We directly observed and measured activity patterns and foraging behavior of moose at close range (5-20 m) because moose in RMNP are habituated to people and tolerate close observation.
The DMD of willow in RMNP during summer 2004 was 60.
First, our estimates of forage biomass was based solely on willow forage because 1) willow habitat was most used by all moose in all seasons in North Park, Colorado in 1991-1995 (Kufeld and Bowden 1996) and in summer in RMNP (Dungan 2007), and 2) 6 willow species comprise 91.
In February of 2001 a final set of meetings was held with all parties present at the RMNP administrative offices and final results and recommendations were presented.
This is especially relevant in light of the vast body of information that exists with respect to RMNP, and in light of the findings of the Ecological Integrity Panel, which suggest that the need to manage for ecological integrity is paramount, that science is not effectively used by the parks, and that adaptive management should be employed (Parks Canada, 2000).
Finally, the process followed in RMNP was a participatory one, involving the people of the region and was attuned to the unique characteristics of the place.
If moose select feeding sites based solely on chemical properties of forage, it would be expected that a greater proportion of the moose population in RMNP would use the mid and high elevation strata and that utilization would not be restricted to females.
Although male moose within RMNP are probably responsive to variation in willow chemistry at the stand level, the variation in productivity among elevations might explain their absence from the highest elevations on summer ranges.
This relationship may be further exacerbated in RMNP as a result of heavy utilization by cervids.
This study was conducted in RMNP during the summers of 2003 and 2004.
Moose summer diets in RMNP consisted of 11 different species of woody browse, which accounted for roughly 97 % of the overall diet.
Similarities of diet composition of moose in RMNP and moose in Denali National Park suggest use of very similar habitats during the summer.