Round Valley Mule Deer Update: Recap and Slideshow from our Migration Corridor Field Trip
Our sincere thanks goes to local photographer and ESLT volunteer Bill Dunlap for these stunning images!
On March 12, Eastern Sierra Land Trust teamed up with CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife (CDFW) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to lead a tour of the Round Valley mule deer herd’s migration corridor. What a spectacular day we had! The day was bright and warm, and right off the bat we spotted a number of mule deer making their annual journey north.
Mule deer expert and CDFW Biologist Timothy Taylor shared updates about how the deer are faring in the aftermath of the 7,000-acre Round Fire and other recent challenges. He emphasized the critical role that the winter range in Round Valley plays for our local mule deer herd. Tim also shared some good news: though the Round Valley herd’s population is down in comparison to recent years, mule deer numbers commonly rise and fall year to year – such a decrease is not uncommon, nor is it yet cause for concern.
Also joining us for the tour was BLM Botanist Martin Oliver. Martin spoke about a Bitterbrush restoration project that BLM will be participating in over the next two years. Bitterbrush is a key food source for the mule deer, and helping return this native plant to the migration corridor is an important step in restoring this critical habitat. Eastern Sierra Land Trust is looking forward to collaborating with BLM and other partner agencies on this complex issue in the coming months.
And in the meantime, ESLT staff and volunteers will be out on our Swall Wildlife Preserve meshing Bitterbrush seedlings this Thursday, March 24. To learn more about this and other upcoming volunteer stewardship days and to sign up to lend a hand on the land, Click Here!