West Fork Environmental has done extensive habitat and animal surveys for forestry clients throughout Skamania and Klickitat Counties in Washington between 2008 and 2015 for the threatened western gray squirrel and other squirrel species. These surveys focused on determining quantitative patterns of mast and nut forage species, availability of nest trees, presence of active squirrel nests and collection of hair follicles for genetics analysis.
The Hancock Forest Management project has been ongoing for the past three years with West Fork involvement in the trapping, habitat characterization and methodological evaluation phases. West Fork used numerous types of traps, snares and camera monitoring devices for acquiring the biological data and adapted traditional forestry plot methods for collection of the vegetation data. Data from these studies has been useful in understanding the population structure of native gray squirrels in the area as well as the vegetation base and habitat requirements and community interactions with other tree and ground squirrels.