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The Mule Deer Initiative (MDI) strives to protect and improve habitat, improve mule deer numbers and increase hunter satisfaction. Learn more

MDI Commission Meeting Update Presented 11/8/12

November 19, 2012 - 12:20pm -- idfg-cclass

  On November 8th a status review of the Mule Deer Initiative Program was presented to the Commission at the Idaho Falls Commission meeting.  The Commission presentation handout is attached below. 

Mule Deer Initiative Status Review

November 8, 2012

                                                                                                              

           

Background:

Mule deer populations have declined in the West for over 20 years. Idaho’s Mule Deer Initiative (MDI) began in 2004 to help mule deer populations recover, enhance mule deer habitat, increase public knowledge of mule deer biology and management and to eventually restore and maintain healthy mule deer populations in Idaho.

 MDI has three basic goals:

  • Increase mule deer populations
  • Increase mule deer hunter satisfaction
  • Protect and improve mule deer habitat.

MDI Staff:

  • Corey Class MDI Coordinator –  (IDFG, Pocatello)
  • Hunter Moyles – Farm Bill/MDI Biologist (Pheasants Forever (PF)) Cooperative Position, Preston)
  • Carl Frey – Farm Bill/MDI  Biologist (PF Cooperative Position, Pocatello)
  • Clint Rasmussen Wildlife/MDI Technician (IDFG Twin Falls)

Recent Accomplishments

Habitat:

  • In 2010 focused habitat work on large-scale Farm Bill projects.
  • In 2010 improve riparian area near Downeys ($83,000)
  • USFS project regenerating 1,553 acres of quaking aspen habitat in the Palisades Ranger District (2011)($54,000)
  • Exceeded one million shrubs planted on mule deer winter range since 2004
  • Improved 32,000 acres of habitat for mule deer and sage grouse ($175,000 over 2 years)

 

Research:

  • Completed study evaluating habitat types selected by lactating females and their body condition by habitat type 
  • Continue to promote management based mule deer research within the Department

Population Management:

  • Completed statewide mule deer hunter survey and mule deer plan
  • Completed Mule Deer Management Plan in 2008
  • New deer hunts incorporated to address the diversity of deer hunter types (eg. GMU’s 56, 70, and 78)

Communication:

  • Expanding relationships with local sportsmen groups
  • MDI Newsletter/MDI Website
  • Increased public outreach at season- setting meetings, and social media
  • Contacted over 1,000 landowners about Farm Bill Programs since 2010 .

Highway Mortality Mitigation:

  • I-15 Blackrock resulted in 14 miles of 8foot- high fence placed to reduce wildlife vehicle collisions. This project had numerous partners, including IDFG/MDI, Idaho Transportation Department (ITD), Farm Bureau Insurance, Southeast Idaho Mule Deer Foundation, and numerous local sponsors and fund raisers. 
  • US 30 Fish Creek project.  MDI brought the 25 year- old fence back into a functioning condition   
  • US Hwy 21 Lucky Peak. MDI purchased  materials to expand the fence for this US 21wildlife underpass

 Technical Assistance:

  • BLM travel planning in IDFG Regions 4 and 5
  • Phosphate mining and potential mitigation 
  • Livestock management on federal lands
  • Riparian area restoration and protection

Future:

  • Continue focusing on landscape scale habitat projects
  • Focus on sage steppe, aspen, and riparian communities
  • Continue to expand MDI communication efforts Assist in  follow-up mule deer hunter survey
  • Continue to support mule deer management related research

 

MDI Habitat Improvement Projects 2004-2012     

 

Year

Shrubs  acres

Forbs acres

Other acres1

Total

# of Shrubs

2004

83

0

 

83

16,900

2005

489

240

1,800

2,529

97,950

2006

696

181

118

995

139,775

2007

727

923

300

1,950

140,684

2008

1,067

2,633

200

3,900

238,500

2009

980

2,250

300

3,530

196,000

2010

1,000

2,000

5,000

8,000

200,000

2011*

869

5,2002

34,500

40,569

173,750

2012*

NA

1,1592

36,088

37,247

NA

Total

5,911 

14,586

78,306

98,803

1,105,609

 

*-Indicates acres under new farm bill cooperative direction.

1- Other acres include all farm bill program acres (SAFE, EQIP, CRP, WRP, etc.) excluding pollinator strips.

2- Pollinator strip acres under farm bill programs, synonymous with earlier MDI forb plots.

 

 

                                    

 

 

Groups audience: