Wildfire and Deer

Research and News

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"Factors Related to Larger but Fewer Wildfires and Fewer Deer in California: A Google Sites Knowledge Base. (2019) Issues in Information Systems. G. K. Webb

... Data analysis includes statistical tests of some common factors proposed in the public discussion related to climate change and forest density. Findings include that data starting from 1932 show annual acres burned in Cal Fire jurisdictions have been about constant. Data from 1987 show that total acres burned increased and were correlated to increased maximum temperature, and that that wildfires have become larger but less frequent. A decline in logging activity was strongly correlated to increased fire size and reduced deer populations. Drought was also correlated to increased fire size and fewer deer...


California's forests are choking June 21, 2018 Sacramento News & Review

...there is little debate about what’s causing the problem: The forests are too dense. The phenomenon is rooted in 150 years of post-European settlement activity. Previously, Native Americans used fire to convert shrubland to promote grassland for deer-hunting, protect themselves from predators and as a tool of intertribal warfare, and lightning started fires throughout the West for many thousands of years, clearing away dense underbrush and unhealthy trees and naturally regenerating the landscape...


Native American use of fire dogedaos.com

... The most significant type of environmental change brought about by Precolumbian human activity was the modification of vegetation. … Vegetation was primarily altered by the clearing of forest and by intentional burning... The burning of large areas was useful to divert big game (deer, elk, bison) into small unburned areas for easier hunting and provide open prairies/meadows (rather than brush and tall trees) where animals (including ducks and geese) like to dine on fresh, new grass sprouts ...


After California's 3rd-largest wildfire, deer returned home while trees were 'still smoldering' October 28, 2021 Phys.org

... researchers ... were able to track a group of black-tailed deer during and after California's third-largest wildfire ... Of the 18 deer studied, all survived... all of the deer returned soon after the fire. Deer from burned areas had to work harder and travel farther to find green vegetation, and researchers noticed a decline in body condition in some of these animals ... [the research was published in the journal Ecology and Evolution]


Wildfires reshape forests and change the behavior of animals that live there November 12, 2022 Washington, Salon

... Habitat degradation and other factors have caused populations of mule deer, a common species in many parts of the West, to decline across much of their native range... We found that mule deer use these burns in summer but avoid them in winter. Deer also adjusted their movement to reduce predation risk in these burned landscapes, which varies depending on whether cougars or wolves are the threat...


Fire Ecology and Management of Southwestern Forests Ecology and Management …, 2021

... Prior to Euro-American settlement, Native Americans used fire and co-existed with the landscape’s fire regime, but colonists brought different perspectives and land uses, excluding fire from most southwestern forests for well over a century. Severe fires are becoming larger, threatening people and structures as well as ecosystem sustainability...


Climate change stokes fiery future for California September 17, 2018 Santa Rosa Press Democrat

... fire shaped the drought-prone landscape for thousands of years, as Native Americans used it to maintain meadows and forests that provided deer, elk and acorns for food as well as grasses for basketry...


Managed Grazing Helps California Forests, Experts Say August 3, 2016 Sierra Sun Times

... forests used to be managed more efficiently and effectively 50 years ago, but regulatory constraints or threats of litigation have changed how management decisions are made ... ...At the same time, the number of grazing herds of deer, antelope and other wild animals also has diminished in forestlands, allowing overgrowth of vegetation and increasing fire risk ...


Evaluating the Influence of Federal Prescribed Fire Regimes in East Texas on White-tailed Deer Body Condition and Antler Size, 2020, Proceedings of the 20th Biennial Southern Silvicultural Research Conference, TP Wall, BP Oswald, KR Kidd, RL Darville [PDF]

... Deer antler beam and inside mean spread were significantly greater at 2 years post-burn than at less than 1 year post-burn. These results indicate that frequent prescribed fire is physiologically beneficial to white-tailed deer...


Improving Coastal Plain Hardwoods for Deer and Turkeys with Canopy Reduction and Fire

MA Turner, WD Gulsby, CA Harper, SS Ditchkoff - Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2020

... Prescribed fire and canopy reduction are accepted forest management practices

used to increase forage and cover for white‐tailed deer ... We recommend FSI [herbicide to kill trees with low value to deer and turkeys and retained oaks] and low‐intensity prescribed fire in Coastal Plain hardwoods to improve brooding cover for turkeys and understory forage for deer while retaining acorn production...



Ungulate browsing on introduced pines differs between plant communities: Implications for invasion process and management LB Zamora‐Nasca, MA Relva, MA Núñez - Austral Ecology, 2019

... Summer forage quality peaked in recently burned forests and decreased as time since burn increased. Summer forage abundance peaked in dry forests burned 6–15 years prior and mesic forests burned within 5 years. Forests recently burned by wildfire had higher summer forage quality and herbaceous abundance than those recently burned by prescribed fire...


Forest restoration, wildfire, and habitat selection by female mule deer New Mexico, TM Roerick, JW Cain III, JV Gedir - Forest Ecology and Management, 2019

... Historical forest management actions contributed to degraded habitat for mule deer. ... Decades of fire suppression, logging, and overgrazing have led to increased densities of small diameter trees which have been associated with decreases in biodiversity, reduced habitat quality for wildlife species, degraded foraging conditions for ungulates, and more frequent and severe wildfires...


