Technical Study and GIS Model for Migratory Deer Range Habitat. Butte County, California

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1 Technical Study and GIS Model for Migratory Deer Range Habitat, California Prepared for: Design, Community & Environment And Prepared by:

2 Please Cite this Document as: Gallaway Consulting, Inc. Sevier, K. and Gallaway, J., Technical Study and GIS Model for Migratory Deer Range Habitat., CA

3 Table of Contents Title...1 Author...1 Abstract...1 Introduction...1 Data Selection for Habitat Analysis...2 Methods...5 Data Selection... 5 Data Filtering for Temporal Habitat Requirements... 5 Weighting Assignments and Modeling... 6 Selection of Modeling Environment... 7 Results...8 References...9 Appendix A...10

4 Page 1 of 10 Title Technical Study and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Model for Migratory Deer Range Habitat. Author Gallaway Consulting, Inc. Kevin Sevier and Jody Gallaway Abstract The existing data relied upon by planning agencies to identify migratory deer habitats were developed in the early 1980 s by the California Department of Fish and Game (CDFG). Encroachment from urban areas, development of rural lots and fire suppression has resulted in direct and indirect changes to the landscape. These changes have resulted in areas that no longer function as suitable critical winter and winter range, thus should not be subjected to development regulations for the sole purpose of protecting winter range for migratory deer. Conversely, there have been large scale efforts by private and public agencies to protect critical winter range. Many of these areas serve as high quality functioning critical winter range. The use of GIS provides a modeling environment, to evaluate location, physical characteristics of land, spatial distribution of suitability zones and a database environment to assess parcel suitability, inventory habitat loss, and prioritize conservation efforts. Changes to the winter ranges and to a lesser extent intermediate ranges have a high level impact on the deer herds, since food and refuge from winter weather is scarce and winter ranges tend to be smaller than summer ranges. This analysis focuses on the habitats in which even minute amounts of alteration or destruction can have significant consequences on deer herd habitat suitability. The objectives of this project were to: 1) develop a data ranking system for identification of intermediate, winter and critical winter range habitats; 2) develop a GIS model to update the intermediate, winter and critical winter range maps; 3) summarize the data inputs, techniques, and use of the data, and 5) develop a GIS model that can be updated as new scientific data becomes available. The results of the GIS model which delineate the intermediate, winter and critical winter range habitats show that, generally speaking, intermediate, winter and critical range habitats are spatially similar to the original data set. Introduction In the early 1980 s the CDFG developed management plans, including the designation of critical winter, winter, intermediate, major migration corridor, summer and critical summer ranges for migratory deer herds in California. Among the counties affected by these management plans was. informally adopted the maps as part of the Conservation Element

5 Page 2 of 10 of the General Plan for use in determining where development should be restricted for the protection of migration and winter range habitats of deer. Typically the identification of potential impacts to winter deer herd habitat is done during CEQA review of proposed projects. The current system of identifying these impacts entails crossreferencing the location of the development to the Deer Herd GIS Database maintained by the County. In this database, regions are defined as development permitted, Winter Herd Area: 20- acre minimum lot size, and Critical Winter Range: 40-acre minimum lot size. These requirements are derived from the management plans created by CDFG for the various deer herds in the County. If a proposed development exists within a wintering area, mitigation measures are applied to the project consistent with the 1984 Report of the Deer Herd Study Panel (1984 Report). The general provisions of the 1984 Report recommend fences in non-residential areas meet specific criteria in order to prevent barriers to deer movements on and off a property, deer impact fees be collected, adherence to minimum parcel sizes, enforcement of County dog control ordinances and the establishment of buffers along creeks. Additionally, Chapter 24 Article III Section G of the Code describes which land types are not suitable for development and identifies deer migration, fawning and winter range areas are classified as primary areas. Primary areas must be avoided and reserved as permanent open space in all instances. Dedicated open space areas shall be designated for all land not suitable for development. The objectives of this project were to: 1) develop a data ranking system for identification of intermediate, winter and critical winter range habitats; 2) develop a GIS model to update the intermediate, winter and critical winter range maps; 3) summarize the data inputs, techniques, and use of the data, and 5) develop a GIS model that can be updated as new scientific data becomes available. Data Selection for Habitat Analysis Working with CDFG Biologist, Henry Lomeli, vegetation, elevation, and terrain preferences, habitat variables, of the deer herds based on seasonal variations were identified. The best available GIS data that represented these habitat variables were obtained from the California Department of Forestry (CDF), United States Geological Society (USGS), United States Forest Service (USFS), and. Contrary to initial assumptions, the CDFG did not possess current Global Positioning System (GPS) data detailing spatial and temporal deer herd movements in.

