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    Author(s): Valerie Rapp
    Date: 2006
    Source: Science Update 13. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 12 p
    Publication Series: Science Update
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (1.0 MB)


    Definitive results from the Starkey Project’s first decade (1989–99) have given managers defensible options for managing roads, timber production, and range allotments in relation to elk, deer, and cattle. Study results have prompted changes in policies, management standards and guidelines, hunting regulations, and timber sale planning throughout western North America.

    In the 1970s and 1980s, wildlife managers, hunters, and forest managers had intense debates about how elk, mule deer, and cattle should be managed on public lands. In response, scientists from the Pacific Northwest (PNW) Research Station and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW), in collaboration with over 40 partners, initiated the Starkey Project in the Blue Mountains of northeastern Oregon. Starkey is a controlled, landscape-scale study at the Starkey Experimental Forest and Range and the primary field location for research on mule deer, elk, and cattle in managed ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest.

    Four major themes were identified for the Starkey Project’s first decade of research: (1) roads and traffic, (2) timber production and thermal cover, (3) competition with cattle, and (4) breeding efficiency of male elk. The result of the research was a set of compelling findings about elk, deer, and cattle responses to a variety of forest and rangeland activities at scales compatible with management. The Starkey findings are described inside.

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    Rapp, Valerie. 2006. Elk, deer, and cattle: the Starkey Project. Science Update 13. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. 12 p

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