Fire and Forest Management in Montana Forests of the Northwestern States and California, USA I Allen, S Chin, J Zhang - Fire, 2019

... With expected climate induced changes in fire frequency, it is suggested that fuel treatments be implemented in dry forests to ensure an understory fire regime is restored in these forest systems. With respect to wet forests in this region, it is suggested that there is still a place for stand-replacing fire regimes...


As It Was: Ashland, Ore., Forest Plan Reduces Wildfire Danger August 5, 2019 Oregon, ijpr.or

... Until settlers began arriving in the 1850s, the indigenous people used low-intensity fire to herd [and feed] deer, reducing fuel content in the watershed. As settlers pushed aside the Indians, the forest thickened, becoming susceptible to wildfires...


NMSU researchers work to restore fire-damaged forests February 17, 2019 New Mexico, Las Cruces Sun-News

... elk are really responding to the wildfire burned areas, because they like the new grass growth ... The mule deer avoid the wildfire areas completely after the fire ... will visit prescribed burn areas, particularly those burned within the previous two years. Deer select thinned areas, but only those thinned more than five years previous, once the shrubs have grown back...


Native Peoples' Relationship to the California Chaparral MK Anderson, JE Keeley - Valuing Chaparral, 2018

... many tribes of California ... natural fires with deliberate burning of chaparral to maximize its ability to produce useful products... Areas were burned in ways designed to create a mosaic of open grassland and recently burned, young and mature stands of chaparral with different combinations of species and densities. This management conferred on chaparral plant communities a degree of spatial, structural, successional, and biotic diversity that exceeded what would have been the case in the absence of human intervention... [the article contains many references to research about how this helped improve the deer herd] ...


Fire and agroforestry revive California indigenous groups' traditions October 11, 2018 Mongabay.com

... For centuries, the Karuk tribe has nudged this interlocking ecosystem toward producing these beneficial plants through practices known as agroforestry... we cultivate them with fire ... Fire clears oak groves of encroaching conifers and kills the weevils that ruin acorns. It renews the meadow grasses for grazing deer and elk...


Wildfires cause havoc for humans, but not mule deer July 29, 2018 British Columbia, Surrey Now-Leader

... Animals like deer, moose, and big horn sheep like young regrowth... The wildfires are also not large enough to have a severe impact ... “Fire, when it’s away from people and everyone is safe, belongs on this landscape ... Nutrients from burned plants creates the perfect habitat for regrowth, said David Scott, with the department of earth and environmental sciences at UBCO...


From Beorge E Gruell: Deer and Reforestation in the Pacific Northwest. Proceedings of the 7th Vertebrate Pest Conference (1976)

... Deer and forestry researchers and managers agree that black-tailed deer respond predictably to changes in forest cover (Lawrence 1969, Resler 1972). Numbers of animals tend to increase as closed-canopy forests are burned or logged and to decline as forests regenerate and mature. Such increases in numbers of deer are deemed favorable and in the public interest...


Wildfires produce elk food as nutritious as alfalfa, Montana study shows September 22, 2018 Casper Star-Tribune Online

... Barker’s study found that “ … Recently burned (1-6 year prior) dry forests at higher elevations provided forage quality approximately equivalent to that of irrigated agriculture.” ... “If summer nutrition is bad, they won’t have a calf,” Toman said. “It takes summer nutrition to drive that elk herd.” ...


Experts say West Texas wildfires bring some ecological benefits March 7, 2017 LubbockOnline.com

... larger mammals, such as mule deer, white tail deer and cattle, are attracted to areas affected by fires because they prefer to graze on the newer shoots of grasses ...fire clears off all that old, dead grass and increases the availability of sunlight and nutrients for new emerging shoots ...


Use Prescribed Fire as a Tool or Wildfire Will Rule, Expert Says December 14, 2015 Washington, Emergency Management

... Prescribed burning alone in shrub-steppe grasslands can reduce the intensity of wildfires and reduce their impact on habitat for critters including prairie grouse and deer ... Many timbered areas can be better protected – and wildlife habitat can be enhanced – by using loggers to thin timber and then by following the work with a prescribed burn ...


Feral horses influence both spatial and temporal patterns of water use by native ungulates in a semi‐arid environment LK Hall, RT Larsen, RN Knight, BR McMillan - Ecosphere, 2018

... Our objective was to determine whether pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) spatially or temporally altered their use of water to minimize interactions with horses. From 2010 to 2014, we used remote cameras to monitor ungulates at 32 water sources in the Great Basin Desert... both native ungulates used water sources less often where horse activity at water sources was high, indicating that spatial avoidance occurred. Further, we observed significant differences in peak arrival time for pronghorn, but not mule deer at horse-occupied sites versus sites where horses were absent or uncommon, indicating that temporal avoidance may be more important for pronghorn than mule deer... feral horses further constrain access to an already limited resource for native species in a semi-arid environment...


Massive juniper removal project could help Idaho sage grouse February 15, 2018 Idaho, Jackson Hole News&Guide

... warmer winters combined with fewer wildfires at higher elevations of sagebrush steppe have allowed junipers to expand into areas once filled with sagebrush and native grasses... the juniper-removal plan, ... “It will benefit big game, including mule deer and elk, bighorn sheep and antelope.” ...


Setting fire to New Jersey's forests — on purpose May 12, 2018 NorthJersey.com

... Low intensity fires can help restore some nutrients to the soil. It also clears lanes for deer, and helps suppress the spread of ticks, which can carry Lyme disease ...


Grazing by free-ranging red deer: effective management for semi-natural grassland conservation? F Riesch, B Tonn, M Meissner, J Isselstein - … of the 27th General Meeting of the …, 2018

... How to maintain open habitats is a critical question for nature conservation, especially if the area of concern is large and difficult to access. Central to preventing natural succession and maintaining protected grasslands is the removal of biomass, which can be successfully achieved by livestock grazing... Red deer grazing could reach biomass removal rates comparable to those in extensive livestock grazing systems...


Monterey Bay Area’s Native Amah Mutsun Seek Return to Lost Way of Life July 21, 2016 California, 90.3 Kazu

... The Amah Mutsun Tribal Band wants to restore ecosystems that once flourished here: from the deer herds that roamed the land to the medicinal plants that sustained the tribe...They may use controlled burning to maintain grasslands ...


Coexisting with chaparral J Downing - California Agriculture, 2017

... Prescribed fire tends to reduce some native shrubs, such as buckbrush (Ceanothus cuneatus), which is an important deer browse... 10 years after treatment, the native shrub buckbrush, an important deer browse, had almost disappeared from all fire plots, while it was more prevalent in the masticated plots than in the untreated plots ...


Burro Fire could be good for Mount Lemmon wildlife July 19, 2017 Arizona, Tucson News Now

... the deer population on Mount Lemmon will increase into the thousands ... deer foraging in the burned area where new shoots are sprouting...


Effects of wildlife after a wildfire April 25, 2016 Kansas, Hutchinson News

... Anderson Creek fire ... southern Kansas ... a few deer on the newly emerging grasses... hadn’t found any dead deer, but had found some porcupines and squirrels. ...


At least 26 Indiana counties had prairie lands April 12, 2016 Indiana, Washington Times Herald

... The Native Americans knew that open areas near the edge of the forests were of great value in providing sites where the deer, bison, elk and other animals that provided them with much of their food lived... our Native Americans ... soon found out that using fire could help keep these open areas free of most trees and shrubs and allow the plants the animals utilized for food to propagate and flourish...


Fire and Grazing in the Prairie National Park Service

... Two factors of prairie maintenance are fire and grazing. Grazing animals play an important role in maintaining the ecosystem by stimulating plants to grow. This triggers biological activity and nutrient exchanges. Bison, deer, and cattle compact the soil with their hooves and open new areas for seeds and the generation of plants to take root...


West Virginia Legislation Would Support Healthy Forests and Expanded Recreational Opportunities in West Virginia State Parks February 5, 2018

... “Select state park properties have overmatured to the point that we are in even greater danger due to the accumulation of fuel on the forest floor,” ...


Concerns over wild horses along Highway 50 February 10, 2018 Nevada

Nevada Appeal

... The numbers of free-roaming horses on the range are small in comparison to livestock across the American West. Dr. Perryman of the University of Nevada, Reno ... Over the years NDA has claimed horses are starving, blaming shortages as the reason horses come into the valleys at certain times of the year. The truth is the animals have seasonal rounds...


Navajo Nation Cancels Horse Hunt March 5, 2018 TheHorse.com

... In 2016 an independent survey revealed that 48,000 unbranded, so-called feral horses resided on the Nation’s 18-million-acre reservation located in Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah... , the Navajo Nation DNR has developed a multipronged horse management plan using trapping, castration, birth control, and adoptions ...


Setting Fires and Restoring an American Landscape April 23, 2018 Illinois, New York Times

... For thousands of years, indigenous Americans ignited the landscape. Fire, they knew, brought bison and deer to hunt, and berries and tubers to harvest. European colonizers took these strategies and practiced them for centuries — but things changed in the early 20th century... The United States Forest Service started the Smokey Bear campaign, which portrayed all fire as destructive...


Controlled Vegetation Burn In Monterey County Tuesday November 7, 2017 California, Patch.com

... The project is meant to reduce flammable vegetation near the communities of Soledad and Gonzales, as well as increase available water and deer forage ...


State Department of Fish and Wildlife to start controlled burns this fall September 19, 2017 Washington, Yakima Herald-Republic

... We need to reduce fuel loads in some of these areas to lower the risk of catastrophic uncontrolled wildfire ... Deer love that new growth and will thrive on it for years to come...


Prescribed fires as a tool August 21, 2017 Wyoming, Kemmerer Gazette

...“ ... a key tool for plans to improve mule deer fawning habitat ...Wildfire and prescribed burns provide natural treatment of timber stands that especially benefit deer and elk by stimulating new growth of aspen and increased tall forb production...


To Control Forest Fires, Western States Light More of Their Own May 16, 2019 Colorado, Governing

... “Deer and elk will love this,” said the U.S. Forest Service “burn boss,” gesturing to a cluster of blackened trees that eventually will fall and create more space for forage plants...