6 Page 3 of 10 Vegetation requirements based on consultation with CDFG and literature review were cross referenced to USFS/CDF CALVEG vegetation classification. The following vegetation requirements were identified for critical winter and winter range: mixed shrubs ceanothus chaparral wedgeleaf ceanothus lower montane mixed chaparral scrub oak manzanita upper montane mixed chaparral water aspen tan oak willow (tree) sycamore interior live oak upper montane mixed shrub gray pine canyon live oak blue oak white alder Fremont cottonwood pacific madrone California buckeye cottonwood alder black oak valley oak Vegetation requirements identified for the intermediate range are similar to those identified for the critical winter and winter ranges but with the incorporation of meadow and riparian habitats. The classes, based on the CDFG consultation and cross referenced to USFS/CDF CALVEG vegetation classification, are as follows: mixed shrubs ceanothus chaparral wedgeleaf ceanothus lower montane mixed chaparral scrub oak manzanita water aspen tan oak willow (tree) willow (shrub) sycamore interior live oak wet meadow upper montane mixed shrub gray pine canyon live oak blue oak white alder Fremont cottonwood pacific madrone California buckeye cottonwood alder black oak valley oak riparian mixed hardwood interior mixed hardwood

7 Page 4 of 10 Fire management and fire history were identified as an important component of deer habitat suitability. The California Department of Forestry s Fire and Resource Assessment Program (FRAP) maintains several dataset covering a wide range of fire management issues. The dataset labeled Fire Environment was selected for this analysis since it identifies distinct environments for fire management for current and future conditions, based on fifty-years of fire management regimes. When incorporated with vegetation data they identify the mix of fire management that each vegetation type is likely to receive. Elevation and aspect were identified as contributing factors in the identification of the seasonal deer ranges and habitat suitability. Digital elevation models (DEM) are widely used in GIS for interpreting both elevation and aspect. Southern and southwestern slopes were identified by CDFG as the preferred habitats for all of the temporal ranges addressed in this study. Elevation requirements were broken into three categories; 1,000 ft. 3,000 ft. for critical winter, 500 ft. 4,000 ft. for winter, and 4,000 ft. 6,000 ft. for intermediate. Due to the lack of current GPS and/or telemetry data for the deer herds, the incorporation of some degree of empirical data was necessary. Several sources of data which shows actual existence of the deer herds were investigated. The Wildlife Management division of the CDFG produces maps referred to as Spot Kills which summarize the locations of deer taken during hunting season. The Spot Kill maps were deemed inappropriate for this study due to the narrow time frame in which hunting season occurs, the quality of data recorded, and the concept that many deer are taken from resident populations and not necessarily migratory deer groups. The California Department of Transportation (CalTrans) gathers deer road kill information, however the information is not consistent spatially and temporally. Additionally the CalTrans data suffers from the lack of discretion between resident and migratory populations. Lacking current GPS and/or telemetry data of identified migratory deer herd habitat use and essential migratory corridors, this model relied upon historic range maps as they integrated telemetry data from the early 1980 s to identify verified existence of migratory deer herds and recent information regarding habitat preference and suitability for wintering deer. By incorporating the historic data into the weighting function (described later in the methods section) this model will include the empirical data that would otherwise not be available at this time.

8 Page 5 of 10 Methods Data Selection The first step of the project was to select appropriate GIS data. The following information and databases were obtained and used to conduct the analysis. The bulleted item is the datum identifier, followed by the source of the data, followed by a brief description of the data. Fire Environment California Department of Forestry Fire and Resource Assessment Program. o Fire management environments. Digital Elevation Model United States Geological Society. o Elevation o Aspect CALVEG California Department of Forestry and Resource Assessment Program. o Vegetation classification. Historical Migratory Deer Range Map. o Documented historic habitats and migration areas Data Filtering for Temporal Habitat Requirements The second step involved converting all data into a raster format. The Digital Elevation Model (DEM) by nature contains information based on 10 square meters. The fire environment and vegetation data were supplied in raster format at 300 square meter resolution. The historic deer range originated from vector based data and was converted into raster at a 300 square meter resolution. By converting the data into raster format, the ability to assign values (described below) to each 300 square meter pixel was realized. The third step entailed filtering and assigning values to the data based on CDFG s identification of temporal and spatial habitat suitability for migratory deer herds. The following describes how filtering was performed on the GIS data per the seasonal requirements of the deer herds: For critical winter range, areas were selected that had south and southwest slopes (aspect), minimized fire suppression efforts (fire environment), between 1,000 ft. 3,000 ft. (elevation), suitable winter vegetation (vegetation classification), and existed in the historic critical winter range (historic migratory deer range map) For winter range, areas were selected that had south and southwest slopes (aspect), minimized fire suppression efforts (fire environment), between 500 ft. 4,000 ft. (elevation), suitable winter vegetation (vegetation classification), and existed in the historic winter range (historic migratory deer range map) For intermediate range areas were selected that had south and southwest slopes (aspect), between 4,000 ft. 6,000 ft. (elevation), and existed in the historic intermediate range (historic migratory deer range map)

