The Northern bog lemming (Synaptomys borealis) has a subspecies (Sphagnicola) found in BCR 14. It is quite rare and seems to occur mostly at high elevations although it has been found in sphagnum bogs, lowland spruce-fir and damp weedy meadows. It is listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in one or more states in BCR 14.
This animal uses burrows several inches below ground and shallow runways on the ground surface. It prefers areas with moist to wet loose soils or leaf mold. It feeds on the succulent parts of grasses and sedges along with seeds and fungi.
Its territory size, home range and population densities are unknown.
Habitat Management Practices
Until more is learned about its specific habitat requirements, only general habitat management objectives are available. These include maintaining conditions that provide for tunnels in the loose soil conditions on moist (poorly drained loamy or silty soils) high-elevation and low-elevation spruce-fir forest types.
Winter only operations for the high-elevation and low-elevation spruce, fir and spruce-fir types as follows:
These recommendations are designed to optimize wildlife habitat conditions within this forest type. Other silvicultural options may apply, but they won’t necessarily optimize potential habitat conditions for the full range of wildlife species that can occupy this type.
- Use uneven-age management. Group selection with groups ranging from 1/10 to 2 acres.
- Use a 90-year rotation age with entries every 15 years.
- Let 10 percent of the area of this type age to 120 years before rotating.
- Avoid entry during nesting season—April to June.
- Whole-tree harvest or cut-to-length is preferred.
HIGH-ELEVATION SPRUCE, SPRUCE-FIR AND FIR
These recommendations are designed to optimize wildlife habitat conditions within this forest type. Other silvicultural options may apply, but they won’t necessarily optimize potential habitat conditions for the full range of wildlife species that can occupy this type. High-elevation (generally above 2,500 feet) forest types are normally situated on soils that are shallow to bedrock or poor in quality. The soil conditions, coupled with climate conditions at high elevations, result in slow vegetative reproduction and growth. Since the habitat provided by this type at these elevations contains a large proportion of SGCN species, special care must be taken when management takes place at high elevations in this type.
The management preference for optimal habitat is no management at all—allow natural processes to take place. If harvesting in this type at high elevation, contact your state wildlife agency before proceeding.
Composition and Structure Goals
- Within the managed area at least 60 percent should remain in stands with an average DBH of 4 inches or greater and a stocking of at least 90 square feet of basal area per acre.
- Leave 10 percent of the area unharvested. The remaining 30 percent of the area can be less than 4 inches in DBH and less than 90 square feet of basal area.
- Distribute these cut areas across the managed area rather than concentrating them.
- Direct management toward maintaining or increasing softwood types at high elevations.
- Use group selection with small groups—to ½ acre is preferred.
- Install larger groups (up to 3 acres) or small clearcuts (3 to 5 acres) only where adequate regeneration is in place.
- Minimize residual stand damage.
- Minimize soil compaction.
- Winter harvest is preferred.
- Avoid whole-tree harvest. Use a cut-to-length harvest method, leaving tops and limbs in place.
- Retain three to five large live cull or cavity trees per acre.