Great Basin Naturalist


Two adjacent mechanically treated pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp. and Juniperus spp.) big game winter range sites in central Utah were sampled in 1981 to estimate vegetational differences and tree mortality from the two treatments. One site was treated by selectively bulldozing in 1957 and the other was double chained in 1965. Both treatments significantly reduced tree and litter cover, whereas significant increases were found for native grasses and shrubs compared to a nearby untreated site. Juniper cover for the untreated site was 35.5% compared to only 1.4% for the bulldozed area and 4.1% for the two-way chained area. Browse species densities were increased by the mechanical treatments. The use of different mechanical treatments on separate smaller portions of critical areas of big game winter range would help provide: (1) for both long-term and short-term use of a critical wintering area, (2) greater overall productivity and carrying capacity, and (3) greater diversity by creating more edge effect between the differently treated and untreated areas.