The field station is responsible for maintaining the conservation values identified in the conservation easement that governs the original Wilcox Ranch lands. These include natural, forested, scenic, cultural, historical, wildlife and open space values. Because baseline data on many aspects of these values was absent when the field station was established, we coordinated with the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) and Petersen Environmental Consulting to describe and monitor two important environmental dimensions: upland vegetation on the canyon floor and the health and function of the stream/riparian area, respectively.
Baseline data is essential for proper land management. In order to assess the effects of our efforts to manage the lands on the field station, we need to know its current status relative to the conservation values. The value of different land management strategies can best be assessed by comparing quantitative, systematically collected baseline data with subsequent data sets.
- Jan Reinhart and Bracken Davis with the UDAF established monitoring transects for collection baseline data on the upland vegetation (vegetation on the canyon floor but away from the riparian zone) in 2011 and revisited those transects again in 2013. Four additional transects were surveyed in 2013 to assess the results of the reseeding efforts conducted subsequent to the catastrophic Lighthouse Fire that occurred in 2012. Click on the links to access Jan’s 2011 and 2013 reports.
- Mark Petersen, with the assistance of individuals from other agencies and the field station, established a series of designated monitoring areas along the stream/riparian corridor in 2011. Mark and his team revisited those monitoring areas again in 2013 and established a new one in an area heavily impacted by the Lighthouse Canyon wildfire to collect data and monitor the recovery of the stream/riparian zone. Click on the links to access Mark’s 2011 and 2013 reports.