Wildlife habitat investigations and management implications on the Bridger-Teton National Forest
Document Type: Book Chapter
Author(s): G. E. Gruell
Editor(s): M. S. Boyce; L. D. Hayden-Wing
Publication Year: 1979

Cataloging Information

  • age classes
  • Alces alces
  • Amelanchier
  • Antennaria
  • Antilocapra americana
  • Artemisia frigida
  • broadcast burning
  • browse
  • carrying capacity
  • Cervus canadensis
  • Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus
  • coniferous forests
  • deciduous plants
  • disturbance
  • Eriogonum
  • Eurotia lanata
  • fire hazard reduction
  • fire management
  • fire scar analysis
  • forage
  • forest management
  • fuel accumulation
  • grasses
  • grazing
  • herbaceous vegetation
  • histories
  • landscape ecology
  • lightning caused fires
  • logging
  • mortality
  • national forests
  • perennial plants
  • Phlox hoodii
  • photography
  • physiology
  • plant growth
  • plant physiology
  • Populus tremuloides
  • Prunus virginiana
  • Purshia tridentata
  • range management
  • rangelands
  • regeneration
  • Salix
  • sampling
  • seasonal activities
  • seed dormancy
  • shrubs
  • soil erosion
  • soils
  • species diversity (animals)
  • species diversity (plants)
  • succession
  • trees
  • wildfires
  • wildlife
  • wildlife habitat management
Record Maintained By:
Record Last Modified: July 31, 2018
FRAMES Record Number: 34107
Tall Timbers Record Number: 8304
TTRS Location Status: Not in file
TTRS Call Number: Fire File DDW
TTRS Abstract Status: Fair use, Okay, Reproduced by permission

This bibliographic record was either created or modified by the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy and is provided without charge to promote research and education in Fire Ecology. The E.V. Komarek Fire Ecology Database is the intellectual property of the Tall Timbers Research Station and Land Conservancy.


Grazing impact by elk and moose has been a point of concern in Jackson Hole for many years. Concern has been primarily directed toward sparsely vegetated south aspects, aspen stands, and willow bottoms. Numerous transects have quantified heavy forage utilization. Trend studies have been mostly inconclusive. Study of hsitorical narratives, early photographs and consideration of plant physiology, soils data, and fire ecology have aided interpretations of vegetal trend and plant succession in recent years. Photographs show little change on sparsely vegetated sites. Soils information on these sites indicate that vegetal growth is limited by low site potential. Utilization of plants during the dormant winter period and early spring is not viewed as damaging. Early narratives suggest that forage species evolved under high levels of elk foraging. Fire was formerly the predominniat abiotic agent influencing vegetal succession on most sites. A reduction in acres burned has allowed vegetation to reach advanced succession at the expense of herbaceous plants and deciduous shrubs and trees. With advancing succession, the carrying capacity for elk and other wildlife has declined. Resulting low levels of aspen regeneration on winter ranges have been suppressed by foraging elk and moose. It has been concluded that prescribed fire is a viable means of rejuvenating preferred vegetation on productive sites and improving the carrying capcity for elk and other wildlife. A prescribed burn of 1,000 acres accomplished on Breakneck Flat and appropriate studies set up to monitor results. The use of prescribed natural fire and timber harvests also afford considerable opportunity to improve wildlife habitat.

Gruell, G. E. 1979. Wildlife habitat investigations and management implications on the Bridger-Teton National Forest, in MS Boyce and LD Hayden-Wing eds., North American elk: ecology, behavior and management. Laramie, WY, University of Wyoming, p. 63-74.