  shallow  this  Snowdepths  study  were  considered  c o n s i s t e n t l y l e s s t h a n 20 cm, a n d d i d n o t  45  the  Sweeny  1975,  Hickey  1977).  Elk selected clearcut habitat for  shallow  first  and  remained u n t e s t e d  During  shallow  in  the  snow  midday  Throughout  and  2°C.  during  the were  Beall  utilized  the  observed  during  p r o p o r t i o n of the  animals  resting  rather than  feeding.  elevation forested habitats  was  periods.  two  winters  of  this  study,  r e l a t i v e l y m i l d , u s u a l l y between  (1974) r e c o r d e d  similar mild  elk  Fewer e l k were  were  o b s e r v e d d u r i n g midday  study.  a r e a s and most e l k o b s e r v e d i n  Movement o f e l k t o h i g h e r  temperatures  feeding  The s e c o n d p a r t of t h e  in this  the midday p e r i o d , but a h i g h e r at  L e e g e 1976, L e e g e and  conditions,  clearcut  c l e a r c u t s were f e e d i n g .  observed  (Beall  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 o f  p a r t of the h y p o t h e s i s .  hypothesis  forage  Hershey  snowpack  1974,  the  reach  a p p r o x i m a t e d e p t h t h a t has been o b s e 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  during  open  during  shallow, cm,  snow  from u s i n g these  a r e a s when s n o w d e p t h s e x c e e d e d 45 cm. the  a n d human  activity  temperatures:  patterns  -18°  for elk  80  ...a n o r m a l p a t t e r n w o u l d be that daytime bedding sites are located i n d e n s e t i m b e r s t a n d s on r i d g e tops with s l i g h t north aspect. Travel to feeding areas 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 d u s k and dawn...[For] n i g h t t i m e bedsites...elk would bed w i t h i n the f e e d i n g a r e a . Night bedsites a p p e a r e d 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 t h e 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 . . .  Beall  ( 1 9 7 6 ) f u r t h e r showed t h a t  elevation  bedding  associated with thermal thermal  cover  was  White R i v e r  elk  study  area  aid  to  elevations.  use  of  high  strongly  to  forests  Although higher  higher  during milder  in  habitat during  winter  exceeding almost t o t a l  that time.  h a b i t a t s by  track counts,  concurrent  increase  d e c r e a s e d use  the  sites  weather.  f o r more t h a n  2  of  McLellan  recorded  no  habitats with  the  (1978)  However, h i s  radio-collared  elk  decreased t h e i r  t o t a l movements d u r i n g used  and  avoidance of c l e a r c u t  i n tracks i n other  during  1977-78  the  M e a s u r i n g e l k use  of c l e a r c u t s .  Elk  of  50 cm  in  provide  f o r e s t s at  conditions,  cover  snowdepths  E l k showed an  conditions.  was  types  of  to  (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  encountered months.  day  cover  a l l  severe  better thermal  McLellan  at  restrict  during  of  movement  the  Provision  needed  might  elevations  during  selection  regulation.  snowpack  provided  sites  elk  this  different  monitoring  of  p e r i o d showed t h a t e l k  forested,  deep, c r u s t e d riparian,  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 h e p e r i o d o f d e e p snow i n M c L e l l a n ' s  (1978)  trayel study.  snow and  during  81  Elk  selection  during of  shallow  these  o f c l e a r c u t a r e a s and open  snow c o n d i t i o n s  habitats  during  and c o n t r a s t i n g  Baglien  selection (1973)  of  that  d e e p snow  The  Biggens  clearcuts  stated  during  and  avoided  hypotheses  r e s p o n s e s of e l k t o f e a t u r e s  Elk  Elk  use  of  use  of  increasinf  c)  Elk avoid  Differential using  two m e t h o d s .  pellet  use  were  clearcut  Jensen  grassland  proposed  habitat  from  clearcut  proximity  areas  to  test  declines  with  cover;  habitat  declines  with  t o r o a d s ; and  s l a s h when p o s s i b l e .  elk  use  within  c l e a r c u t s was  Observations of e l k  of t h e s i t e . was  have n o t e d  snow.  and  g r o u p s were c o m p a r e d b e t w e e n c a t e g o r i e s  features elk  open  also  Hickey  within clearcuts:  increasing distance  b)  shallow  and  conditions.  