Florida Forest Service shares importance of prescribed fires January 28, 2016 WJHG-TV

... The wildlife habitat goes up 50 percent after a burn... "The new plants take that up real quick. Deer, and other forms of wildlife, really like that regrowth...


Box-R going back to nature December 2, 2015 Florida, The Times

... FranklinCounty ... thousands of acres of pine plantation to a more natural condition.... According to FWC, Box-R is managed for a diversity of wildlife species through timber management (thinning and reforestation), prescribed burning and hydrological restoration. Wildlife openings are maintained and enhanced to attract deer, turkey, rabbits ...



Goats help clear brush to reduce wildfire fuel June 14, 2018 California, WHSV-TV

... we have about 180 boar, spanish and nubian goats that are out here, that are assisting with brush clearance." The goats are part of the city's plan to clear thick, dangerous fuels that could ignite...


Could forest fire control be hurting B.C. deer? Study aims to find out May 24, 2018, British Columbia, CBC.ca

... Conservationists and researchers say wildfire control efforts in B.C. may be causing mule deer numbers to decline... mule deer are very choosy eaters, and fire creates open canopies, so it opens up the forest and then you get the flush of green growth in the understory ... We think that is the single most important factor affecting mule deer abundance in B.C


Burn projects aim to restore dwindling aspen trees in Gallatin Valley May 17, 2018 Montana, NBC Montana

... Montana has lost 64 percent of its aspen trees over the last century ... it’s common for deer, elk and moose to graze on aspen, and because of their high moisture content they can act as natural barriers during wildfires...


Prescribed fires useful to prevent future tragedy February 2, 2018 Alabama, Montgomery Advertiser

... While there has been some increase in the use of fire in woodlands in the last decade (more than 1 million acres in Alabama in 2009), there are many more millions of acres that need burning and are not getting it...


A history lesson on early hunters February 5, 2018 Ohio, Bucyrus Telegraph Forum

... Ohio was mostly heavy forest, but there were prairies here and there with rich grasses and reeds that deer, buffalo, and elk loved, and the Indians burned them frequently to remove growing seedlings and saplings of brush and trees and fertilize new growth of prairie grasses...


South Carolina DNR Official Sees Smokey Bear as Threat to Prescribed Burns March 23, 2016 Firefighter Nation

... The use of prescribed fire as a land management tool has deep and ancient roots in South Carolina's heritage... Prescribed fires help restore and maintain vital habitat for wildlife, including bobwhite quail and other grassland birds, wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, gopher tortoises and red-cockaded woodpeckers...


Prescribed burn to benefit wildlife habitat at Perryville Battlefield March 23, 2016 Kentucky, Central Kentucky News

... Burning fields may not sound like a good thing, but it makes for a high-quality habitat, stimulating the growth of valuable grasses and wildflowers, Brunjes said, and it benefits birds and game, including quail, rabbits, deer, turkeys, bluebirds, grasshopper sparrows, meadowlarks and more..


Thinning project on wildlife management area gets go-ahead June 20, 2018 Montdana, Ravalli Republic

... deer and elk like the forest’s edge... Focused on improving forage production on the winter range, improving aspen stands and reducing the risk of fire and bug infestations, the agency thinned about 370 acres... I would like to see fire reintroduced to keep the underbrush from becoming overgrown...


Spring burning May 27, 2018 Minnesota, Herald Review

... reason many settlers burned around their buildings was the threat of larger uncontrolled forest and ground fires... It kept the tick population down since it destroyed the tick’s natural habitat; dead grass ... The risk of ground fires getting out of control is the primary concern of the DNR. So all the dead grass remains ...


The impact of wildfires on wildlife July 3, 2018 California, Record Bee

... a week after the fire, and they were surprised to find very few bones or carcasses of deer ... Much of the county is woodland or covered in brush. As the brush and trees age, they provide very little forage for animals. Streams that have been dry for years will have water flowing after a fire because the fire burned up the excess brush that sucked up the water...


Thinning Forests Reduces Wildfire and Supports Deer Populations

Habitat improvements crucial to health of wildlife September 19, 2021 New Mexico, The Santa Fe New Mexican

... a 1,000-acre tree-thinning project to benefit deer and elk... “Habitat improvements have done, and continue to do, great things for the deer and elk in GMU 2,” ...


Missouri Timber Management Boosts Wildlife and Preferred Trees January 20, 2012, Kansas City infoZine

...Down came honey locust and small shingle oak trees ... Still standing ... white oaks and the healthiest black oaks. But by thinning timber he’s made room for the most desirable trees to grow... “Instead of just a tree canopy overhead and leaf litter on the ground, you’ll get plants that grow after they get enough light,” said Audrey Beres, a resource forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC). “It’s not just food for deer. You get plants that help songbirds and gamebirds. There are a lot of wildlife benefits from thinning and opening the woods.” ...


Reintroducing fire into the forest May 17, 2012 Oregon, La Grande Observer

As our understanding of science exponentially expands, natural resource managers are experimenting with way to bring forests back into balance by replicating natural history ... Fire Management Officer Nathan Goodrich of the North Zone of the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest said ... burning brush like scholar’s willow, bitter cherry and bitterbrush improve browse for deer and elk. Burning in the spring will remove the dead, woody parts of the shrubs while allowing new growth to come back next year...


