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    Stubble height, streambank alteration, and woody species use are indicators used to monitor livestock impacts on riparian areas in the western United States. Effects of wild ungulates on riparian conditions are often not monitored and assumed to be represented by indicators developed for livestock. We tested this assumption by evaluating effects of elk (Cervus canadensis) and mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus) on grazing indicators along Meadow Creek, a salmonid-bearing stream in northeastern Oregon. Wild ungulates reduced stubble height by 20% to 30%. Mean streambank alteration was 1.1% (ranged from 0.3–8%). Woody species use was negatively related to stubble height and positively related to streambank alteration (P < 0.05). Despite maintenance of stubble height and streambank alteration within regulatory guidelines, wild ungulate use of preferred woody species was moderate to high (>50%). Adherence to guidelines developed for livestock may not result in desired riparian conditions where wild ungulate populations are high.

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    Averett, Joshua P.; Wisdom, Michael J.; Endress, Bryan A. 2019. Livestock riparian guidelines may not promote woody species recovery where wild ungulate populations are high. Rangeland Ecology & Management. 72(1): 145-149.


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    Stubble height, streambank alteration, wild ungulate herbivory, riparian monitoring.

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