Interview by Josh King with Greg Hayward

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Interview by Josh King of Greg Hayward on July 1, 2009

Josh:  Okay, today
is, uh, July 1st, 2009, uh, this is Josh King.  I'm going to interview Greg
Hayward.  And, we are at the University of Wyoming in the building science
room, uh 305B.  Greg Hayward's full title, I'll, I will have him actually
give that and we will talk about how wildlife, uhm, how the bark beetle is
affecting wildlife in the Snowies.

Greg:  And, I'm the regional wildlife
ecologist for the U.S Forest Service and also an associate, uhm, professor
of wildlife at the University of Wyoming.

Josh:  Okay, if we can start
with just, how, you know, you have the speech 

Greg:  Mm, yeah

Josh: 
down that you'll probably follow that and I, I have some additional
questions that maybe at the end

Greg:  Right, yeah

Josh:  if you'd
address them

Greg:  So, we want to talk a bit about how these things
effecting wildlife.  And, when I talk to people about it, one of the things
I emphasize right from the onset, is how humans are pretty fascinated with
big events like hurricanes and tornadoes and so forth and I would suggest
this is a slow motion hurricane that's happening because the level of
change that's happening to the forest is real similar to what happens after
a hurricane, its just that it takes 10 years for the, uhm, change to take
place, so it's, it's a real, uhm, dramatic but slow ecological disturbance
and we know that wildlife species respond to ecological disturbance, and
so, uhm, its just intuitive that there's gonna be change in the wildlife
and so the question that comes up, well is who're gonna be the winners and
who're gonna be the losers out there.  And, the easy way to think about
who're gonna be winners and losers is to ask the question, which species
are most highly associated with early successional stages of the forest and
which species are associated with late successional stages of the forest. 
And, most of the forests that are being, uhm, killed through the bark
beetle event are older forests so those species that are associated with
those older forests are likely to decline and those species that are gonna
be increasing are the species that are found more commonly among younger
successional stages.  The complicating factor, unlike a hurricane, is that
this hurricane only is affecting one species, lodgepole pine.  And, our
forests out there are pretty complicated.  You have some areas that are
pure lodgepole pine and in those cases you'll have 90 percent of the
overstory trees'll be gone, in terms of being alive in five years and then
they'll be turning into snags and then falling over and then you've got
stands that are spruce fir mixed with lodgepole pine and in those you're
still gonna have green trees standing, and so, the way we explain it to
people is that the uhm, proportion of a stand that is spruce fir will
determine whether you're, the extent to which you'll be retaining old
forest species.  If it's 90 percent spruce fir and you have 10 percent
mortality in lodgepole pine, all you've really done is created a few nice
snags for cavity nesting species in a spruce fir forest.  But, if it's all
lodgepole pine, uhm, then you're gonna be dealing with, uhm, a full change
and succession taking place.  And, I'm gonna pull up those slides so I can,
it can remind us of, uhm, which species are gonna be responding.  Our
Forest Service machines fall asleep fast in such a short time.

Josh: 
That's okay, I worked for the Forest Service

Greg:  Oh

Josh:  for about
two years 

Greg:  Oh, really

Josh:  As a visitor service
technician

Greg:  Oh, okay, neat

Josh:  up at, uh, Centennial.

Greg: 
Oh, great, yeah

Josh:  That's why I'm int really interested in this
because of all the questions that people asked.  And I couldn't ever, you
know I could give 'em the pamphlet but

Greg:  Right

Josh:  I would say
what people have told me but

Greg:  Yeah, but you [?] what else to
say

Josh:  Mm-hmm

Greg:  Yeah, so, uhm, let's talk early on after the
uhm, mortality event.  And for my simple mind, to some extent, I have to
kind of collapse the bark beetle event into, as if it happens all at once
because it's really more complicated you know.  The beetles kill maybe 5
percent of the trees the first year and then they're up to having killed a
total of 20 percent the second year and it moves through slowly and you
know thinking about all the complexity of that is a bit too much.  So, when
I say five years afterwards, I'm meaning about 5 year after the major wave
of mortality has taken place and, uhm, the kind of species that we should
expect to increase during that period.  One obvious one is woodpeckers. 
Uhm, and, in particular, Three-toed woodpeckers and Hairy woodpeckers are
responding really strongly to this.  Both of them, uhm, forage in a way
that the bark beetles are primary prey for them so you get a movement of
what of these species, of woodpeckers into the area and then you have
higher rate reproduction by them and you actually have, you know, dramatic
increase in woodpeckers.  But, uhm, in addition to the Hairy and the uhm,
the Three-toed, flickers are also likely to increase, uhm, at the same
time.  And then there's other bark [?]ing species, like Red Breasted
nuthatches, uhm, a species that feeds on the bark of trees and those are
increasing out there.  Uhm

Josh:  How about the Downey?

Greg:  And, the
Downey would, uhm, it seems like and I'd have to confirm this but Downey's
are more common, I think at lower elevations so they're not a major part of
this life [?] as much so as the Hairy but, to the extent that the Downey's
are there, they uhm, should respond to it as, as well.

Josh:  Hairy is the
bigger one, right

Greg:  Right, yep, mm-hmm

Josh:  Yeah, I have noticed
uh, well just backpacking the last two years I, I've seen a lot of
woodpeckers

Greg:  Yeah, you hear 'em a lot too 

Josh:  Yeah, yeah,
exactly

Greg:  Tapping out there in, in the forest.  Yeah, I've had a lot
easier time taking pictures of woodpeckers lately than I ever had.

