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The U.S. Forest Service, the Midwest CASC and other partners from the Midwest region are working together to examine how climate adaptive forest management strategies can mitigate negative impacts on moose.

Moose are recognized for their intrinsic ecological value as well as their importance in shaping the cultural identity, recreational economy, and hunting heritage in parts of the U.S. However, moose in the Midwest are in danger of dramatic population declines due to factors such a lack of food availability, poor habitat quality, heat stress, tick-borne illnesses, and changing environmental conditions as a result of climate change. Furthermore, deer can carry a parasitic brainworm that is harmless to deer, but fatal to moose.

To examine how climate adaptive forest management strategies can mitigate the negative impacts on moose while reducing contact with deer, the U.S. Forest Service’s Northern Research Station partnered with the Midwest CASC and others to work with forest managers and moose experts in identifying habitat characteristics and forest management techniques, such as timber harvesting and prescribed fire, that can support healthy moose populations. Together, they are discovering areas across multiple land ownerships (state, federal, county, tribal, and private lands), where management actions can lead to improved moose foraging and cover habitat under both current and future forest conditions. The scientists aim to identify shared areas of interest that create the most favorable conditions on the landscape across ownerships.

This work is supported by the Midwest CASC funded project, Can Climate Change Mitigation Through Forest Management Save the Moose in Minnesota?

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