elk by shitingting


									       NRCS                             Wildlife Habitat Evaluation Guide – Elk

                                                                                                March 2009
Owner/Operator:                                                   District:
County:                                                           Field Office:
Assisted By:                                                      Acres:
Location:                                                         Date:
Farm & Tract #:                                                   Contract #:

General Information: Rocky Mountain elk are found primarily in the western 2/3 of Colorado, however they are
occasionally found on the eastern plains. They are an adaptive species and have thrived in many Front Range
Foothills communities. Home ranges can be from 2,500 acres to 10,000 acres, however they spend most of
their time on 1,500 to 4,000 acres. Habitat quality, herd sizes, and other factors influence home range sizes.
Optimum habitat consists of 60% openings or forage producing areas and 40% cover areas. Openings should
be 10-30 acres in size and no wider than 1,200 feet. Elk food habits shift seasonally. Grasses and grass like
plants are 75% of the summer diet and 92% of the fall diet, but drop to 22% in winter. Browse makes up 10% of
the summer diet, but shifts to 57% in winter.

                               Cover Factors
 1) Thermal and hiding cover                                                      Value       Before   After
    Dense trees or shrubs that provide summer shade and protection from
 a)                                                                                    1.0
    wind and snow; patches >600 feet wide
    Dense trees or shrubs that provide summer shade and protection from
 b)                                                                                    0.7
    wind and snow; patches <600 feet wide
 c) Thin tree stands or shrubs less than 6 feet tall;patches >600 feet wide            0.5
 d) Thin tree stands or shrubs less than 6 feet tall;patches <600 feet wide            0.3
    Average distance to cover >1200 feet or no cover found on planning unit
 e)                                                                                    0.1
                                                                Enter value here ------->

 2) Plant communities                                                            Value        Before   After
    Ponderosa, lodgepole pine; Douglas fir; other conifers; pinon-juniper;
 a)                                                                                     1.0
    oak; other shrubs; aspen; riparian
 b) Grasslands                                                                          0.3
 c) Other community types                                                               0.1
                                                                Enter value here ------->

 3) Percent of operating unit in thermal and hiding cover as described
                                                                             Value            Before   After
 in #1
 a) 30-50%                                                                          1.0
 b) 10-29% or 51-80%                                                                0.5
 c) <10% or >80%                                                                    0.1
                                                            Enter value here ------->

 4) Distance to heavy human activity (high density development-
                                                                           Value              Before   After
 houses, businesses, gas and oil wells, etc.-paved highways)
 a) >1/2 mile                                                                     1.0
 b) 1/4 to 1/2 mile                                                               0.5
 c) 1/8 to 1/4 mile                                                               0.1
 d) <1/8 mile                                                                     0.0
                                                          Enter value here ------->
                             Food Factors
5A. Forage species diversity                                                  Value                            Before     After
   Minimum of 3 perennial grass, 2 palatable shrub, and 5 forb species with
a)                                                                                   1.0
   no noxious weeds
   Minimum of 2 perennial grass, 1 palatable shrub, and 2 forb species with
b)                                                                                   0.5
   few or no noxious weeds
   Minimum of 1 grass species, 2 forb species or moderate amounts of
c)                                                                                   0.3
   noxious weeds present
d) One plant species or heavy infestation of noxious weeds                           0.1
                                                             Enter value here ------->

5B. Percent of grass, forb, and shrub annual production available for
use by elk. Shrubs must be species elk use for forage such as             Value                                Before     After
serviceberry, oak, bitterbrush, mountain mahogany, etc.
a) >75%                                                                          1.0
b) 50 - 75%                                                                      0.7
c) 25 - 49%                                                                      0.5
d) <25%                                                                          0.2
                                                         Enter value here ------->

5) Average of 5A and 5B                                                                                        #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!