Josh: 
Yeah, that's one of my target photos

Greg:  Right, yep, yeah, I've worked
hard on those this winter.  Uhm, some other species, and maybe now we
should talk a little bit more than five years but out to ten years.  Uhm,
chickadees are likely to increase, there's gonna be more cavities. 
Chickadees are secondary cavity nesters so they should be increasing. 
Olive-sided flycatchers are a fairly rare species around here that'll
likely increase and most of the literature shows that they, uhm, are most
abun, they respond to fire and so this is somewhat similar to a fire.  But,
they, they respond to small scale patchiness so having small opening in the
forest and of course, the dying trees are going to create a lot of openings
and, so uhm, Olive-sided flycatchers are probably gonna increase early on. 
Uhm, Mountain bluebirds are another secondary cavity nesters and they also
forage in the open.  They don't forage in forests so once the forest really
starts opening up, uhm, Mountain bluebirds should start uhm, responding to
this as well.

Josh:  Just one quick question before you move on.

Greg: 
Mm-hmm

Josh:  You said dynamic, uhm, stu, dynamic increase, do, it, do you
have any percentages?

Greg:  Numbers?

Josh:  Yeah

Greg:  And, and, all
of these, the, the empirical evidence to give us a firm foundation for
predicting what's going on is, the empirical evidence is real slim. 


Josh:  Okay

Greg:  There's a tiny bit of work from up in Canada

Josh: 
There's no real baseline

Greg:  No

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, over in Utah,
there's about ten years ago, there was a pretty big bark beetle uh,
mortality event and there's a little information from that but not very
quantitative still.  Uhm, so, none of us have been all, have been feeling
comfortable sticking our neck out and giving percentages.

Josh:  That's
fine, yeah, that's fine

Greg:  But, I, I would, I could stick my neck out
a bit and suggest that, uhm, for the woodpeckers, especially Three-toed's,
I think you're gonna see abundances that are three times to, to five times
what they were in nat[?] forests

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And that's a
lot!

Josh:  Yeah, that is a lot, yeah, when a species does that

Greg: 
Yeah, uhm, and then elk are another species that are, is certain to
increase

Josh:  That was one that I didn't, I didn't think about

Greg: 
Think of that, and the main thing is, uhm, so a lot of these lodgepole pine
forests, uh, lodgepole pine tree is usurping most of the available
water

Josh:  Right

Greg:  most available sunlight so you get rid of the
canopy and there is more water available on the forest floor and sunlight
and so we're gonna get a forage response.  And so, uhm, whether elk numbers
will increase or not will have a lot to do with uhm, what winters are like
and what hunting, uhm, and uhm, their response to humans.   You know, uhm,
one of the big things that influences elk populations is the degree to
which they end up down on private land during  hunting season and are
unaccessible so things having to do with the hunt

Josh:  Right

Greg: 
effects numbers a lot but the habitat'll be improved up in these forests
for elk.

Josh:  Okay, is the Game and Fish, I, I'm just curious, is the
Game & Fish doing anything

Greg:  They're, they're look, they're kind of
in the stage of looking at this, and uhm, Tim

Josh:  They're already over,
the herd's over objective 

Greg:  Right, yeah, exactly, so I, uhm, it's an
issue for them, in, in terms of this private landowner thing.

Josh:  Oh,
okay

Greg:  You know, most people think, oh great more elk, but

Josh:  
Right

Greg:  in terms of winter and uhm, conflicts with

Josh:  Oh,
right

Greg:  uhm, ranching.  I mean, if you're a rancher down there and
you've already had, you know, a hundred elk eating your haystacks in the
winter and now there's gonna be more,

Josh:  Right

Greg:  that's a pretty
big economic hit.

Josh:  Right, yeah, okay

Greg:  So, in terms of how
people respond, that could be a important one.

Josh:  Hmm

Greg:  And then
we can talk about some of the losers and,

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  I think uhm,
the poster child for this is the pine squirrel.

Josh:  Yeah, that's what
I've heard.

Greg:  Uhm, it's a species where winter food is almost a
hundred percent uhm, pine seeds, but, and then, pine, I, I should just say
conifer seeds, 

Josh:  Right

Greg:  uhm, cuz spruce and fir seeds are
fine and dandy for 'em

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, their summer uhm, diet, is
really broad but you get to the winter and the middens that they've put
together during the uhm, summer time are the key for 'em in the winter
time.  Some of the pine squirrel biologists suggest that pine squirrels
middens probably have about three years worth of food in 'em so you can
expect to have about a three year time lag before you're gonna really see
pine squirrels dropping off but in areas that are uhm, a hundred percent
lodgepole pine and our forests that are, were almost all older trees,
without much uhm, younger trees that won't be killed by the bark beetle,
uhm, you're gonna see either elimination of pine squirrels from those areas
or uhm, down to extremely low numbers.  Uhm, and the size class of trees
that don't die with uhm, bark beetles, so six inch and less, and those can
get killed when you have a real high bark beetle, or trees that aren't
producing lots of cones so, uhm, if you have a forest that has an
understory of four to six inch trees, you could have some squirrels hang on
and then, over the next ten years, have them rebounding because those trees
will start producing a lot of cones, but, uhm, areas that are mainly older
trees, the pine squirrels are gonna crash.  And because pine squirrels are
a major prey species for things like goshawk, American marten, uhm, those
forest predators are gonna react to that changing

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  uhm,
prey base.

Josh:  And, those are two species that aren't that common
anyway. 

Greg:  Right, right, so a change, yeah, there, in terms of
overall abundances

Josh:  Right

Greg:  though, because they as predators,
they tend to have larger home ranges

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  and low
densities, naturally.

