Community members had a great day last Saturday exploring Round Valley and Swall Meadows on ESLT’s Wildlife Migration Corridor Field Trip. California Department of Fish & Game wildlife biologist Tim Taylor led the group and explained why this area is so critical to the survival of the Round Valley mule deer herd during their winter range in the valley.

The Round Valley mule deer herd relies on bitter brush scrub that covers the valley floor. Climate conditions, such as the amount of rain fall each year, and unplanned fires determine the amount of vegetation available for the Round Valley mule deer herd to consume. This affects their survival rate, which in turn affects how many new fauns are born the following summer.

ESLT’s first easement was put in place to protect this special mule deer herd, which is the most studied in the area. Participants on the field trip were able to explore conservation easements that enable the migrating deer to reach their winter range habitat in the valley below.

Thank you to Tim Taylor and everyone who came out for this great field trip!