• Preferences of mule deer for 16 grasses found on Intermountain winter ranges

      Austin, D. D.; Stevens, R.; Jorgensen, K. R.; Urness, P. J. (Society for Range Management, 1994-07-01)
      In rangeland revegetation, selection of forages palatable to the primary grazer is crucial Five tame mule deer were used in the spring and fall to determine forage preferences for 16 grasses commonly found on seeded foothill rangelands. Trials were conducted within a planted enclosure. Cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) was the most preferred species in spring, and also preferred in fall. Other preferred species included 'Paiute' orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata L.), 'Luna' pubescent wheatgrass (Agropyron trichophorum link.), and fairway wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum [L.] Gaertn). The least preferred grasses were three species of wildrye, 'Vinall' and 'Boisoisky' Russian wildrye (Psathyrostachys juncea Fisch.) and 'Magnar' basin wildrye (Elymus cinereus Scrib. and Merr.). Results showed a wide range of preferences for grasses.
    • Vegetative response to burning on Wyoming mountain-shrub big game ranges

      Cook, J. G.; Hershey, T. J.; Irwin, L. L. (Society for Range Management, 1994-07-01)
      Information on vegetative productivity and nutritive responses to burning in mesic, high elevation big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) communities is limited. We investigated the effects of 2 wildfires and 3 prescribed fires on current year's production of herbs and selected shrubs for 3 years post-burn, and forage quality for 2 years post-burn in high elevation big sagebrush habitats in southcentral Wyoming. Production of perennial herbs on burned sites averaged twice that on controls, while production of annual herbs varied little 2-3 years post-burn. Burn-induced mortality of Saskatoon serviceberry (Amelanchier alnifolia (Nutt) Nutt. ex Roem.) was less than or equal to 15%, but a 6-fold increase in twig production more than compensated for plant losses. Mortality of true mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus Raf.) and antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata (Pursh) DC) averaged 25% and 55%, respectively, but these losses generally were compensated by increases in browse production. Crude protein content of herbs from late spring through early far was significantly higher on burns for 2 years post-burn. These results suggest well-managed prescribed burning programs have potential to improve May through September diets of large herbivores in southcentral Wyoming mountain-shrub communities.