Josh:  Right, so it's even uh

Greg:  more dramatic
maybe for them, but the goshawk's going to be an interesting case.  So,
we're going to have the pine squirrel going down in abundance but
woodpeckers are the other major prey for

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg:  the
goshawk, and so we're actually predicting, and the neat thing is we're 
gonna be able to give you evidence this year, and I'll explain that in a
second.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  We're predicting goshawks may not go down at
all for the first maybe five  eight years uhm, and even after that it might
not be as dramatic as it will be for, in fact, I'm gonna stick my neck out
and say it won't be as dramatic as it will be for American marten and
Boreal owls, 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  those two will decline.  So, why don't
we go on goshawk a bit more

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, so goshawk has a
fairly wide prey base, so, Snowshoe hare, uhm, pine squirrels, uhm, and
woodpeckers.  Pine squirrels drop off but at the same time woodpeckers are
exploding and snowshoe hare might not respond real dramatically to the
beginning of this because most of their forage species aren't going to
change dramatically at the very beginning.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  So, their
abundance could stay where it's at.  Uhm, some goshawks that are nest,
nesting in pure lodgepole pine may keep their nest there while there's
green needles and then they may uhm, just shift their nest location
slightly to uhm, to drainage bottoms that might still have a few green
spruce and fir in 'em so their home ranges might not even change and uhm,
the abundance may not change dramatically at all.

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg: 
Some other goshawks may move their nest site up to into the spruce fir zone
but still forage down in their ol, old home range

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg: 
down in the lodgepole

Josh:  Right

Greg:  So, a neat thing about goshawks
is that in 2006 the Forest Service did a really neat thing and did a region
wide survey for goshawks, uhm, that was a well designed, probabilistic
sample of goshawks to look at their spatial distribution and relative
abundance in that region and we're repeating that this year, in 2009

Josh:
 Oh, you are, okay

Greg:  So, three years afterwards, uhm, and I just got
off the phone earlier today with the biologist that's coordinating that and
they're finding goshawk nests in red killed lodgepole pine forests

Josh: 
Really

Greg:  Yeah, so, its pretty neat we actually have good evidence of
what's going on with those.

Josh:  Okay, yeah, that

Greg:  By the end of
the year, uhm, in about 5 weeks, we can tell ya

Josh:  Really

Greg: 
whether we have about as many goshawks as we had in 2006 

Josh:  Generally
I thought they're usually pretty deep in, right

Greg:  to the
forest

Josh:  Yeah, gen

Greg:  Generally, but, uhm, what was it, three
years ago we had one right in the campground at Veedawoo

Josh:  Is that
right?

Greg:  And that same[?] goshawk, yeah, uhm, 

Josh:  Scary

Greg: 
they were wondering if they were going to pull off young and I'm pretty
sure they did

Josh:  Hmm, yeah

Greg:  Yeah, so when you do have 'em
around, you usually know it because they really defend their nest,
yeah

Josh:  They're loud too, don't they have that loud call

Greg: 
Cakking call, yeah

Josh:  Yeah, yeah, across the, the way, from the north
side of the highway from the visitor center, uhm, yeah, in the fall, one, I
can't remember if it was last year or the year before but almost everyday
out here watching 

Greg:  Oh, really, neat

Josh:  and I identified a
couple

Greg:   Got, yeah

Josh:  Yeah, I don't know if it was a nesting
pair or if it was just

Greg:  I wonder if it was youngsters begging, if it
was in the fall

Josh:  Yeah, it could have been

Greg:  And, and, and
adults responded to ya

Josh:  Maybe, yeah, maybe, cuz I would hear it and
then if nobody's around I would walk across the road

Greg:  Right,
yeah

Josh:  to see if I could 

Greg:  Right

Josh:  if I could find
it

Greg:  But you said it was in the fall

Josh:  It was, yeah

Greg: 
Because

Josh:  Well, not, not fall, but, uhm August September

Greg: 
Okay, yeah, cuz right now the young are, have hatched in their nests

Josh:
 Right

Greg:  And 

Josh:  They're fledging

Greg:   In about uhm, yeah, 3
weeks, they'll be fledging and then they'll be hanging around and that's
why when you were hearing 'em

Josh:  Okay, yeah, yeah, now with, and they
did that thinning in there

Greg:  Oh, okay

Josh:  You know that stretch,
right across by road 338[?]

Greg:  Yeah, right, yep, I think that's
probably for fire

Josh:  Mm-hmm, there's a lot of buildings in
there

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  But that's where it was

Greg:  Really, hmm,
neat

Josh:  They're not always I guess there but, uh, there was, I don't
know, I never could find a nest

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  so I wouldn't
uh

Greg:  And it, it's tough finding the nest 

Josh:  Really

Greg:  A
needle in the haystack but people, but biologists do find a fair number,
yep.  So, American marten in contrast to goshawk.  So, you've got two
predators, one may not decline much at all and then the marten uhm, we'll
go through its ecology and, you know, see why it should decline.  Uhm, so
it's primary prey are pine squirrels  which we said before is gonna decline
and Red-backed voles and Red-backed voles are a small mouse about uhm, 2?-3
inches long that is a forest mouse.  Uhm, there's Meadow voles which are
found in openings but Red-backed voles that are found in the forest and
uhm, research that I've done up in Idaho and others have done down here
show that once you create a clear cut, 40 acres or whatever inside, uhm,
prior to that if it was old forest it would've had a high density of
Red-backed voles but afterwards the Red-backed voles completely eliminated.
 So, we predict that once these trees lose their needles and you no longer
have a forest above the uhm, ground that the Red-backed vole populations
will decline dramatically.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  So two of the primary prey
for American marten'll go down and then some people uhm, suggest that
marten also won't use openings very often.  There, there's counter-evidence
showing that they do use openings but it may be fairly rare.