San Juan Islands, Kwiaht studies islands' deer populations October 21, 2017 Washington, Islands' Sounder

... Early European explorers saw herds of deer swimming between the islands pursued by Coast Salish hunters in canoes; and observed Coast Salish villagers burning underbrush to improve deer habitat ..,




Karuk ecological fire management practices promote elk habitat in northern California. 2022 - Journal of Applied Ecology

... After a century of fire suppression and accumulating fuel loads in North American forests, prescribed burns are increasingly used to prevent conditions leading to catastrophic megafire. There is widespread evidence that prescribed fire was used by Indigenous communities to manage natural and cultural resources for thousands of years... Our results suggest that transitioning to prescribed burns that more closely follow Karuk traditional ecological knowledge will promote elk habitat in the region...


BLM High Desert District plans to conduct prescribed burns October 4, 2022, Wyo4News

... The current treatment would use prescribed fire to treat mixed mountain shrubs, aspen stands, and encroaching limber pine and juniper to improve habitat for bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer, and to manage hazardous fuels associated structures and industrial infrastructure located within the mountain range...


Forest Service reduces wildfire risk, improves forest health March 8, 2022 Texas, The Lufkin Daily New

... Prescribed burns benefit wildlife habitat by removing dead and dying vegetation from the understory, which improves the availability of forage and the quality of browse for wildlife. Reducing the underbrush also improves brood and nesting habitat for turkey, quail, deer, and other wildlife species...


Scientists optimistic about Mullen Fire recovery October 19, 2021 Wyoming, WyoFile

... the Mullen Fire consumed or damaged dozens of structures over more than 176,000 acres ... By late September, some aspens in the burn area measured three feet tall. Willows and wildflowers flourished... Not only did species like elk, deer and bighorn sheep survive into this year, they are thriving ...


Nevada bear hunt faces calls to be canceled due to wildfires September 10, 2021 Yahoo News

" ... ending the bear hunt due to habitat loss is counter to the wildlife management science on carrying capacity," Department of Wildlife Director Tony Wasley said. "As counter intuitive as it is for some people to understand, the Department has implemented multiple emergency doe hunts for mule deer and pronghorn with the objective of keeping animal populations in sync with the capacity of the land to provide for them." ...


Wildfires can be destructive, but may ultimately benefit wildlife November 14, 2021 New Mexico, Santa Fe New Mexican

... Although some fires can be very intense, sterilizing the ground for several years before new growth can occur, at some point, they all create a wildlife paradise... Following a timber harvest or fire, deer and elk will gather to feed on the new shoots of quaking aspen growing along with the parent tree’s root system...


Why The South Is Decades Ahead Of The West In Wildfire Prevention August 31, 2021 WBUR

... "They used to light a fire and just let it burn till it quit, wherever over yonder it quit. Because it kept the forest open. The deer had something to eat. ... In 1990, Florida passed a law to encourage prescribed burns, recognizing that the state would lose significant biodiversity without it ...


Habitat regeneration in Mullen Fire burn area benefits big game September 4, 2021 Wyoming, Wyoming News

... The largest recent impact on habitat was last fall’s Mullen Fire, which burned more than 176,000 acres in the Snowy Range. Habitat regeneration is happening within the burn scar, which will have long-term benefits for elk, mule deer, moose and bighorn sheep...


America’s First Peoples Have Things to Teach Us About Taming Wildfires August 15, 2021 Mother Jones

... the Klamath Tribes had worked with the US Forest Service to thin young trees and apply prescribed burning. When the Bootleg fire finally swept through, the forest was far less damaged than other areas that were not treated, the forest service said, noting that deer were even seen grazing on a “green island” preserved by the treatment...


Infrastructure Bill Includes Mule Deer Foundation Priorities for Forest Management and Wildlife Crossings August 10, 20201 Utah, Mule Deer Foundation

...“The infrastructure package passed today will provide critical funding for forest restoration projects like the ones the Mule Deer Foundation leads to thin the overgrowth of trees and reduce the understory brush, both of which provide the fuels that can feed these devastating, stand-replacing fires. Not only is this good for forest health, but it also provides the necessary habitat structure that is so important for mule deer, black-tailed deer, and other wildlife species.”...


Remote cameras capture life returning to Oregon forests after wildfire September 10, 2021 OPB New

... “You can show the plants coming back, and the elk and the deer and bear and the cougar and everything else that loves that highly burned landscape after it starts to regrow,” ...


More 'good fire' could help California control future catastrophes July 27, 2021

National Geographic

... Prescribed burns are one of the essential tools of modern fire prevention, and researchers at the Berkeley forest have spent decades experimenting with them ... setting intentional fires frequently. Some fires cleared out underbrush so deer and other animals could move freely...


B.C. forests are 'bonfires waiting to go off' — are more fires the solution? July 26, 2021 British Columbia, NSNews

... Indigenous communities have used fire for thousands of years to ‘garden’ forests... would set fire to the land to open up clogged waterways for spawning salmon or clear foraging areas for moose and deer. The net effect, agree oral histories and forest ecologists, was to suppress mega-fires with low-intensity burns...