following  a)  Leege  (1976)  during  elk  avoidance  d e e p snow c o n d i t i o n s h a s been  shown by H e r s h e y a n d L e e g e ( 1 9 7 6 ) a n d (1977).  brushlands  studied  density of  of  various  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  that  not p r o p o r t i o n a l w i t h i n the c a t e g o r i e s f o r  seven of the nine  features  were e x c e p t i o n s .  Pellet  analyzed;  e l e v a t i o n and a s p e c t  group d e n s i t y ,  however,  showed  82  significant  associations  with  only  f e a t u r e s , s l o p e and d i s t a n c e from  The  two h y p o t h e s e s ,  group  of  the  nine  of a r e a s w i t h  slash  road.  e l k avoidance  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 cover,  two  with  distance  from  were r e j e c t e d when e l k u s e was m e a s u r e d by p e l l e t distribution  but  both  these  hypotheses  were  a c c e p t e d when e l k u s e was m e a s u r e d b y o b s e r v a t i o n s o f e l k . The  hypothesis  proximity  that  use.  two  methods  The  precision  differense  could  or  different  that  openings  feed  Observations identified  of  measures  either  the  methods  two  a  difference were  (1980) n o t e d t h a t  of  in  measures of  indicating but  did  t h a n were f o u n d that  not  white-tailed  fewer p e l l e t  animals  remain deer  to  by  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  resulting  in  disproportionate  groups i n these h a b i t a t s . that  feeding a c t i v i t y toward  indicate  forest,  to  indicates  both  increasing  i n e l k u s e a s m e a s u r e d by t h e  i n s i d e c l e a r c u t openings  surrounding  pellet  declined with  elk activities.  Lyon and Jensen  areas,  use  t o r o a d s was a c c e p t e d u s i n g  elk  occurred  elk  of  while pellet  group  the r e s t i n g  activity.  i n the used the  ruminate.  Smith  (1977)  in  resting  a c c u m u l a t i o n s of  Similarly,  observations  groups  this  study  e l k were b i a s e d t o t h e density  was  biased  83  By  using  and p e l l e t number  of  inferences  can  be  drawn  about  groups  near  selected  for  resting.  roads  however,  feeding  elk.  roads  of  Elk  clearly  t o steep slopes f o r both f e e d i n g  B o t h methods of m e a s u r i n g  slash  areas  with  e l k use showed  slash  reflect  no  accumulations;  a c c u m u l a t i o n s i n t h e a r e a were  a n d t h e r e s u l t s may  a l a c k of  generally  accumulation  s l a s h g r e a t enough t o c a u s e a v o i d a n c e by e l k . W i t h i n  clearcuts,  the  numbers  of  elk  observed  d i s t a n c e s f r o m t h e edge o f t h e c l e a r c u t were the  amount  category.  of  habitat  Both p e l l e t  other smaller  of a r e a s f a r t h e r  in  that  group d e n s i t i e s  showed e l k u s e d t h e l a r g e r the  average  up t o 300 m a w a y . f r o m t h e  than  moderate  o v e r a l l avoidance  to  roads  t h a t r e s t i n g e l k showed e v e n g r e a t e r a v o i d a n c e  of a r e a s  light  a  e l k use of  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  indicated  of  feeding a c t i v i t y  E l k a v o i d a n c e o f a r e a s w i t h i n 200 m o f  d e n s i t y of p e l l e t  and  to indicate  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 ,  clearcuts. was  observations  sites,  study s i t e indicating  and  that  different  proportional  distance-from-edge and  observations  (130 ha.) more t h a n no g e n e r a l a v o i d a n c e  from c o v e r .  An h y p o t h e s i s t h a t e l k r e s p o n d t o human flight  at  this  response  is  less  activity common  i n c r e a s i n g d i s t a n c e f r o m t h e d i s t u r b a n c e was a l s o M o s t e l k f l e d when t h e y saw human  activity  of t h e d i s t a n c e t o t h e d i s t u r b a n c e .  The f i r s t  by with  tested.  irrespective p o r t i o n of  84  this  hypothesis,  supported of  t h a t e l k f l e e from human a c t i v i t y , was  by t h e data and was a c c e p t e d .  the hypothesis,  w i t h d i s t a n c e , was  The second  part  that the f l i g h t r e a c t i o n diminishes rejected.  E l k d i d not  appear  to  respond t o human a c t i v i t i e s a t d i s t a n c e s g r e a t e r than 1.5 km.  