Josh: 
Mm-hmm

Greg:  So, once you have a forest that's lost its needles and you
don't have a forest anymore, behaviorally the marten isn't likely to be
there either so you got several things likely to decline

Josh:  Maybe
decline, but would they also habitat change, maybe, go uhm, go higher up
into spruce, or

Greg:  Well, and the, the thing is that, uhm, complicates
the marten's story a little bit is that they find their best habitat in
spruce fir to begin with.  Lodgepole pine isn't their primary habitat so
it's the areas where they're losing good habitat is in the older, the
really old lodgepole pine that's dying.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  So that's
where the resources that they were getting before are gonna be, uhm, less
common.  And, then Boreal owls are virtually the same story as American
marten.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, kind of like the Boreal owl and the
marten are a mammal and a bird of the same sort of thing cuz they prey,
they hunt almost a hundred percent in forest but they're not like
Great-horns where they commonly are hunting edges and that sort of thing. 
Uhm, they nest in large cavities which you need a large uhm, tree with a
large hole for them to nest in and they primarily eat Red-backed voles
so

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  so, if the Red-backed voles go down so will the
Boreal owl.  Extra interesting story for Boreal owl relative to the
American marten is that in late winter, uhm, they really rely on old
forests areas because that's the areas that have soft snow in 'em.  Uhm, if
you think about late winter around here in the openings you got these
really, uhm, hard crusts.

Josh:  Right

Greg:  And it's astounding that
Boreal owls can make a living to begin with when you've six feet of snow
and they're after a, a vole that's generally on the forest floor and
they're up on top of that snow but somehow they make a living and so what
they're relying on are the voles that come up to the surface and move
around and they gotta come up through something

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  and
the other thing is that they do some plunge diving so when a vole is a few
inches under the snow, Boreal owls will dive into it but when it's a crust,
that doesn't work 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Marten on the other hand can use
places where coarse woody debris is getting down to the forest floor and
they follow that down and they hunt

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  down, underneath
the snow and the Boreal owl clearly can't do that so in some sense the
Boreal owl is under, in a even worse uhm, ecological position, uhm, and is
likely to decline more than the uhm, the marten.  Both species find their
best prey in spruce fir so those are, those areas'll still find good
habitat in.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, then when it comes to small birds and
so forth, uhm, any of these bird species that are gleaners, which means uh,
species that like captures insects off the tips of branches, 

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  in foliage and so forth, you can imagine how they're gonna go
down because we're gonna lose

Josh:  Right

Greg:  what we call these as
canopy 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  uhm, feeding species as feeding off of insects
in the canopy, well our canopy is gonna go

Josh:  Right

Greg:  and so
those birds'll go. 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  So, Ruby-crowned kinglets,

Josh: 
Oh, yeah, okay

Greg:  Golden-crowned kinglets, uhm, Hermit thrushes we
think'll likely go down, Swenson's thrushes

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm,
Yellow-rumped warblers, Hammond's flycatchers.  Those are some species of
birds that feed out in that for, foliage and all do well

Josh:  The little
gray birds

Greg:  Yeah, little brown birds, yep.  So uhm, those are some
of the easy species uhm, to talk about.  Uhm, and so then we might talk a
little about uh, long term frame.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Cuz, you know, when
I was talking about things doin' poorly just looking in the first five ten
twenty fifty years

Josh:  When, yeah, and you said from when the height,
or the peak of it right

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  When, do you have any
expectation on when that could be?

Greg:  Well, and it, it's been a wave. 
We've already actually gone through the peak down by Winter Park,
Colorado.

Josh:  Oh, I see what you mean, yeah.

Greg:  So, so, it's all
dead down there.

Josh:  In the Snowies, probably what?

Greg:  We're right
in the middle of it, so in, by the end of 2, two years from now, I think
we're at the point where now we're talking the dramatic stuff.

Josh: 
Yeah

Greg:  It's all happening

Josh:  It's amazing in two years
what

Greg:  What changes!

Josh:  Yeah, what changes, yeah.  First it
wasn't there and all of a sudden it's there.  It's amazing, now on the
Centennial side it's the same.

Greg:  Yeah, it's moving rapidly.  

Josh: 
Yeah, it does

Greg:  And, we're gonna, at some point here, be talking
about things beyond lodgepole pine.  Cuz, my wife just noted that she's
seen Limber pine now in the Laramie range that are dying and Limber pine's
really susceptible to bark beetle. 

Josh:  Hmm

Greg:  So

Josh:  Same
species

Greg:  Same species of bark beetle, yep.

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  And
it'll move into Ponderosa pine, too. 

Josh:  Will it really?

Greg: 
Yeah

Josh:  Okay, I didn't, I didn't know that, huh.

Greg:  Yeah, so if
you drive, right, just uhm, Monday when I was going to work to
Colorado,

Josh:  Yep

Greg:  uhm, right at the state line

Josh: 
Right

Greg:  There's, there I saw 10, 20 dead or dying Ponderosa pine, and
so that's starting to go.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  As well

Josh:  Yeah, on, in
Rocky Mountain they have on the, you know, what, east slope, they have tons
of Ponderosa pine 

Greg:  Yep

Josh:  And, they were healthy though until
last year

Greg:  Yeah, oh yeah, everybody's been talking about how it's
taking awhile for it to come over the top

Josh:  Okay, yeah, if it been of
the west side is sh wiped out

Greg:  We need to close winter before it
gets really over the top.

