The ability to detect changes in vegetation composition, the range trend, on big game winter ranges is an important part of the Division's big game management program. The health and vigor of Utah's big game populations are closely correlated to the quality and quantity of forage in key areas.
The majority of the permanent range trend studies are located on deer and elk winter ranges. On certain management units, however, these studies are also located on spring and summer ranges if the vegetation composition is the limiting factor for big game populations. Wildlife biologists and other land managers use range trend data for habitat improvement planning purposes, reviewing BLM and USFS allotment management plans, and as another source of information for deer and elk management plans.