Tree Mulching Midland TH Buena Vista,CO - Mountain Buzz
 

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Old 01-17-2017   #1
 
Nathrop, Colorado
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Tree Mulching Midland TH Buena Vista,CO

Has anyone noticed all of the old growth pinon and juniper trees they are destroying? BLM claims it is for mule deer habitat. What a mess!

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Old 01-17-2017   #2
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Hmmm... no, but that seems fucked up,I remember reading a thread on the Buzz not long ago, about I believe DOW trying to decrease mountain Lion and bear populations along the Ark, in order to increase Mule deer numbers, there may be things I don't know, but that seems backwards from everything I've ever heard about healthy ecosystems. Deer seem to be one of the species that continue to thrive with human encroachment, while other life ( such as predators and old growth forests) seem to suffer greatly.

I also wonder what's up, is there really something important we don't know? Or is it preasure from hunting lobby groups? When I hunted whitetail, it was ridiculous how off the balance seemed to be, so many deer, probly more than was healthy for the ecosystem. Are land managers on to something, or screwing stuff up big time, like the department of wildlife did?

Scratching head.
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Old 01-18-2017   #3
 
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Yeah, it's a screwed up situation being driven by hunting revenues. They are trying to create more ideal habitat. I assume they are thinking they will create more grasslands by removing pinion, but I would also think it would leave less cover for the deer to hide from predators....

I personally think it's ridiculous. We have plenty of deer in the Ark Valley.

Colorado may euthanize more bears and lions to try to boost dwindling deer numbers – The Denver Post
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Old 01-18-2017   #4
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I'll bet the overall health of deer herds goes down with the reduction of natural predators.
Lions and bears don't kill and eat the prime members of a heard, they kill the slow, old, weak, and sick, whatever is easiest to catch.
Hunters usually harvest the healthiest members of the herd, the trophy buck with a nice rack, and good genes, or a younger, healthy animal with good meat.

Doesn't bode well for predator, or prey.
Will probly be bad for sport hunting to, in the long run.
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Old 01-18-2017   #5
 
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The argument is that they will hunt them only during and immediately after birthing season driving up the number of fawns that survive each year.... but I do agree, I don't think it will be beneficial to the species in the long run.
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Old 01-28-2017   #6
 
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It is an old wives tale that predators only prey on the sick, weak, or old. It is something that is taught to young kids, but is complete b.s. Mountain lions are known to trophy hunt.
The deer population is Colorado is NOT doing well. Just because you see deer in everyone's back yard does not mean that the herd is healthy. The numbers are low, due to numerous reasons, but the largest is predation.
"Old growth" pinon and juniper is just that, old growth. It does little for wildlife, but does increase fire risk. Selective cutting or mulching is the best way to rejuvenate a stand of trees or range land in general. Areas that are not allowed to burn and are not managed often times are highly susceptible to catastrophic fires, and disease epidemics.
Whitetail deer are in the Arkansas valley, they are not wanted there. CPW wants to keep their numbers low, while helping the mule deer. Whitetail deer are NOT native to the mountains, mule deer are.
CPW has one mission, it is to manage the lands in their control for the benefit of wildlife only. They are NOT bound by any multiple use requirements like the forest service or BLM.
With a few exceptions, they do a great job of managing our wildlife.
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Old 01-28-2017   #7
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Ok.
I've never heard of Mountain Lions Trophy hunting before, I'm curious now, do you have any info I can go check out?
Do you have anything on what you say about over predation? It has always seemed to me that the Predator/ Prey relationship has a tendency to work it's way out in the long run, is there another factor preventing this?

I can see a point with thinning trees from the wildfire standpoint, a healthy forest does need an occasional burn, or in the absence of that, artificial thinning can help.

Are you involved with CPW, or just think they do a good job?

Not saying that you're wrong on anything, just many things you said are opposite of things I have believed about Ecosystems, so I'm interested in why you say what you say.

Yes I know that white tails are non native to Colorado, and I have not hunted that species in Colorado.
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Old 01-29-2017   #8
 
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Interesting information Spencerhenry. I too would like to see some evidence to back up your claims that mountain lions do not prey on old, young and/or sick deer....

I do agree that CPW does a good job of managing our state's resources for the benefit of wildlife. However, they do make decisions that I don't agree with. Like closing public lands to protect introduced species.

According to information I have been told whitetails have migrated as far west as Canon City in the Arkansas Valley, but have not been seen in the Upper Valley.... yet.
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Old 01-29-2017   #9
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A great friend of mine saw a lion take down a very big muley buck in his backyard outside of boulder. 6 deer in the yard, the bigass buck was chosen by the lion. It happens. Predators are opportunistic. If they can take a big healthy animal they wont pass to wait on a small weak one.
In the little TV I watch I saw a show on the social behaviors of lions and in the show it showed them sharing the kill of a very big deer as well. Not saying lions wont kill small or weak animals but they are certainly not exclusive.

Deer populations in the ark valley are pretty healthy compared to other places in the state but are still not where the numbers want to be. The fact that there are still zero over the counter mule deer tags in the state screams that we are low on deer, even in healthy areas. Most areas take multiple points even for does. There are several reasons for this decline and a big one is predation but other factors like loss of nursery habitat are huge as well.

CPW does some weird stuff. Some of it is trial and error then abandoned and some of it is proven to work. They have done a bunch of the "mulching" down lower (kerr gulch, mcoy gulch, etc) and it has worked out so they are expanding the practice. I will say it is a little unsightly. CPW does a good job overall of managing wildlife for wildlife sake though they do piss me off from time to time with some of their choices.
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Old 01-29-2017   #10
 
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In Utah the studies have shown that fawn mortality is largely related to coyote predation while cougars prey mostly on bucks and does. Old "wisdom" about predator prey relationships doesn't always hold up to modern science and sadly alot of "ecology" we were taught before the late 90s is being discarded with more nuanced, emperical insights.

The mosaic cuts of forests is aesthetically unpleasing but helps many species. Many of the "old growth" PJ forests might be better described as post-climax. Across much of the arid west the PJ densities are way out of wack due to misguided wildfire policies of the previous decades. Hard to know in this particular case without a report.

Most state wildlife agencies struggle to appease their own base nonetheless other recreational or conservation groups. The visual scars these treatments leave is just one example.
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