Prescribed burn today in Otsego County to improve elk habitat May 15, 2021 Michigan DNR News

... A prescribed burn by Michigan Department of Natural Resources fire staff is planned today for Otsego County's Corwith Township. The 418-acre burn will improve elk habitat in the Pigeon River Country State Forest and rejuvenate native grasses. Prescribed burns are one way the DNR keeps lands and forests healthy...


WDFW plans Eastern Washington prescribed burns to improve habitat, reduce wildfire risk April 5, 2021 Washington, Dailyfly

... Annual prescribed burns on Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) lands in eastern Washington are planned to start in April, as conditions allow. Controlled fire reduces the risk of wildfire and improves habitat for animals such as deer, elk, and bighorn sheep...


Public/Private Partnerships Restore Willamette Valley Wildlife Habitat March 13, 2021 Oregon Natural Resources Conservation Service

... before European settlement, much of the Willamette Valley was covered by native grasses, forbs, and oak savanna. The Kalapuya people regularly set fires to improve hunting and travel. The fires helped maintain the valley’s mosaic of grasslands, oak savannas, wet prairies, and other open habitats...


Forest Service reduces wildfire risk, improves forest health with controlled burns March 18, 2021 Texas, North Texas e-News

... Controlled burning dramatically reduces the chances of a wildfire spreading out of control, and burning underbrush promotes new growth of tender vegetation beneficial to wildlife such as deer, turkey, and birds...


Montana looks to improve winter range at two Bitterroot wildlife management areas February 27, 2021 Ravalli Republic

... The reason is that we’re trying to improve habitat for elk and deer ... The sagebrush has been shaded out over the years. The conifer encroachment is the result of fire suppression over a long period... trees are being ground into mulch this winter to open up the forest and allow for more forage to grow...


Wildfires Open Forests for Wildlife and Research January 26, 2021, KLCC FM Public Radio

... if you look around Oregon, they tend to be really homogeneous, right, they’re just like the same tree, all about the same age, and there isn’t a lot of light hitting the forest floor... Where we had moderate to lightly-burned areas, we did see green up, and we’re seeing deer ...


Era of 'good fire', collaborative vegetation management is here: “Prescribed Burning" panel discussion Jan 15. January 11, 2021 California, Sonoma County Gazette

...in the year following a controlled burn in grassland or oak savannah, an increase in the presence of deer is commonly noted due to improved forage quality...


BLM to conduct prescribed fire in Sweetwater County January 8, 2021 Wyoming, Bureau of Land Management

... The project consists of approximately 200 acres of slash piles that are targeted to be burned to reduce juniper where it is encroaching on sage grouse, mule deer, and elk habitat... Prescribed fire is a beneficial management tool used to replicate natural wildfire...


‘There’s good fire and bad fire.’ An Indigenous practice may be key to preventing wildfires December 18, 2020 California, National Geographic

... The Indigenous Peoples Burn Network focused on a single goal: setting forests on fire.... [ancestors] burned young trees and brush to create and maintain meadows that would attract deer and elk... As these flames ceased, a new kind of forest emerged: a nearly fire-free ecosystem that was unlike anything that had existed since the end of the Ice Age...


Burned, beetle-ravaged Wyoming forest expected to flourish November 2, 2020 Colorado, OutThere Colorado

... For elk and mule deer, the benefit will be less about tree cover and more about a sudden abundance of food. When a fire burns, it clears out conifers like lodgepole pines... more water on the ground for grasses, wildflowers and wildlife ...


Mississippi Forestry Commission: Good fires prevent bad ones September 30, 2020 WJTV

... Experts who study wildfires agree that good land management practices can go a long way in helping reduce the risk of catastrophic wildfires... including ... prescribed fire... after a fire, a lot of the vegetation is brought back down to ground level within reach and it’s more nutritious and the deer are much healthier...


Mule deer and bighorn sheep benefit from wildfires September 7, 2020 British Columbia, Infotel.ca

... There’s a lot of plants that are dependant on fire to regenerate. Fire clears out smaller shrubs that become less edible for some species, while allowing other plants to grow that are often more nutritious for sheep and deer, he said. “Fire isn’t such a terrible thing if we can find a place on the landscape for it to go,” ...


LM to Conduct 2 Prescribed Fires near La Barge June 8, 2020 Wyoming, SweetwaterNOW.com

... prescribed fires are part of the Wyoming Range Mule Deer Habitat Project which was developed as part of the Wyoming Game and Fish Department’s Wyoming Range Mule Deer Initiative that was completed in 2011. The purpose of the project is to improve vegetation conditions in crucial mule deer winter range, transition range, and fawning ranges...


Ancient West Virginia forests once a mosaic of landscapes January 3, 2020, West Virginia Explorer

... Historians once assumed West Virginia had been shaded by a vast unbroken forest ... Records from the 1700s and archaeological evidence uncovered more recently indicate that vast areas had been burned to create grasslands to make hunting and farming easier ... Only about one percent of forest fires were started by lightning strikes, and the rest were manmade...


Effects of fuel reduction timber harvests on forage resources for deer in northeastern Washington IT Hull, LA Shipley, SL Berry, C Loggers, TR Johnson - … Ecology and Management, 2019

... Fire suppression has increased the canopy cover, stocking density, and fuel loads of dry forests in the inland northwestern United States... Our results indicate that active management prescriptions intended to reduce fuel loads posed by overstocked conifers can also increase the amount of high quality forage for deer and other wild ungulates, especially when carefully planning the timing, intensity, and rotation schedules of fuels reduction treatments...


