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For both the spotted owl (northern site, Tahoe NF) and the fisher (southern site, Sierra NF), sampling will begin in the explicit study area and "grow" until a sufficient sample is found. The subsequent analyses of the impact of SPLATs will look at how the management influences occupancy or use patterns in the study areas. However we share your concern about sample sizes and won't know exactly how many animals are there until we complete our initial year assessments.

At Sagehen, there is not an explicity adaptive management component and the study at Sagehen was specifically focused on evaluating SPLAT impact on fire behavior. I believe the Pacific Southwest Research Station is actively engaged in terrestrial wildlife research at Sagehen (bear, marten) but the studies are not explicitly integrated. Also since Sagehen is on the eastside of the Sierra Nevada, it is difficult to extrapolate results to the westside forests.

You question regarding the timing of SPLAT implementation is one frequently raised. We designed our study to answer the key questions in as short a time as possible but we still we need at least 7 years to get any concrete results.

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