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Family foresters learn to live with moose

Published on January 14, 2011 3:01AM

Last changed on February 11, 2011 8:38AM

Workshops offered on wildlife, biomass, economic trends


Capital Press

When he comes across a moose in the forest, Terry Bowyer doesn't wait around.

If a moose's ears lay down and the hair on its back stands up and it lowers its head, it's time to run, said Bowyer, a Idaho State University professor of biological sciences.

"Moose understand running away really well," he said. "If one begins to behave aggressively, all you have to do is run. They're not like bears, where that will elicit an attack. You run from moose and you don't run from bears."

Bowyer will speak about moose as one of the featured presentations at the 2011 Family Foresters workshop, which is 8:30 a.m-4:15 p.m. Jan. 21 at the Coeur d'Alene Resort in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. The University of Idaho Extension and Washington State University Extension sponsor the event.

"You talk to anyone that works in the woods and ask them the No. 1 critter they would be concerned about meeting face to face, traditionally moose comes up first," said Chris Schnepf, University of Idaho Extension Educator.

Schnepf said the workshop is designed to provide foresters and other natural resource professionals with new information on key issues and technology.

New technology showcased this year includes handheld global positioning systems.

Schnepf expects many foresters to be interested in the workshop's silviculture theme, particularly discussions about forest biomass and rising energy prices.

"Foresters have traditionally been trained to grow boards," he said. "There are some different things to think about when you're managing forests to produce fuel or biomass."

Other topics include economic trends. Retired UI forest economist Charlie McKetta will talk about new tax laws and lumber prices.

Preregistration is required. The cost is $95. Attendance is capped at 120 people.

For more information, contact Schnepf at UI at 208-446-1680 or Erik Sjoquist with WSU Extension at 509-477-2175.

Continuing education credits from the Society of American Foresters and the Association of Consulting Foresters will be available.


University of Idaho Extension Forestry: www.uidaho.edu/extension/forestry

WSU Extension Forestry: http://ext.wsu.edu/forestry

More on moose

Moose numbers have been steadily increasing in Northern Idaho and Eastern Washington, Schnepf said.

Moose can be unpredictable, so the workshop organizers decided to include information on managing their forest habitats.

Bowyer recommends letting the animal have the right of way.

He plans to show video footage demonstrating moose behavior and how to deal with them.

The moose eat some shrub species and mark their range, which can tear up young conifers, he said.

Moose are attracted to successional habitats, such as a brushy setting full of willows, or riparian areas.

There's not much to do to protect one's property from moose, which can jump or walk through fences, he said.

"It's more of trying to find a land management scheme that will allow you to live with them," Bowyer said.

For crops, depredation permits are available, he said.


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