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  So, for species, lets take
this Boreal owl for example. 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  You know, we see the
dramatic decline the first few years, and it's gonna be, then it'll stay at
its low probably for the course of uhm, about 50 more years to 60
years

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  before it starts really increasing.

Josh: 
Huh

Greg:  And that's because you're really gonna have a very young forest
during all that time and the old forest conditions that really favor lots
of Red-backed voles don't start developing 'til 80 to a 100 years and
that's when you'll start getting this increase in Boreal owls and they
won't be back to the abundance they were at to start with for maybe 200
years.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And, at that point they they're, I'm even
showing, actually they'll be back to where they were maybe in 125 and by
200 we could have more Boreal owls than we have now.

Josh:  Huh

Greg: 
Because as this lodgepole pine develops and even gets older, spruce fir'll
start coming into the lodgepole pine and we'll get better habitat.

Josh: 
Okay, huh, okay.  In terms of Wyoming, uhm, what's the, how many Boreal
owl, uh, owls are actually in Wyoming?

Greg:  Uh, people always ask these
hard questions.

Josh:  Sorry, yeah

Greg:  Uhm, and I, even 

Josh: 
They're not, they're pretty rare, right.

Greg:  Right, I'm the national
expert on Boreal owls

Josh:  Right, I saw a bunch in the area

Greg:  and
I've never done an estimate of numbers, uhm.  Their home range is about
2-3000 acres.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  But they're, they're not exclusive home
ranges.  Spotted owls, those kinds of species, defend a home ranges that
are exclusive so a male Spotted owl doesn't let another one in its home
range but Boreal owls do.  But, a person could make a, a first swipe at a
abundance estimate by saying, okay, lets assume Boreal owls did have
exclusive home ranges and they were 2000 acres a piece, uhm, then the
easiest way to make such an estimate would be to say how much spruce fir do
we

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  have in Colorado, and some place in here, I thought
we have that number, uhm, but in Wyoming, yeah we won't, I won't be able to
come up with that 

Josh:  That's okay

Greg:  Yeah, I wish I could

Josh: 
Yeah, but they, they are in Wyoming

Greg:  Even, even, yeah, even in the
Snownies I'd have trouble giving you a total number, but I would say
there's definitely more than a hundred Boreal owls in the Snowy
Mountains.

Josh:  Really, okay, huh

Greg:  Yeah, uhm

Josh:  Hmm, so, if
you said, for example, take the data 

Greg:  Mm-hmm

Josh:  and the
decline, so yeah, so and

Greg:  uhm, so I'm, that uhm 

Josh: 
Abundance

Greg:  So, I'm saying relative population

Josh:  Okay

Greg: 
started out with 80

Josh:  Okay
 
Greg:  And, I would say because this
isn't wiping out the spruce fir forest, you're still keeping a lot of
Boreal owls 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  so that's what's happening here 

Josh: 
I see

Greg:  So, I'm saying maybe a uhm, a decline of 50 percent for
Boreal owl 

Josh:  Okay, yeah

Greg:  And that decline lasts then, for as
much as 60 years

Josh:  Right, before

Greg:  Before they start uhm,
increasing again

Josh:  Right, okay.  Yeah, how, how did you come up
with

Greg:  Oh, this is a very rough, uhm

Josh:  estimate

Greg:  This
and this is, this is meant to be uhm, a cartoon of what's going on and
not

Josh:  Oh, yeah, not actual data

Greg:  Not trying to show a model
that where the 40 means something very specific

Josh:  Right, because it's
going to be up and down anyway

Greg:  Right and, right and it even maybe
more important its gonna, its hard to say, from one an area that is 70
percent spruce fir and 30 percent uhm, lodgepole, 

Josh:  Right

Greg: 
That place is probably only gonna have a 15 decline in Boreal owls. 


Josh:  Okay

Greg:  That's the way I'd look at it 

Josh:  Okay

Greg: 
If an area is 50 spruce fir, 50 percent lodgepole, then you might see a 35
percent decrease and the reason I'm not saying a 50 percent decrease there
is because spruce fir forest is a good habitat, lodgepole is not as
good

Josh:  Right

Greg:  So, you lose all your lodgepole and you still
have uhm, lots of good habitat

Josh:  Right

Greg:  But, that's why

Josh:
 Well, could you also, I mean, if, if the lodgepole die within a spruce
forest, the chance of a spruce tree coming up

Greg:  Is higher

Josh:  Is
higher, right, eventually, right

Greg:  Yep, mm-hmm,

Josh:  And, that's
what, that's why 200 

Greg:  That's some of what the, right, why they're
gonna make better habitat all the time

Josh:  Yeah, okay

Greg:  Right,
so, pine squirrel just shows you a bunch of the, the big middens and then
they also make these little middens

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  and, you know,
this is the sort of decline and again, it's just a cartoon but, 

Josh: 
Right 

Greg:  you see it is totally different than the Boreal owl, it's a
dramatic drop

Josh:  Drop, straight drop

Greg:  It's a percipi, percit,
precipitous, uhm, decline, cuz if you think of pine squirrels as predators
and pine 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  seeds as their prey, 

Josh:  Right

Greg: 
you know, pure lodgepole pine forests, they're losing all their prey
whereas Boreal owls aren't losing all their prey.  So, that's why these
pine squirrels are having such trouble.  And then, so this is a pattern for
uhm, 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  woodpeckers.  And, after this dramatic increase
for about 8 years, then you got a decrease that'll take them to populations
that were lower before, than before

Josh:  Oh, really, okay

Greg: 
Because now you don't have the canopy anymore, but you also don't have the
extra insects around

Josh:  Right, 

Greg:  And so, 

Josh:  cuz
the

Greg:  Again, now

Josh:  Yeah

Greg:  we're, the, the uhm, Three-toed
woodpeckers that are around are up, are the ones left in the spruce fir


Josh:  Okay

Greg:  The lodgepole, they'll be gone, there won't be
anymore!