The magnet effect of fire on herbivores affects plant community structure in a forested system SM Westlake, D Mason, A Lázaro-Lobo, P Burr… - … Ecology and Management, 2020

... Here we demonstrated in a series of experiments in a loblolly pine (Pinus taeda) forest that the net effects of fire on plant community heterogeneity are indirectly mediated through changes in herbivore behavior... These results highlight the need to conserve the fire-herbivory interaction rather than either force independently...


Prescribed Burns planned on Big Pine Key Next Week October 22, 2019 Florida, Florida Keys Weekly

... The primary reasons for conducting these burns are to remove the over-accumulation of vegetation acting as fire fuel ... Prescribed burns are important for the continued survival of local species such as the federally endangered Key deer ...


Country Ecology: Northern red oak October 11, 2019 New Hampshire, Conway Daily Sun

... Early colonists noted savannah-like appearances in this ancient forest ... Indians thus commonly had used fire as a landscape managing tool, releasing nutrients back to the soil and keeping any understory down for the wild animals’ benefit... their own unique style of wildlife management to help the wild turkey and deer populations expand in those times...


Forest officials aim to inform on prescribed burns September 17, 2019 Montana, Daily Inter Lake

... Officials sought approval to burn the area in order to reduce the severity of any future wildfires... A successful fire would also improve elk and mule deer habitat, prepare grounds for planting native trees, and more...


Fire will help butte's wildlife September 4, 2019 Wyoming, Jackson Hole News&Guide

... mule deer and elk ... stand to benefit from the flames ... “Usually if you have a fire come through, you end up with a bunch of new green vegetation that has a pretty high protein content — higher than the older vegetation,” ...


Prescribed burn project to start this fall in west Wyoming August 27, 2019 Wyoming, WRAL

...a mix of fuels-reduction work designed to prevent wildfire ... mimic wildfire's natural role of invigorating browse for elk and mule deer...


As It Was: Ashland, Ore., Forest Plan Reduces Wildfire Danger August 5, 2019 Oregon, ijpr.or

... Until settlers began arriving in the 1850s, the indigenous people used low-intensity fire to herd [and feed] deer, reducing fuel content in the watershed. As settlers pushed aside the Indians, the forest thickened, becoming susceptible to wildfires...


Wolves and elk: 'It's complicated' April 25, 2019 Montana, Daily Inter Lake

... “Long-term fire suppression and management for late seral and old growth forests in the region have resulted in dense trees crowding out the understory,” ... “Elk are frequently moving to private lands to find the habitat they need ...


The West's worst fires aren't burning in forests June 13, 2019 Nevada, High Country News

... Historically, sagebrush habitat burned about once every century or less, but now it happens around every five to 10 years ... If sagebrush decline continues, the approximately 350 species that depend on it are in serious trouble... The fires also harm watersheds, cause erosion and destroy wildlife corridors used by pronghorn antelope, mule deer and elk...


Managing our forests is the answer June 25, 2019 Oregon, The Register-Guard

... a large percentage of Oregon’s wildlife species live in or need young forests. It is about time the BLM started to develop a better mix of forest ages across its landscape. Diverse young stands ...are lacking in Oregon. Species like ... deer and elk need these young stands in order to survive... the BLM is working to enhance much needed habitat ...


More controlled burns will save lives, property April 11, 2019 North Carolina, The Mountaineer

... The burn, funded by the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation, aimed to enrich the soil and allow for more young plants to sprout up, which provides the growing herds with more nutrient-rich food... numerous news outlets reported on how a decrease in prescribed burns made the fires far more catastrophic...


Department of Fish and Wildlife to perform controlled burns in Eastern Washington April 5, 2019 KIRO Seattle

... The burns will help to reduce the risk of wildfire and will improve the habitat for animals like deer, elk and bighorn sheep ...


Wolf task force seeks to form advisory board March 15, 2019 Oregon, Curry Coastal Pilot

... Boice ... notes that cougars alone have decimated the regional deer and elk population that keep the grass cropped... there are 6,000 cougars in Oregon, which collectively need 300,000 deer and elk each year to survive... without deer and elk grazing and keeping forest fuels down, forest fires could be even more fierce...


The Effects of Common Forest Management Practices on Community Structure in a Southern Pine Forest Mississippi, DP Chance - 2018

.. I assessed the impacts of common forest management practices (canopy reduction, prescribed fire, and selective herbicide application) .... Combining canopy reductions with prescribed fire, which closely mimicked historical intermediate disturbance intensities in this vegetation type, led to the greatest invasion resistance due to high abundances of native plants. Both deer and turkey increased use in areas with high levels of understory cover. Coupling canopy reductions with prescribed fire created the most favorable conditions for both species ...


Mendocino County Blacktail Association helps improve deer conditions in Northern California December 27, 2018 California, Ukiah Daily Journal

... some of the main reasons there has been a decline [in the deer population] include fire suppression, bad habitats, lack of nutrition options and a large number of predators in the public lands... have also started the Baseball Thinning project to improve wildlife habitat ... the added benefit of reducing fire hazard in the forest...


