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Rational
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The world's largest living organism is collapsing. Scientists think it's the fault of Humans.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/science...-clone-utah-collapse/10383562?section=science

"Basically in a single sentence, Pando is failing and humans are at the centre of the failure, because humans control the browsers," Dr Rogers said.
Not sure I agree with this quote, but what are your thoughts on this?

Is the State of Utah to blame for not introducing a predator species to control the deer?

Discuss.
 

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Deer populations can be adequately managed by hunters without the need to reintroduce an extirpated apex predator.

That my official opinion, but I'm a mere student of the science. Funny this topic should arise - I'm a grad student and ine of my courses this term is large mammal conservation and management. I'll bring this up to our professor and see where the discussion goes.

He did some research involving trophic cascades in Yellowstone where elk were causing damage in a similar fashion. I'd imagine he's in favor of predator reintroduction, but Utah is isn't as sparsely populated as Montana. Reintroduction of any extirpated species always causes controversy among a variety of stakeholders and should be examined thoroughly prior to any action being undertaken.

I would recommend increased deer harvest within the area in question. Perhaps incentives for hunters, such as bonus antlered deer or increased antlerless quotas.

Again, I'm not a resource manager (yet), so mine is an inexperienced opinion. I do have a bit of education in the topic, but don't presume to tell others how to do a job I've never attempted.
 

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Rational
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Discussion Starter #3
Deer populations can be adequately managed by hunters without the need to reintroduce an extirpated apex predator.

That my official opinion, but I'm a mere student of the science. Funny this topic should arise - I'm a grad student and ine of my courses this term is large mammal conservation and management. I'll bring this up to our professor and see where the discussion goes.

He did some research involving trophic cascades in Yellowstone where elk were causing damage in a similar fashion. I'd imagine he's in favor of predator reintroduction, but Utah is isn't as sparsely populated as Montana. Reintroduction of any extirpated species always causes controversy among a variety of stakeholders and should be examined thoroughly prior to any action being undertaken.

I would recommend increased deer harvest within the area in question. Perhaps incentives for hunters, such as bonus antlered deer or increased antlerless quotas.

Again, I'm not a resource manager (yet), so mine is an inexperienced opinion. I do have a bit of education in the topic, but don't presume to tell others how to do a job I've never attempted.
Very interesting, thank you for sharing that.

Do indeed ask your Professor; I'd be very interested in hearing his take on it. Good luck in your studies.
 

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Deer populations can be adequately managed by hunters without the need to reintroduce an extirpated apex predator.

That my official opinion, but I'm a mere student of the science. Funny this topic should arise - I'm a grad student and ine of my courses this term is large mammal conservation and management. I'll bring this up to our professor and see where the discussion goes.

He did some research involving trophic cascades in Yellowstone where elk were causing damage in a similar fashion. I'd imagine he's in favor of predator reintroduction, but Utah is isn't as sparsely populated as Montana. Reintroduction of any extirpated species always causes controversy among a variety of stakeholders and should be examined thoroughly prior to any action being undertaken.

I would recommend increased deer harvest within the area in question. Perhaps incentives for hunters, such as bonus antlered deer or increased antlerless quotas.

Again, I'm not a resource manager (yet), so mine is an inexperienced opinion. I do have a bit of education in the topic, but don't presume to tell others how to do a job I've never attempted.
I don’t think hunters can adequately manage deer populations in such wild areas with the consistency of natural predators.

Wolves keep elk and deer out of thick aspen groves and ravines to the point that their entire grazing habits have changed following reintroduction.

All over America we’ve taken out these keystone predators and it has a significant effect on the ecosystem.
 

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Deer populations can be adequately managed by hunters without the need to reintroduce an extirpated apex predator.
Can, but probably won't. Personally, I'm in favor of more bears and wolves in the woods.
 

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I don’t think hunters can adequately manage deer populations in such wild areas with the consistency of natural predators.

Wolves keep elk and deer out of thick aspen groves and ravines to the point that their entire grazing habits have changed following reintroduction.

All over America we’ve taken out these keystone predators and it has a significant effect on the ecosystem.
Patterns do change - there's no doubt reintroduction of an apex predator cam be effective in managing an overabundant ungulate population.

