MOOSE USE OF GRAND FIR/PACIFIC YEW COMMUNITIES AND IMPLICATIONS FOR TIMBER MANAGEMENT
Shiras moose (Alces alces shirasi) on the Nezperce National Forest are highly selective for old-growth grand fir (Abies grandis) stands with an understory of dense Pacific yet (Taxus brevifolia). Timber management practices during the 1970’s reduced winter habitat from about 29,950 ha to 24,280 ha. Beginning in 1977 changes in land allocation, timber management practices, and access management were made to maintain suitable winter habitat. The costs to log, dispose of slash, and manage for moose winter habitat are 47% to 142% greater than costs for the same practices when no consideration is given to moose. The draft Forest Plan (USDA 1985) proposes to maintain about 77% of the existing winter habitat in a condition suitable for moose. Additional monitoring and research are needed to determine the long term response of Pacific yew to silvicultural practices and the long term response of moose to habitat manipulation.
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