Findings on managing elk and deer will be shared at national symposium

March 09, 2004

PORTLAND, Ore. March 9, 2004. Elk and mule deer are highly valued wildlife in western North America. Yet little was known about how these animals respond to forest and range management until research began in the 1980s at the Starkey Experimental Forest in northeastern Oregon. An upcoming national symposium will give managers the chance to learn about the research findings of the Starkey Project and talk directly with the scientists.

The symposium is Saturday, March 20, the final day of the week-long 69th North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference. The conference will be held in Spokane, Washington, March 16 to 20 at the DoubleTree Hotel and the Spokane Convention Center. The cochairs of the special session, "Policy Implications From Long-Term Studies of Mule Deer and Elk: A Synthesis of the Starkey Project," are scientists Michael Wisdom and Martin Vavra, of the USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station.

"The day-long session will be a synthesis and integration of findings from more than 10 years of Starkey Project research, with emphasis on how the findings relate to land and resource policies and management," says Wisdom. "Our findings are commonly used across the Western United States by state, private, and federal resource managers for managing hunting, off-road recreation, livestock, and fuel treatments in relation to deer and elk."

The symposium topics will include findings about deer and elk responses to open roads with varying traffic rates, to timber harvest and to fuel-reduction activities; interactions of elk and deer with livestock; effects of hunting on nontargeted animals; and nutritional and habitat needs of elk and deer.

Results from the session will be published in the conference proceedings and in a separate book later this year. Keynotes will be given by Jack Ward Thomas, professor at the University of Montana, founder of the Starkey Project, and former Chief of the Forest Service; and Thomas Quigley, Director of the Forest Service's Pacific Northwest Research Station. For more information about the symposium go to

USDA Forest Service - Pacific Northwest Research Station

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