Josh:  Would, would this mimic the bark beetle population? 


Greg:  Uhm

Josh:  To some extent

Greg:  A little bit, the bark beetle's
gone before they're gone because they'll be a few other insects that
they'll be able to take 

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  But, it's really close,
although the bark beetle population will go way down to down in here

Josh:
 Okay

Greg:  Go way down, 

Josh:  They're gonna

Greg:  Yeah, cuz what
we're seeing here is, I call this a refuge and the refuge here is spruce
fir.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  So, that's what you're seeing with this 20 here
is

Josh:  In terms of, the, but there is a beetle that's attacking spruce
trees, right.

Greg:  Right, and what I was telling my audiences on this,
that I'm assuming that the spruce beetle is not expanding. 

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  Now, if spruce beetle expands,

Josh:  then you

Greg:  then
you got a real problem.

Josh:  Yeah, interesting

Greg:  Yeah, and it's a
question of whether the spruce, and spruce beetle tends to be more spotty
than pine bark beetle when the epidemics'll be growing.  So, yeah, there's
our graph for, for goshawks and you see we only give 'em a little tiny
decline.

Josh:  Yeah, okay, because of the spruce

Greg:  Alternative prey
and spruce fir

Josh:  Yeah, okay.  Yeah, it, it's pretty fascinating
information.  Uhm, just to kind of, move away a little bit away from this,
how would that affect people, do you think? 

Greg:  Uhm, what

Josh:  I
know [?]

Greg:  One, one way I'd put it is that uhm, when, when your
grandkids go up to these forests, they're gonna be seeing something real
different than you saw when you're a, you were a kid.  They're gonna be
seeing maybe a, a lot of chipping sparrows in around campgrounds where you
might have been seeing Golden-crowned kinglets because they're 

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  gonna be seeing open country sparrows and you were seeing
forest birds.

Josh:  Okay, right

Greg:  Uhm, they're not gonna be waking
up in the morning by the chatter of a uhm, pine squirrel  

Josh:  Okay,
yeah, yeah exactly

Greg:  Instead, they're gonna be waking up by a robin,
and robins

Josh:  Okay

Greg:   are real, real vocal.  Uhm, in, I think
they'll have a different persp, kids who then grow up in this area and
watch this forest 

Josh:  Right

Greg:  develop will actually have a very
different

Josh:  idea

Greg:  look at what forests are.  

Josh:  Right,
okay

Greg:  They won't see 'em as static because in five years they'll see
a lot of change and when we were kids, we maybe went to the same lake and
fished with your family

Josh:  Yeah

Greg:  and it looked five years later
just like it looked when the first year you went there.  

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  And so your, their perspective of forest dynamics is gonna be
uhm, real different.

Josh:  Yeah, that, yeah, I never thought about
that

Greg:  Uhm, they, they're also potentially gonna grow up with a
greater frustration of the forest because think of yourself in, 25 years,
if you're one of these people that likes walking off trail

Josh: 
Right

Greg:  trying to walk off trail cuz you're gonna have tons of trees
that have fallen and you're gonna have to be climbin over them

Josh: 
Yeah, that's right because you said about 20 years before

Greg:  Yeah, in
20 years probably figure 80 percent of these trees'd be down on the
ground

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  And, pretty much
disintegrated

Greg:  Well, no, not, these forests dec, decomposition is
slow,

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg:  so in 20 years when they're down, you're
gonna have to be walking over them.

Josh:  Oh I see, they'll be down in 20
years.

Greg:  Right, but they're not gonna be decomposed for

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  40 to 80 years.

Josh:  Wow, okay

Greg:  And so, uhm

Josh: 
Yeah, off trail

Greg:  That means you have to walk on every, and over
and

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  around every one of those logs

Josh: 
Right

Greg:  so that's why it's gonna, they're gonna have a real different
perception of

Josh:  Huh, yeah

Greg:  moving through the forest 

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  than we do

Josh:  In a younger forest, right

Greg:  Yeah,
right 

Josh:  I mean, there will be open areas, but

Greg:  Right, but
they're gonna be, and, yeah, that's the other thing, they won't

Josh:  But
they don't really know

Greg:  They won't be able to see through this
forest for years because there's gonna be lots of green foliage
there.

Josh:  Right

Greg:  Lots of times we're walking through forests
where all the foliage is up high and we're able to see through it

Josh: 
Oh, yeah, that's right

Greg:  There's gonna be a lot of foliage there
making it so you can't see through the forest 

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  Because
the regeneration

Josh:  Right, yeah, I guess that will affect elk hunting
as well

Greg:  Right, yeah, mm-hmm

Josh:  In some place, its okay, elk
huntin's gonna be easier

Greg:  Easier right, but once you get
regeneration going, 

Josh:  Regenation, it'll actually be harder

Greg: 
there's gonna be lots of hiding cover

Josh:  Yeah, huh

Greg:  For a
little while here, there's not going to be much hiding cover and then it's
going to be tough

Josh:  And then, once it has, but

Greg:  Then in 40, 50
years,

Josh:  Yeah [?]

Greg:  then the canopy'll start to lift 

Josh: 
So, about every, you know, 10 years, right

Greg:  Things are gonna change,
[?] dramatically, yeah

Josh:  Yeah, yeah, so these kids, yeah they'll grow
up with a completely, huh

Greg:  Dramatically, dynamic forest

Josh: 
Yeah, and that's not necessarily a bad thing

Greg:  Bad thing, no  


Josh:  Hum, alright, uh, appreciate [?], uhm, did you have any long term,
uhm, for elk?