6) Distance from center of forage area to thermal/hiding cover. Forage
areas are openings, pasture and hayland, meadow, sagebrush lands,          Value                               Before     After
other shrublands
a) <600 feet                                                                      1.0
b) 600-1200 feet                                                                  0.5
c) 1200 feet - 1/2 mile                                                           0.2
d) >1/2 mile                                                                      0.0
                                                          Enter value here ------->

7) Distance to water-water defined as open water, wet meadow,
                                                                              Value                            Before     After
riparian-needs to be available during season of use
   Watering site every section or closer (maximum spacing 1mile between
a)                                                                                   1.0
b) Watering sites 1-2 miles apart                                                    0.5
   Watering sites >2 miles apart or only seasonal water sources, or not on
c)                                                                                   0.1
   planning unit
                                                             Enter value here ------->

HSI Value is the lowest value for the above 7 factors. To improve the HSI, the lowest
value in the before condition must be increased by implementing changes that will
increase the value in the after condition. To meet quality criteria, the overall HSI must
be at 0.5 or higher in the after condition.
                                                                                                               Before     After
Overall HSI ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------->   #DIV/0!   #DIV/0!
Service Center             Conservation District
Akron        ADAMS         Agate
Alamosa      ALAMOSA       Baca County
Brighton     ARAPAHOE      Bent County
Burlington ARCHULETA       Big Thompson
Byers        BACA          Bookcliff
Canon City BENT            Boulder Valley
Center       BOULDER       Branson-Trinchera
Cheyenne Wells             Burlington
Colorado Springs           Centennial
Cortez       CHEYENNE      Center
Craig        CLEAR CREEK   Central Colorado
Delta        CONEJOS       Cheyenne
Dove Creek COSTILLA        Colorado First
Durango      CROWLEY       Conejos County
Eads         CUSTER        Cope
Flagler      DELTA         Costilla
Fort Collins DENVER        Custer County-Divide
Fort Morgan DOLORES        DeBeque-Plateau Valley
Franktown DOUGLAS          Deertrail
Glenwood Springs           Delta
Grand Junction PASO        Dolores
Greeley      ELBERT        Double El
Gunnison     FREMONT       Douglas County
Holly        GARFIELD      Douglas Creek
Holyoke      GILPIN        Dove Creek
Hugo         GRAND         Eagle County
Ignacio      GUNNISON      East Adams
Julesburg    HINSDALE      East Otero
Kremmling HUERFANO         El Paso
La Jara      JACKSON       Flagler
Lamar        JEFFERSON     Fort Collins
Las Animas KIOWA           Fremont
Longmont KIT CARSON        Gunnison
Meeker       LA PLATA      Haxtun
Metro        LAKE          High Plains
Monte Vista LARIMER        Jefferson
Montrose     LAS ANIMAS    Kiowa
Northeast Prowers          Kiowa County
Norwood     LOGAN        La Plata
Pagosa Springs           Lake County
Pueblo      MINERAL      Longmont
Rocky Ford MOFFAT        Mancos
Salida      MONTEZUMA    Mesa
San Luis    MONTROSE     Middle Park
Silvercliff MORGAN       Morgan
Simla       OTERO        Mosca-Hooper
Springfield OURAY        Mount Sopris
Steamboat Springs        North Park
Sterling    PHILLIPS     Northeast Prowers
Towaoc      PITKIN       Olney-Boone
Trinidad    PROWERS      Pine River
Walden      PUEBLO       Platte Valley
Walsenburg RIO BLANCO    Prairie
Woodland Park GRANDE     Prowers
Wray        ROUTT        Rio Grande
Yuma        SAGUACHE     Routt County
            SAN JUAN     San Juan
            SAN MIGUEL   San Miguel Basin
            SEDGWICK     Sedgwick County
            SUMMIT       Shavano
            TELLER       South Platte
            WASHINGTON   South Pueblo County
            WELD         South Side
            YUMA         Southeast Weld
                         Spanish Peaks-Purgatorie River
                         Turkey Creek
                         Upper Arkansas
                         Upper Huerfano
                         Washington County
                         West Adams
                         West Arapahoe
                         West Greeley
                         West Otero-Timpas
                         White River
                         Yuma County

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