I'm just very cautious in going down that path. My state sucessfully renintroduced elk after they were extirpated a century or so ago. From a management standpoint, the project is wildly successful. However, there are many conflicts between local residents and the elk. There are a lot of legal restrictions on taking elk within the 16 county restoration zone, and this has caused a lot of ill will toward the elk with folks in SE KY.

Currently, our state also is seeing a return of black bear. This isn't by design, but due to natural migration and new territory expansion by the bear. Hunting seasons continue to expand, but as with elk, there are a lot of legal restrictions on the taking of bear. There are grumblings from around the state by residents who have incurred financial damage from the animals, but are powerless to do anything about them.

Those reasons are why I'm hesitant to reintroduce ANY species, much less an apex predator that can chase serious financial damage to ranchers. Utah isn't Wyoming or Montana, so farming may not be as prevalent. It is more densely populated, which will inevitably cause negative human/wolf interactions.

I'm not saying it shouldn't be done, I'm just thinking managers should proceed with extreme caution. As to anthropogenic means of management - we humans can do quite a bit of damage when we want...ask the bison and passenger pigeon.
 

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I think our scientific community (especially climatology) has fallen prey to a new and previously undefined logical fallacy. I think I'm going to name it the Anthropocentric Fallacy, the unwarranted predisposition to assign blame to humans for all negative empirical observations.
 

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You local friendly Skynet dealer
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'morning all. Just starting my coffee, so if I miss the point here, just aim me in the right direction.

A huge growth of genetically identical trees. My first thought is that this is terrible. Evolution occurs through a trial and error system of occasional generic mutations. Good ones survive, bad ones fail. Lack of change is abnormal.

Introducing an apex predator species to control the deer? Well. If we accept my comment above, then we would be intercedng on the side of a genetic aberration. Perhaps the deer are performing a needed service by encouraging genetic change. Could a distasteful species of tree result if we left it all to run it's course?
 

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Are humans doing anything to the tree(s)?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
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My thoughts (as a Utahn with an env. sci. background)

There are thousands of monoclonal aspen stands of similar size throughout the west. Pando is the largest that has been genetically tested/identified and studied... but I believe larger ones exist out there.

Still, it's a pretty cool place to visit, but a little underwhelming from a ground view... it's just some aspen trees. If you wanted to save it, hire 2 grad students to walk it on alternate days (it's only 106 acres) and shoot any deer they see. That fixes Pando, but not the underlying problem... crappy wildlife management over the last 100 years. They made the choice to maximize deer populations for hunting revenue, sacrificing (or not understanding) aspen stand health in the process. You can't have it both ways, but you can find a balance.

Increasing hunting pressure (year-long) would help. Funny... this weekend is the start of the rifle deer hunt, practically a State Holiday. I'm sure hunters would LOVE more opportunities, spread out over more time to shoot a deer.

Reintroducing apex predators is a non-starter. Habitats are already too fragmented. Plus I'm of the belief that historic wolf and bear numbers (here in central UT) were never high enough to keep the deer populations down to the level they'd need to be at to guarantee a thriving Pando. Mountain lion were probably much more effective in sparing areas from too heavy of deer pressure. Now that they've been pushed back... I say bring in the Chinese Needle Snakes.
 

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You local friendly Skynet dealer
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"Chinese Needle Snakes" wut?
 

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It would be pretty easy to thin the deer herd causing problems in a hundred acres woods.
Issue the appropriate number of special permits for about two weeks in the fall and all would be done.
 

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Deer populations can be adequately managed by hunters without the need to reintroduce an extirpated apex predator.

That my official opinion, but I'm a mere student of the science. Funny this topic should arise - I'm a grad student and ine of my courses this term is large mammal conservation and management. I'll bring this up to our professor and see where the discussion goes.

He did some research involving trophic cascades in Yellowstone where elk were causing damage in a similar fashion. I'd imagine he's in favor of predator reintroduction, but Utah is isn't as sparsely populated as Montana. Reintroduction of any extirpated species always causes controversy among a variety of stakeholders and should be examined thoroughly prior to any action being undertaken.

I would recommend increased deer harvest within the area in question. Perhaps incentives for hunters, such as bonus antlered deer or increased antlerless quotas.

Again, I'm not a resource manager (yet), so mine is an inexperienced opinion. I do have a bit of education in the topic, but don't presume to tell others how to do a job I've never attempted.
Wildlife management has more to do with politics than with wildlife.
 

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You local friendly Skynet dealer
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Help save the Chinese Needle Snakes!
 
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