February 27, 2008
Umpqua National Forest Biologist Honored at Elk Foundation Convention
MISSOULA, Mont.—Oregon’s elk habitat is better today, thanks to Jeff Bohler of the Diamond Lake Ranger District in the Umpqua National Forest.
Bohler, a district wildlife biologist, has been honored with an Elk Country Award from the USDA Forest Service and Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. The award, a bronze elk sculpture, was presented during the Elk Foundation’s annual convention, which concluded Feb. 24 in Reno, Nev.
The award recognizes Bohler for his hard work and leadership in enhancing forage conditions for elk and other wildlife in Douglas County. Since 2001, Diamond Lake Ranger District has completed prescribed burning, forage seeding, fertilizing, forest thinning and mowing projects across more than 2,500 acres of public land. Most of this work has occurred within priority winter range for elk.
Tom Toman of the Elk Foundation explained, “Over time, timber harvest practices have changed in the western Cascades. Forage for elk was rapidly declining and nutritional values were low. Conifers and chaparral were overtaking meadows. Elk herds fell to record-low numbers. Elk were going into winter with low fat levels due to declining habitat, and infant mortality and spontaneous abortion of elk was increasing.”
Bohler developed partnerships and projects to get habitat enhancement projects moving.
“Jeff spent many hours of his own time attending evening meetings with a variety of conservation groups and working weekends side-by-side with Elk Foundation volunteers cutting brush, seeding forage, pulling weeds. He literally walks the talk. The future is bright for wildlife habitat on Diamond Lake Ranger District,” said Toman.