Greg:  Uhm, I didn't, I always just talk through it quickly,
and part of that, see we, we have, uhm eight reports written on these
species.   

Josh:  Oh, okay, really, yeah, huh

Greg:  And, those I could,
I should definitely put on your thumb drive.  

Josh:  Have they been
published still[?]?

Greg:  They're on Forest Service website.  Cuz they
won't be published in hard copy but they're available to anybody.  

Josh: 
Oh, wow, okay.  And what, how, what would the name of the report be just so
I could find it easily.

Greg:  Yeah, let's see.  And I've never looked for
it on a website.  We'd better have it up there.  [?] had somebody else put
it up, um, why don't I just open up one

Josh:  Or I could just Google
Forest Service

Greg:  No, no, that's put, no that's not relia.  I'm gonna
stick your thumb drive in and [?]

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  I don't have to
worry about putting my colleague, put him on, uhm, here, I'll just put it
in this little side one

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And that's, sometimes the
Forest Service recognizes a, a thumb drive but they didn't expect [?] won't
let you use, we'll see what happens here

Josh:  So, these have been
published, uhm, were they recently published?

Greg:  Real recent

Josh: 
Yeah

Greg:  Yeah, I mean the latest one is probably within the last
month

Josh:  Oh, wow, okay

Greg:  Uhm, [?]

Josh:  This would be a
fascinating article for Wyoming Wildlife.

Greg:  Yeah

Josh: 
Fantastic

Greg:  And see [?]

Josh:  Has anybody addressed or approached
you about that?

Greg:  No, and it'd be better for somebody like you to do
it.  Because uhm, you'll take the time and I won't have time.  Uhm,

Josh: 
Well, the last thing I want to do is, is have an article and most of the
information is from you.  Uhm, I would cite you, of course, 

Greg: 
Right

Josh:  But, I don't want this, if you hadn't published this for
example, I don't want to

Greg:  No, no, don't worry about any of that
stuff.  The more information you can get out there, the better.  

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  Uhm, come on machine, good, show me.  Uhm, so there's a guy
named Tim Wooley.

Josh:  How do you spell that last name?

Greg:  I think
W O O L E Y.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And, sheesh, I should have his name right
here.  I just talked to, he's with Wyoming Game & Fish.

Josh:  Oh,
okay

Greg:  And, he's a young guy but he's really into this bark beetle
thing.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And his number is 527

Josh:  Okay

Greg: 
7125

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And he'd be, I think you should [?]

Josh:  Yeah,
yeah, I already thought about calling him.  Uhm, okay, where's he out of,
Cheyenne?

Greg:  Well, no, he's out of Cody, which

Josh:  Oh, he
is

Greg:  is a pain but, he was down this way. 

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg: 
And you know, they're having bark beetle up there, too, Shoshoni, so it's
not like they're

Josh:  Yeah, that's right.  Yeah, exactly.  My brother
works for the Game & Fish in Cody so that's a good thing, 

Greg:  Oh,
really

Josh:  I have an in there, so

Greg:  Well, good

Josh:  He's,
yeah, he's an [?]

Greg:  So, I made a folder

Josh:  Oh, thank you

Greg: 
It's called bark beetle in forest

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  And, so, it'll be
easy [?].  It's gonna take a second cuz they're, each one I have's in
separate folders.  Uhm, so you're gonna see this word draft,

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  Uhm, [?], yeah, the Snowshoe hare isn't published but I'm
giving you the draft, so don't spread it around 

Josh:  Okay.  When will
it be published?

Greg:  I would say, I'm hoping within a month but that,
we're slower than you think  [?] if you can imagine

Josh:  When those do
come out, did they, who, where, where uhm, where do they get published at? 
Just on uh, on the Forest Service website, or is actually

Greg:  It should
be just on the website.  Here's what [?] while I'm doing this is that,
uhm.  So, we wanted to write 'em so that our biologists would have as much
background as they could when they're doing [?] analysis

Josh:  Uhm,
okay

Greg:  Because, you know, one biologist might know a heck of a lot
about uhm, elk and knows nothing about Snowshoe hare

Josh:  Right

Greg: 
So, this way they

Josh:  Oh, I see

Greg:  benefit from each other's
knowledge

Josh:  A little claration

Greg:  Uhm, but, we didn't want to
make 'em just Forest Service things so, uhm,

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  there's
supposed to be a guy named Dave Wheeler who's putting 'em up on the web. 


Josh:  Oh, the web, okay

Greg:  And, so, like I said, I haven't looked
at the Forest, the public site to see that they're available but they
should be.   [?]

Josh:  No, that's fine

Greg:  I always go right to the
summary at the end

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  We even have one from [?] royal
toad

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  Uhm, there's Three-toed woodpecker, [?], yeah,
eight's correct because the elk is not done

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Our
biologist retired and, and the guy who's writing it in January [?]

Josh: 
Oh really, okay

Greg:  [?]

Josh:  How long has the study been
goin'?

Greg:  Uhm, we, and I wouldn't call it a study but it, the project
to produce the white papers has been about two years.

Josh:  Two
years

Greg:  Yeah [?]

Josh:  Are you coordinating that at all, or?

Greg:
 Uhm, that's mainly what I'm doing is coordinating it so I, I wrote the
Boreal owl and the pine squirrel 

Josh:  Oh, you did

Greg:  and then like
this woman in Yampas is writing the Snowshoe hare and a guy from Steamboat
wrote the goshawk and

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  uhm, and a guy from Saratoga
wrote the woodpecker.

