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Thread: Habitat? How many studys have gone into this?

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Default Habitat? How many studys have gone into this?

    Everybody talks about this, but how many have studied it.

    Have they taken into the fact that snow fall has a simmilar effect as the fires do?

    How many times have you been out in the spring kicking through the snow and seen green sprouts show up when they were uncovered?

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    I have a very good friend who was the moose biologist for the Forest Service in Cordova. They did a lot of browse studies. In fact that was one of the main reasons that about 6 or 7 years ago, they recommended and implemented a massive reduction in the moose herd on the Copper River Delta. They not only raised the bull harvest by close to double, but they gave out hundreds of cow permits, (about 150 per year if I remember right) over a period of years to cut the herd back to a number that was more healthy for the habitat. That move is looking pretty wise with this year's snowfall there. Even so, I'd be willing to bet the local herd is taking a pretty good hit this winter. I'm sure hunting will be cut way back for a few years, but the important thing is that the habitat isn't taking near the damage it would have if the herd was still at a high level. With good habitat the herd will recover fairly quickly. That is one more reason not to crowd every last animal you can on the grounds year after year.
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    I look at habitat all the time and the only flaw I see in nature is man and his ability to believe he is enlightened
    Now left only to be a turd in the forrest and the circle will be complete.Use me as I have used you

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    Member whitewolf2025's Avatar
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    Quite a few studies have gone into habitat.

    Most animals get past the snow by either digging through it and having some physiological way to cope with the ****ty food under the snow or eating what's above the snow.

    Interestingly enough though, when the snow melts the plants that pop up right on the edge of snow packs are super nutritious for animals. There's a really high nitrogen content, which is one of the most limiting nutrients for animals. There's also a really low fiber content, so they are able to use most of it as well. That's why alot of people think caribou females calve in areas with plants showing these characteristics - i.e., they calve right around the time the plants are in this state. So they can do this two ways - migrating north, or up a hill where the plants pop up later and so they are able to take advantage of the early plant growth. Pretty sweet system.

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    Yup the new growth in the spring is great for cervids. As the snow melts away you can find the deer higher up on the mountains following the new growth as it appears.
    An opinion should be the result of thought, not a substitute for it.
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    Moderator LuJon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rock_skipper View Post
    Everybody talks about this, but how many have studied it.

    Have they taken into the fact that snow fall has a simmilar effect as the fires do?

    How many times have you been out in the spring kicking through the snow and seen green sprouts show up when they were uncovered?
    Can you expound on the snow = fire deal?

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    Member Rock_skipper's Avatar
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    Well thats going to take some time to explain Lujon, lol, being as I don't have a degree other than spending over 40+ years out there, but I'll try to give you a short version til I get all the facts straight.

    If you have a winter with no snowfall that amounts to nothing the earth is going to be dry in the spring and the possibality of wild fires are going to be high, we all know that because if snow melts in early april, its usauly going to be pretty dry in the interior til the end of june- july, "dangerous setting". Not only that the browse is going to be sparse not because of over grazing, but lack of snowpack.

    And by now you are wondering what my point is between the fires and snow is , lol.

    All of you that live in a snow packed area have been out there and seen the snow crystlize in the spring as it is melting, what does it

    Remind you of Maybe a magnifing glass??? (reachs the roots in the ground and starts a plant long before the last snow melts and the animals know this )

    Even tho I don't have a degree, I've watched the wonder of nature that put a green house under ice.

    There have been people that have built fires using a piece of Ice to surrive.

    The big snowfall that happened this year will take the the same track as to replenish the growth that all was thinking was over grazed. Heck if Fairbanks
    did'nt get this latest snowfall then they would be looking at another bad year for fires.

    Thats the short of it for now.

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    Snow insulates the ground and protects some plants from extreme cold. A no snow winter that is really cold can be hard on some things as there is no insulation for the ground. Snow also protects small animals such as voles and they tunnel all over and live the good life after a good snow cover.

    But real deep snow winters can be hard on salmon runs. The weight of the snow can pack it into streams and scour them out taking last years eggs and fry with it. That happened in the early to mid 70's when there was a series of bad winters. The Copper River was so bad as a result that sockeye season was closed and gillnetters were only allowed to use King gear to protect the reds. Evidently the kings spawning in deeper water streams meant the deep snow and ice didn't affect them as much.
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    Supporting Member iofthetaiga's Avatar
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    To date, no significant correlation between winter snowpack and summer wildfire severity has been established. Fire occurrance in the interior is closely correlated with summer weather and lightening activity however. The following linked to research provides an interesting read.

    www.washingtoninstitute.net/ftpFiles/.../TFM19/MikeButteri.pdf


    www.uaf.edu/asp/Students/theses/Bieniek_P_MSThesis.pdf
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