Starkey Experimental Forest faces shutdown under Bush's budget

Daniel B. Wheeler dwheeler at ipns.com
Wed Mar 6 02:24:50 EST 2002


>From The Oregonian, Mar. 4, 2002, p B5

Starkey Experimental Forest faces shutdown under Bush's budget
Land use and wildlife research in the Eastern Oregon tract would lose
its $1.1 million allocation
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

	LA GRANDE - The experimental, fenced-in forest near the Grande Ronde
River will become just another patch of unstudied rural land under the
Bush administration's proposed budget.
	The budget, expected to go before Congress this month, contains no
money for the Starkey Experimental Forest, a federal project studying
several Western land-use issues.
	Under the budget proposal, all research activities would end Sept.
30, and the nearly $1.1 million allocated to the Starkey project would
go elsewhere.
	The area - 25,000 acres cordoned off with a fence in the late 1980s -
is intended for controlled studies of the effects of human industry
and recreation on nature.
	Logging, cattle grazing and road building take place inside the
fence.
	Many of the wild and domestic animals that live inside the fence wear
radio collars. Their movements are tracked 24 hours a day by
telemetery, giving scientists exact information about location.
	Mike Wisdom, a Forest Service biologist, said the Pacific Northwest
Research Station has probably the largest body of telemetry data on
ungulates such as deer, elk and cattle from the site.
	During the past 10 years, researchers have learned that deer and elk
don't need dense tree cover to stay warm. They studied the methods
wild animals use to cope with roads. Scientists found the importance
of the age and size of breeding bulls in the production of healthy
calves.
	Bruce Johnson, a researcher with the Oregon Department of Fish and
Wildlife, said the findings indicate that older, branched bulls
produce stronger calves. That discovery caused the department to
change some hunting regulations.
	The earlier research has drawn to a close with the publication of
findings and reports to Forest Service and private land managers, but
much research is only partly done or unpublished, Wisdom said.	The
forest had two large studies scheduled: One that will begin this
spring on the impacts on deer and elk from ATVs and mountain bikes,
which would be allowed to zip around the area, and another on the
effect of livestock grazing on native plants.
	Current research into the interaction of elk, deer and cattle will
help forest and range managers determine the number of cattle that can
be grazed in various areas, Wisdom said.
	Wisdom said the trials would need at least five years, and maybe 10
to 20, to be viable.

Comment by poster: $60 billion for defense, instant turnaround from
budget surplus to budget deficit. And the lack of income now threatens
tax refunds.

Does anyone believe that liberals run the military-industrial complex?
You remember, the one Ike warned the nation about as he was leaving
office?

Daniel B. Wheeler
www.oregonwhitetruffles.com




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