Shrub preference and utilization by big game on New Mexico reclaimed mine land
coal mined land
Cervus elaphus canadensis
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CitationWood, M. K., Buchanan, B. A., & Skeet, W. (1995). Shrub preference and utilization by big game on New Mexico reclaimed mine land. Journal of Range Management, 48(5), 431-437.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractMined lands are reclaimed so the land can be used for other purposes after mining. At the La Plata Mine in New Mexico, post-mining land uses include livestock grazing and providing wildlife habitat. The objective of this research was to evaluate use of seeded and volunteer shrubs by mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) and elk (Cervus canadensis) during the first opportune season, which occurred 7 years following reclamation. Twelve species of shrubs (10 planted and 2 volunteer) were found on 4 different topdressing treatments. Five branches of shrubs for each species were marked and lengths measured prior to and following the winter wildlife grazing season to determine amount of use. Greatest use by both deer and elk was on curlleaf mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt.), followed in decreasing order by fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens [Pursh] Nutt.), rubber rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus nauseosus [Pall.] Britton), common winterfat (Ceratoides lanata [Pursh] Moq.), shadscale (A triplex confertifolia [Torr. and Frem.] Wats.), antelope bit terbrush (Pursia tridentata [Pursh] DC.), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.), skunk bush sumac (Rhus trilobata Nutt.), Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma [Torr.]Little), fringed sagebrush (Artemisia frigida Willd.), service berry (Amelanchier alnifolia Nutt.), and pinyon pine (Pinus edulis Engelm.). The greatest shrub utilization was on the Jocity topdressing treatment, which is the name of the soil series from which the topdressing was obtained. The Jocity soil series was found on a flood plain site dominated by greasewood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus [Hook.] Torr.). Other shrub utilization, in decreasing order of use, was on topdressing that was a mixture of Jocity and Atrac topdressing, spoil topdressing, and Atrac topdressing, which is a soil series found on an upland site dominated by big sagebrush.