A Moose in Winter

Idaho moose in a snowy forest

One day, many years ago, I was on my regular walk around the home place. There’s a loop round our property, which I like to walk because I can see clearly the difference between our side of the property line and our neighbors’ property. We are bordered not by another family but by a corporate land holding and by the USFS. So I think of our neighbors as anyone who might access the Forest Service land and as the foresters who manage the corporate land. At one point on our property, you can look behind you and see pre-commercial thinning, to the side and see dense forest in need of thinning, and to the other side to view recent logging. The different management objectives, approaches, and needs are clearly visible. The different ways animals use these lands are also clear.

To my mind, we’ve had an increase in wildlife since recent logging by our neighbors, and we’ve also had an increase in wildlife traversing our land because of the dense forest of the USFS. Wildlife is not unfamiliar around our parts. We’re near the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, so there are large tracks of land for black bear, grizzly, elk, deer, moose, and all sorts of little critters.

But in winter? When we go outside at night, I always leash my miniature dachshund because of the moose that like to use our snow-blown paths. Sometimes we see them in summer, too, but that is a long time away!