9 Page 6 of 10 Weighting Assignments and Modeling The following describes how assigning values to each filtered item was performed on the GIS data per the seasonal requirements of migratory deer herds. Generally, preferred habitats were assigned higher values and lesser habitats were assigned lower values. For a graphic representation refer to Appendix A. For critical winter range, areas that were identified with south and southwest slopes were assigned a value of 1 and all other aspects were assigned a value of 0, fire suppression efforts were assigned a value of 2 for areas which receive minimal fire suppression, 1 for areas in the mixed interface zones which receive moderate fire suppression, and 0 for developed areas likely to receive maximum fire suppression efforts, locations between 1,000 ft. 3,000 ft. were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas were assigned a value of 0, areas which met the deer herd foraging requirements were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas received a value of 0, and areas in the historic critical winter range were given a value of 1 while all other areas received a value of 0. The value assignments result in eight possible outcomes for any given location ranging from 0 6. The top three outcomes (4, 5, and 6) were then analyzed using a geostatistical model in GIS called local polynomial interpolation (see Selection of Modeling Environment below). This surface or range area was then converted into vector data for ease of use and better cartographic representation. For winter range areas that were identified with south and southwest slopes were assigned a value of 1 and all other aspects were assigned a value of 0, fire suppression efforts were assigned a value of 2 for areas which receive minimal fire suppression, 1 for areas in the mixed interface zones which receive moderate fire suppression, and 0 for developed areas likely to receive maximum fire suppression efforts, locations between 500 ft. 4,000 ft. were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas were assigned a value of 0, areas which met the CDFG identified deer herd foraging requirements were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas received a value of 0, and areas in the historic winter range were given a value of 1 while all other areas received a value of 0. The value assignments result in eight possible outcomes for any given location ranging from 0 6. The top three outcomes (4, 5, and 6) were then analyzed using the same geostatistical model as described in the above paragraph. This surface or range area was then converted into vector data. For intermediate range areas that were identified with south and southwest slopes were assigned a value of 1 and all other aspects were assigned a value of 0, fire suppression efforts were assigned a value of 2 for areas which receive minimal fire suppression, 1 for areas in the mixed interface zones which receive moderate fire suppression, and 0 for developed areas likely to receive maximum fire suppression efforts, locations between 4,000 ft. 6,000 ft. were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas were assigned a value of 0, areas which met the CDFG identified deer herd foraging requirements were assigned a value of 1 and all other areas received a value of 0, and areas in the historic intermediate range were given a value of 1 while all other areas received a value of 0. The value assignments result in four possible outcomes for any given location ranging from 0 3. The top three outcomes (1, 2, and 3) were then analyzed using the same geostatistical model as described in the above paragraphs. This surface or range area was then converted into vector data.

10 Page 7 of 10 The combination of the critical winter, winter and intermediate vector shapefile produces a range map for the life phases that are most sensitive to human encroachment and alteration. While the preceding steps identified these suitable habitats based on suitability and historic information, it does not provide a concept of habitat loss due to fragmentation of rural parcels through development. Selection of Modeling Environment Geostatistical Analyst uses spatial data in a landscape and creates (interpolates) a continuous surface and predicts values for each location in the landscape analyzed. For this modeling exercise a deterministic technique was employed which uses mathematical functions for interpolation, as opposed to a geostatistical technique which uses both mathematical and statistical functions for interpolation and the ability to evaluate data quality. This choice was based on the assumption that the data has no errors, as the scope of this exercise does not included evaluating the quality of existing and widely used spatial data sets. The deterministic interpolation method used for this analysis was local polynomial interpolation, which uses data within localized windows rather than using all of the available data. This allows the local polynomial interpolation to fit local trends and the utilization of weighting functions. The localized window can be moved around, and the surface value at the center of the window, call it µ o (x,y), is estimated at each point. Weighted least squares is used by minimizing, Where n is the number of points within the window. Here, w, is a weight, Where d 10 is the difference between the point and the center of the window and a is a parameter that controls how fast weights decay with distance. Finally, µ o (x i,y i ) is the value of the polynomial. For first-order polynomial: For second order polynomial: And so on. The minimization occurs for the parameters {β i }. The parameters are re-estimated whenever the center point and, consequently, the window moves (ESRI, 2003). In laypersons terms this process removes data outliers and delineates the surface or critical winter range using predictions based on the trends in the data.

