Of Woodpeckers and Harvests: Finding Compatibility Between Habitat and Salvage Logging

Vicki Saab, a research wildlife biologist with the Rocky Mountain Station, has spent over two decades studying the habitat niches of disturbance-associated woodpecker species in post-wildfire landscapes. These data form the basis of FIRE-BIRD, a new habitat mapping tool that managers can use to locate probable woodpecker habitat within the area. To demonstrate how FIRE-BIRD can be used to inform management decisions, Saab collaborated with the Malheur National Forest and the Blue Mountains Forest Partners on an experimental salvage logging study called the Canyon Creek Experimental Salvage Study. This 4-year project seeks to determine how 3 woodpecker species responded to 3 different salvage harvest levels. Although the data are still being collected, early analysis reveals that FIREBIRD is a valuable tool that can bring transparency to a salvage logging sale and assist managers in reserving wildlife habitat.

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