Prescribed fires continue in northern Utah November 12, 2018 Utah, Utahstatesman

... “The primary goal of pile burning is to remove hazardous wildland fuel accumulations,” Rockwood [fuels technician for the Ogden and Logan Ranger Districts] said. “It is also classified as crucial winter and summer habitat for mule deer, and possible sage grouse habitat.” ...


Partnership aims to reduce hazardous fuels, enhance wildlife habitat on Mendocino National Forest November 1, 2018 California, Lake County News

... The Mendocino National Forest entered into agreements in 2017 on a project with the Mendocino County Blacktail Association and the Mule Deer Foundation in a 600-acre area that has been the focus of wildlife habitat improvement and hazardous fuels reduction as funds were available...


Woodland fire is beneficial to elk and mule deer October 27, 2018 Montana, The Bozeman Daily Chronicle

... Mike Hillis reports on 15 years of post-fire research in Montana: “On winter ranges where fires have not burned for more than 20 years, an acre of winter range will typically yield from 30 to 120 pounds of forage. On winter ranges that burned in the last year or two, however, the production typically jumps to 200 to 3,000 pounds of forage per acre ...


Hopland Research and Extension Center studying wildlife habits post-fire October 19, 2018 California, Ukiah Daily Journal

... black-tailed deer in the coast ranges spend the vast majority of their lives circling a home range with a radius of about a mile. After a fire, scientists expected home ranges to expand as deer scoured the scorched earth for scant forage. While their ranges have expanded slightly, the change has been smaller than expected ...


Tribes used fire to maintain area's habitat October 17, 2018 Oregon, Ashland Daily Tidings

... could see where the meadow had been but pines and brush had grown over the meadow through the years... a place where indigenous peoples would come on a seasonal basis to gather camas and tarweed and go elk and deer hunting. They used fire to maintain it, to create the ideal habitat... [Southern Oregon University Laboratory of Anthropology]


Wildfires produce elk food as nutritious as alfalfa, Montana study shows September 22, 2018 Casper Star-Tribune Online

... Barker’s study found that “ … Recently burned (1-6 year prior) dry forests at higher elevations provided forage quality approximately equivalent to that of irrigated agriculture.” ... “If summer nutrition is bad, they won’t have a calf,” Toman said. “It takes summer nutrition to drive that elk herd.” ...


Thinning project on wildlife management area gets go-ahead June 20, 2018 Montdana, Ravalli Republic

... deer and elk like the forest’s edge... Focused on improving forage production on the winter range, improving aspen stands and reducing the risk of fire and bug infestations, the agency thinned about 370 acres... I would like to see fire reintroduced to keep the underbrush from becoming overgrown...


Court Rules in Favor of Active Forest Management May 30, 2018 Montana, AmmoLand Shooting Sports News

... Without forest management treatment in the near future, the forest floor will be covered with combustible material that will also impede the growth of shrubs and grasses needed by elk, deer and other wildlife. The project calls for the removal of pine beetle-killed timber, forest thinning to reduce conifer encroachment ...


Burn projects aim to restore dwindling aspen trees in Gallatin Valley May 17, 2018 Montana, NBC Montana

... Montana has lost 64 percent of its aspen trees over the last century ... it’s common for deer, elk and moose to graze on aspen, and because of their high moisture content they can act as natural barriers during wildfires..


Can more fires create less smoke? October 15, 2018 Oregon, The Edwardsville Intelligencer

... Tribes in the Pacific Northwest have used fire as a tool to shape the landscape for thousands of years. The touch of flame kept huckleberry and camas fields abundant. In areas where tribes hunted deer and elk, fire created a mat of forage plants on the forest floor, a favorite food for the ungulates. Burned areas recycle nutrients more efficiently and help to control the spread of invasive species...


Game & Fish and Federal Partners Burn for Wildlife July 18, 2018 Wyoming, Wyo4News

... This is the third aspen unit burned as part of a string of Wyoming Range mule deer treatments initiated in 2014...


Long-term, Wildfires have Positive Impacts for Wildlife May 17, 2011 Texas Habitat Brownwood News (blog)

... “Wildlife species such as white-tailed deer will move back into burned areas. This may take longer in areas where brush species were hit hardest.” ... a major fire that burned 95 percent of the high-fenced Chaparral Wildlife Management Area southwest of San Antonio in 2008, relatively few deer perished, according to David Synatzske, area manager on the Chap. Three years later, Synatzske said deer densities on the Chaparral WMA are at record highs and other animals, such as javelina, have also rebounded.


Ashland, As It Was: Ashland, Ore., Forest Plan Reduces Wildfire Danger August 5, 2019 Oregon, ijpr.or

... Until settlers began arriving in the 1850s, the indigenous people used low-intensity fire to herd [and feed] deer, reducing fuel content in the watershed. As settlers pushed aside the Indians, the forest thickened, becoming susceptible to wildfires...


Logging, intentional fires planned in Superior National Forest to improve moose habitat April 26, 2017 Minnesota, Duluth News Tribune

... plans to cut more and larger swaths of trees are getting high praise. Wildlife biologists and others say more logging and more fire are the only hope for Minnesota's dwindling moose herd...