Josh:  Uh, who's the Saratoga guy?

Greg:  Yeah, and
he'd be a good guy to call.  Steve Loose, L O O S E,

Josh:  Okay 

Greg: 
and I can get you a phone number real quick.

Josh:  Yeah, I, its, yeah, a
good thing about working there, I had to figure out how to find people,
so

Greg:  Right, okay, yeah, so it's 326-

Josh:  Uh huh

Greg: 
2512

Josh:  Okay, and he's a biologist?

Greg:  Yeah, mm-hmm

Josh:  Okay,
and he's doing, ahh the Three-toed

Greg:  He did the Three-toed
woodpecker.  I think he did his master's on the woodpeckers, too.

Josh: 
Oh, he did, huh

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  He was a good guy

Josh: 
Huh

Greg:  to do that

Josh:  It's been goin' on for two years

Greg: 
Yep

Josh:  Where, where you giving, just curious, where did these speeches
at, who's [?]

Greg:  Oh the, the talks have been just more recent.  So, I
gave the student chapter of the, they're all local, right basically, the
student chapter of the Wildlife Society on campus

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg: 
the uhm, [?], uhm, did the Audubon have me talk on that?  And that, I gave
it three times, second time was to a class and the third time, I think it
was to Audubon.  

Josh:  Hmm, just curious, what were the reaction, some
reactions?

Greg:  Uhm, I think that, the part I was watching for most, oh,
it was with Society of American Foresters over at the Med Bow
 
Josh:  Oh,
okay

Greg:  rather than Audubon.  Uhm, most people did really like the,
try, what I tried to do of making 'em think real long term.  

Josh: 
Okay

Greg:  So, at the end of this, I even go into the point and talk to
them about, think about 9000 years ago when the Laramie valley had trees in
it and uhm, think about 12,000 years ago when spruce and fir didn't even
occur here.  They hadn't made it here yet,

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  uhm, give
'em

Josh:  Right

Greg:  a perspective that this isn't the end of the
world, a big change like this actually is tiny compared to  

Josh: 
Right

Greg:  the change that's gone on in the past.

Josh:  Mm-hmm, and
these species, also will adapt, I bet, to some degree, right.

Greg:  To
some, yeah, [?], I'm goin' on a

Josh:  especially in 200 years

Greg:  
field trip in one, two weeks I'm gonna go look at a pine squirrel area and
this guys who did track counts this winter, he was finding some tracks in
areas that're pure lodgepole pine so we have to figure out what's really
happening.

Josh:  And what species was that?

Greg:  Pine squirrel

Josh: 
Pine squirrel, huh.

Greg:  Yeah, which we would not have predicted at
all.

Josh:  Huh, huh, yeah, and they'll be, if you read this entry,
probably

Greg:  Yeah, right, and it's not doing, it's not killing a
hundred percent

Josh:  Right

Greg:  Yeah, mm-hmm

Josh:  Even 90,
yeah

Greg:  Yeah, right, uhm, and the other reaction was that pe, most
people say well they hadn't thought about this many different species and
how they would react.  They

Josh:  Right

Greg:  mainly are thinking about
elk and, uhm

Josh:  Yeah, the thrushes

Greg:  the thrushes and stuff. 
And, and most people wouldn't even know they're thinking about thrushes,
but they're thinking about forest birds and all they know is that they see
forest, birds in the forest and then they're likely to be gone.  Cuz most
people aren't good enough birders to even know

Josh:  [?]

Greg:  a
thrush, yeah

Josh:  Big mammals

Greg:  Right, yeah, 

Josh:  Why not
moose, oh well, I guess moose, they're willows, but what

Greg:  They're
riparian, but they, and they eat, they eat a lot of fir when fir's are
small

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg:  And so that's not getting affected by
this

Josh:  Right, okay

Greg:  So, yeah, if anything, it'll be a plus for
'em because you're gonna get more shrubs uhm, growing up in the for, uh,
what was the forest floor and so that's browse for the moose as well

Josh:
 Huh, uhm, the bear habitat, has that been looked at and addressed,
er

Greg:  Well, it hasn't been looked at, to the extent that uhm, that we
get a bit more shrub growth and a few more berries from that, it, it's
gonna be positive more than negative.

Josh:  Okay

Greg:  Uhm, and they
eat a lot of ants, you know, 

Josh:  Oh, okay

Greg:  in dead trees,
carpenter ants, and there'll be a lot more of those 

Josh:  Yeah, okay,
let's see, and the white pine, uhm

Greg:  Blister rust

Josh:  Yeah, it's,
that's the blister rust that's affecting the white pine, right

Greg: 
Pine, right, but this beetle will kill those white pine, I mean

Josh: 
Really

Greg:  Once it gets, if it gets to Yellowstone up in those high
elevations, it's bad, bad, bad news.

Josh:  For the, yeah [?]

Greg: 
Yeah

Josh:  [?]

Greg:  Right, and nutcrackers

Josh:  Huh

Greg:  and
pine nuts

Josh:  Huh, all right, well, I'm really grateful that you spent
that much time

Greg:  It's all cartoon's, remember that

Josh:  Yeah,
okay, yeah, of course, but that's how it, that's my

Greg:  Just a general
characterization, yeah

Josh:  Yeah, I'm not, I'm not

Greg:  Getting down
to the specifics

Josh:  Yeah, and I uhm, was gonna say, I'm no, I'm not a
scientist

Greg:  Yeah

Josh:  A reporter, basically, yeah, yeah, it's a
good story, basically

Greg:  Yep

Josh:  Anyway, well thank you very
much

Greg:  You're welcome