Elk cervus elaphus nelsoni use of winter range as affected by cattle grazing fertilizing and burning in southeastern washington usa

Skovlin, J.M.; Edgerton, P.J.; Mcconnell, B.R.

Journal of Range Management 36(2): 184-189


Accession: 005352420

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A study of ways to increase winter use by elk of Pacific bunchgrass foothill range in southeastern Washington employed fertilizing and rangeland burning, with and without spring cattle grazing. First-year response of elk to fertilizer applied in fall (56 kg N/ha) was a 49% increase in use; but no significant carry-over effect was noted in subsequent years. Fall burning to remove dead standing litter and enhance forage palatability provided no increase in elk use in winter. Intensive cattle grazing in spring to promote regrowth did not increase elk use. In fact, cattle grazing decreased winter elk use by 28% in 1 of the 3 yr studied. The cost effectiveness of increasing elk use by fertilizing appeared marginal except perhaps in special situations. A discussion of forage allocation to both elk and cattle is presented.