Any landowner who wants to manage property in a manner that encourages a healthy grouse population needs to recognize the importance of aspen. The buds of mature male aspen trees serve as a major winter food source, and young stands of aspen which sprout prolifically following a clear cut during dormancy (when leaves are off the trees) provide the necessary dense cover for good grouse habitat.
Given that the home range of a grouse hen with a brood may approach 40 acres, managing an area of that size is adequate and will provide habitat to several male grouse, as well.
If managing land for grouse, the Department of Fish and Wildlife publication A Landowners Guide to Wildlife Habitat Management for Vermont Woodlands recommends the following practices.
Once an area to be managed for grouse has been identified (preferably one that includes some component of aspen), divide the area into stands of five acres or less. Every 10 years, rotate treatment on one-quarter of the stands as described below in a checkerboard pattern. Stands with the oldest aspen trees should be treated first. Within each stand of five acres or less:
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