11 Page 8 of 10 Results The results of this analysis are portrayed in s GIS dataset which consists of data identifying critical winter, winter and intermediate habitats. The model developed to define these habitats can be amended as new information, data and management approaches are identified.

12 Page 9 of 10 References. Report of the Deer Herd Study Panel Department of Development Services. Historical Migratory Deer Range Map Department of Development Services. GIS Assessor Parcel Database. October 30, California Department of Fish and Game. Report to the Fish and Game Commission. An Assessment of Mule and Black-tailed Deer Habitats and Populations in California California Department of Fish Game. Biswell, H. H. and J. H. Gilman. Brush Management in Relation to Fire and other Environmental Factors on the Tehama Deer Winter Range California Department of Fish and Game. Leach, H.R.; Hiehle, J.L. Food habits of the Tehama deer herd California Department of Fish and Game. Ramsey, T. E.. Management Plan for the Eastern Tehama Deer Herd California Department of Fish and Game. Snowden, J., Bower, J.A., and Perkins, P. Bucks Mountain / Moorestown Deer Herd Management Plan California Department of Forestry Fire and Resource Assessment Program, Fire Management Environments data. accessed on January 9, ESRI (Environmental Sciences Research Institute). ArcGIS 9 - Using ArcGIS Geostatistical Analyst. Redlands, CA Journal of Range Management. Barrett, R.H.; Habitat Preferences of Feral Hogs, Deer, and Cattle on a Sierra Foothill Range, US Forest Service, Existing vegetation data. accessed on January 9, US Geological Society. Digital Elevation Model. accessed on January 9, 2007.

13 Page 10 of 10 Appendix A

14 Critical Winter Range Aspect S-SW-Flat Slopes = 1 Other Slopes = 0 Data Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM (USGS) Fire Environment * Underdeveloped Areas = 2 * Mixed Interface Areas = 1 * Developed Areas = 0 Data provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (1995) 7 Possible Outcomes Geostatistical Analysis Elevation ft. = 1 Other Elevation = 0 The top 3 outcomes were thrown into the Geostastical Model of Local Polynomial Interpolation. Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM Convert to Shapefile Vegetation * Suitable Vegetation = 1 Non Suitable Vegetation = 0 Critical Winter Range Data provided by the California Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service Historical Data Historical Critical Winter range Layer = 1 Non Historical Critical Winter Range Layer = 0 Data provided by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and

15 Winter Range Aspect S-SW-Flat Slopes = 1 Other Slopes = 0 Data Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM (USGS) Fire Environment * Underdeveloped Areas = 2 * Mixed Interface Areas = 1 * Developed Areas = 0 Data provided by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (1995) 7 Possible Outcomes Geostatistical Analysis Elevation ft. = 1 Other Elevation = 0 The top 3 outcomes were thrown into the Geostastical Model of Local Polynomial Interpolation. Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM Convert to Shapefile Vegetation * Suitable Vegetation = 1 Non Suitable Vegetation = 0 Critical Winter Range Data provided by the California Department of Forestry and U.S. Forest Service Historical Data Historical Critical Winter range Layer = 1 Non Historical Critical Winter Range Layer = 0 Data provided by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and

16 Intermediate Range Aspect S-SW Slopes = 1 Other Slopes = 0 Data Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM (USGS) Elevation ft. = 1 Other Elevation = 0 4 Possible Outcomes Extracted from a USGS 10 Meter DEM (USGS) Geostatistical Analysis The top 3 outcomes were thrown into the Geostastical Model of Local Polynomial Interpolation. Convert to Shapefile Historical Data Historical Critical Winter range Layer = 1 Non Historical Critical Winter Range Layer = 0 Intermediate Range Data provided by the Department of Fish and Game (DFG) and

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