A  line-of-sight  to  the a c t i v i t y  i n i t i a t e an e l k avoidance r e a c t i o n Observations activity  of  were  elk within  also  recorded  was  to  the  required to disturbance.  short d i s t a n c e s of logging 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 t h e e l k and no a v o i d a n c e reaction  was  study area  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  i n 1970 w i t h t h e two l a r g e s t  cut f i r s t . exposed  noted.  clearcut  blocks  C o n s e q u e n t l y , t h e e l k u s i n g t h e area had been  to  human a c t i v i t i e s on t h e i r  minimum of s i x t o seven y e a r s .  w i n t e r range f o r a  There i s l i t t l e  evidence  of t h e e l k becoming accustomed t o d i s t u r b a n c e ; 90% of t h e animals  exposed  disturbance. disturbance  to  During clearly  human shallow  activity snow  fled  conditions  this  the human  reduced t h e amount o f time t h a t e l k  c o u l d 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 f e e d i n g  In summary,  from  study  was  conducted  areas.  during  two  a t y p i c a l w i n t e r s w i t h m i l d temperatures and low s n o w f a l l . Interpretations  of  elk habitat  c l e a r c u t s are v a l i d only  selection  f o r shallow  snow  and  use of  conditions.  85  The and  vegetation, food h a b i t s  t o the elk  history, elk a c t i v i t y  were d e s c r i b e d  primary objectives  use  of  h y p o t h e s e s of Elk  logging  selected  shallow  factors  i n f l u e n c i n g e l k use  t o 300  t o 40%)  unlogged h a b i t a t  primarily Within  slopes  and  the  was  proportional  the  distance  within  a  to the  t e s t i n g of  of  clearcuts.  for feeding,  during selected  avoided areas w i t h i n E l k d i d not  edge of c l e a r c u t s , as  e l k use  select  within  amount o f h a b i t a t  of  and  clearcuts, elk  m e t e r s of a c t i v e r o a d s .  near  information  study - documentation  and  clearcuts,  (20  the  background  logged  snow c o n d i t i o n s .  moderate  of  as  patterns,  200  areas  clearcuts  i r r e s p e c t i v e of  from edge.  Elk  avoided  human  line-of-sight  and  fled  f o r e s t c o v e r when  to  activities  human a c t i v i t i e s were s e e n .  6.0.  MANAGEMENT RECOMMENDATIONS  The  e l k of  forested the  the White R i v e r  land.  elk  are  The  n u m b e r s , h a b i t s , and  d e p e n d e n t upon how  Normal snowpacks i n the  White  depths  the  that  habitats.  benefits  preclude  Multiple-use  therefore,  v a l l e y are  consider  for elk during  must e n s u r e t h e  River  valley  only  of the  managed.  can  elk  reach  in  forests  providing  open must,  substantial  snow c o n d i t i o n s ,  s u r v i v a l of e l k d u r i n g  of  e v e n s u r v i v a l of  f o r e s t s are  survival  shallow  product  the  management o f not  a  critical  but  also  periods  86  o f d e e p snow c o n d i t i o n s .  This  study  shelter, noted of  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  and s e c u r i t y d u r i n g s h a l l o w  t h e r o l e o f human a c t i v i t y  clearcuts.  component  of  conditions  Clearcuts elk  -  forests at higher provide  both  conditions. disturbance within  a  requirements  feeding  and  moved  line-of-sight.  following  use  valuable snow  particularly  ridges,  in  elk  shallow  appeared  security  freely  by human a c t i v i t y  most  Forests,  e l e v a t i o n s along  Elk  the  during  areas.  shelter  snow c o n d i t i o n s a n d  in restricting  provided  food,  during  shallow  to  these  snow  but  r e s t r i c t e d e l k use of  areas  These c o n c l u s i o n s suggest t h e  recommendations  for.  joint  elk-forest  management:  a)  Logging  plans  south-facing clearcuts  should slopes  less  manage such  than  the that  f i f t e e n years  forests  on  there  are  o l d on  these  slopes throughout the f o r e s t r o t a t i o n t o provide enhanced f o r a g e  for  elk  during  shallow  snow  conditions.  b)  Main  access  routes  should  be l o c a t e d so t h a t  south-facing  slopes a r e screened  Screening  can  utilization  of  be  from  accomplished  topographic  traffic. through  features  or  87  vegetative  cover.  