Outdoor News Bulletin

Outdoor News Bulletin

August 2017 Edition | Volume 71, Issue 8 | Published since 1946

New Best Management Practices for New England Cottontail

A new 28-page publication, Best Management Practices for the New England Cottontail: How to Create, Enhance and Maintain Habitat, will equip habitat managers and landowners with detailed knowledge of how to make habitat that is necessary for the survival of the New England cottontail, a rare regional rabbit currently found in six northeastern states. The new BMPs are currently published online in an electronic format. Physical copies will become available in the coming months.

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The Outdoor Industry - A Partner in Waiting, With a Lot to Offer

Often, when state fish and wildlife agencies or fish and wildlife related non-governmental organizations (NGO) think of partnering with industry, it is related to either the excise taxes paid by the industry or when they are seeking donations of equipment or money to support upcoming banquets or events. It is less often that these industry partners are looked upon as “true” partners that can offer insight into resource management issues or be helpful in gaining support from the public or from elected officials for important activities. Agency and NGO leaders should not overlook the value of reaching out to industry partners and engaging them beyond simply asking them to write a check.

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CMR Allows Emergency Grazing

The Lodgepole Complex wildfire in northeast Montana burned over 270,000 acres of federal, state, and private land east of the Musselshell River in Garfield and Petroleum counties, including 14,000 acres on the 1.1 million acre Charles M. Russell National Wildlife Refuge. The fire destroyed 16 ranch homes, dozens of associated buildings, and hundreds of miles of fences. In response to a request from Montana’s congressional delegation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) is providing emergency grazing on parts of the refuge to some affected livestock producers. Use of refuge lands is authorized through November 1, or until the animals were previously scheduled for shipment, whichever comes first.

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Cooperative Research Unit Corner

Responses of Mule Deer, Elk, Black Bear, and Mountain Lion to Forest Restoration in New Mexico

Decades of fire suppression, logging, and overgrazing have resulted in increased densities of small trees in southwestern ponderosa pine forests. These changes in forest structure are associated with decreases in biodiversity, reduced habitat quality for many wildlife species, a reduction in forage for ungulates, and more frequent and severe wildfires, all of which has increased the need for projects designed to restore these systems. Furthermore, considerable resources are expended each year by state and federal agencies on vegetation treatments designed specifically to improve habitat quality for game species. However, because both wildfires and vegetation treatments can result in profound changes to habitat conditions for many wildlife species, forest restoration plans should be well-designed, based on the best scientific information, and include monitoring and research programs to document the short- and long-term responses of vegetation and wildlife to forest restoration treatments. Scientists with the USGS New Mexico Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit are leading research evaluating the responses of large mammals to landscape-scale forest restoration treatments and wildfires in the Southwest Jemez Mountains in New Mexico.

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