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Optimizing Forest Harvests & Grizzly Bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) Habitat

  • Author / Creator
    Moradaoglu, Pembegul
  • West-central, Alberta is subject to a growing number of resource extraction activities such as forestry that change ecosystem components and their structure. This area is important for the grizzly bear (Ursus arctos horribilis) population, which is considered to be a threatened species in Alberta because of low population densities, habitat fragmentation and increasing human-caused bear mortalities. Forest managers are under pressure to conduct sustainable forest management while protecting the grizzly bear population, which requires the understanding of the effects of forest harvesting on the grizzly bear habitat, including availability of food resources. The goal of this thesis is to find management strategies, that provide efficient combinations of timber value and grizzly bear habitat. A linear programming technique was used to find harvest plans that maximize the production level of timber value subject to specified amounts of grizzly bear food items over a 200-year planning horizon. By finding harvesting plans for different amounts of grizzly bear food resources, a production possibility frontier was developed to examine trade-offs between timber management and occurrence of grizzly bear food resources that index habitat quality. Forest harvesting did negatively effect the occurrence of some grizzly bear food items. However, the occurrence of some of grizzly bear food items, such as huckleberry and clover, declined if there is no harvesting. By maintaining 90% of the grizzly bear food items, maximum timber production could still be obtained. Although the results are specific to west-central Alberta and for grizzly bears, the approach used can be generalized providing the model and structure for future analyses.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
    2015-06
  • Type of Item
    Thesis
  • Degree
    Master of Science
  • DOI
    https://doi.org/10.7939/R35T0P
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
    English
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
    Master's
  • Department
    • Department of Renewable Resources
  • Specialization
    • Forest Biology and Management
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Armstrong, Glen (Renewable Resources)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Armstrong, Glen (Renewable Resources)
    • Luckert, Martin (Resource Economics and Environmental Sociology)
    • Nielsen, Scott (Renewable Resources)