by  of v e g e t a t i o n i f f l a t t e r  regrowth  main  roads  before  were  logging  critical  factor  vehicles  or  Screening  logged the  c o u l d be p r o v i d e d  ten  sites  near  to fifteen  years  south-facing  slope.  i s p r e v e n t i o n of e l k from human  activity  The seeing  while  using  clearcuts.  Main roads  should  south-facing  be  slopes  g e n e r a l l y move u p h i l l  located  below  i f possible,  closed  insect  t o use i n w i n t e r .  Use  of  off-road  other  than  vehicles  by e l k  carried  such  as snowmobiles i n areas  used  winter-range.  E s s e n t i a l human a c t i v i t i e s should  be  timed  on e l k w i n t e r  the  early  most.  Activity  little  effect.  ranges  f o r t h e midday p e r i o d , as t h i s  i s the period of least e l k a c t i v i t y . in  out a t  winter.  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 as  should  Cruising, layout,  s u r v e y s , e t c . s h o u l d be  times of t h e year  because e l k  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 be  preferred  morning  hours  during darkness  Activity  i s t o be a v o i d e d a p p e a r e d t o have  88  g)  Winter logging, to  an  area  i f required, should  as  from e x i s t i n g  h)  Soil  as  to allow  disturbance  landings  should  openings,  e l k use  of  from l o g g i n g ,  be  are  found only  restricted  Hickey  for  i n the  and  (1977).  I  repeat  adequate  rotation.  at  a l l  Corridors  times  of  also  habitat  and  conditions.  feeding  than  Recommendations  been made by  are  to  that  McLellan  specifics  here.  survive  amounts o f  during  forest  with  snow i n t e r c e p t i o n must  throughout  the  logging  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 for  emphasis  those  s u f f i c i e n t canopy cover t o p r o v i d e maintained  Leege  Similar  deep  deep  conditions,  1978).  are  S u r v i v a l of e l k d u r i n g  different  not  River  t h e c l e a r c u t s and  recommendations above.  will  White  and  i f elk  be  the  (1976)  However, i t a p p e a r s t h a t snow  and  to elk i f  (McLellan  f o r e s t management have a l r e a d y  (1978)  skid trails,  o f more v a l u e  from u s i n g  snow c o n d i t i o n s r e q u i r e s indicated  areas.  undisturbed.  in forested habitats  and  south-  possible  r e s u l t s h a v e been shown by H e r s h e y and Leege  or  as  D u r i n g d e e p snow c o n d i t i o n s e l k i n valley  screened  these  r e d u c e d as much  t h e s e s i t e s w o u l d be  left  confined  s m a l l as p o s s i b l e and  clearcuts,  facing slopes  be  be  maintained  movement  during  to  provide  deep  snow  89  T h i s study and o t h e r s mentioned do the elk  information and timber  valleys  in  required  not  provide  all  for multiple-use planning for  i n the White R i v e r or o t h e r  southeastern  British  inter-mountain  Columbia.  Further  s t u d i e s are needed t o d e t e r m i n e :  1.  The  canopy  coverage  various  forest  types  provide  suitable  and  snow i n t e r c e p t i o n of  and  their  habitat  for  ability  to  e l k d u r i n g deep  snow c o n d i t i o n s ;  2.  The  carrying  capacity  of  forest  habitats  c r i t i c a l t o e l k d u r i n g deep snow; and  3.  The  length  of  time  until  clearcut  a r e a s no  l o n g e r p r o v i d e s i g n i f i c a n t forage 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 .  Observations shallow  snow  of e l k use of c l e a r c u t  conditions  i n d i c a t e s preference  a r e a s w i t h moderate s l o p e s and for  feeding.  habitats  a  grass/forb  Areas where broadcast  for ridge vegetation  or spot b u r n i n g  o c c u r r e d were s e l e c t e d by f e e d i n g e l k .  of  elk  use  by  pellet  group  s e l e c t i o n f o r moderate s l o p e s (20 t o 40%) of  areas  w i t h i n 300 m of a c t i v e roads.  had  E l k were observed  to a v o i d areas w i t h i n 100 t o 200 meters of a c t i v e Measures  during  density and  roads. show  avoidance  Observations  of  90  elk  response t o d i s t u r b a n c e  to the sight clearcuts  into  of  vehicles  forests.  showed most e l k ( 8 6 % ) r e a c t e d or  humans  by  fleeing  from  91  LITERATURE CITED Anonymous. 1975. Progress Game.  Montana C o o p e r a t i v e E l k - L o g g i n g Study. 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