As more people make Carbon County their home, our traditional farms are being divided into small acreage home lots. Many small acreage owners would like to have verdant green pastures to raise horses, calves, or sheep. The first great challenge faced in Carbon County is water. Low rainfall combined with poor quality ground water makes surface water a very critical resource. The second challenge is soil quality. Much of the soil in the inhabited portion of Carbon County has been developed from mancos shale. This creates a heavy (clay type) soil that is typically quite high in salts.
This website provides the education and guidance landowners need to successfully establish and maintain a healthy system.
If you are looking to buy property in Carbon County, the first two things to consider are water source and soil quality.
There are no culinary water wells in the lower elevations of Carbon County. All culinary water is delivered by Price River Water Improvement District (PRWID). This culinary water is expensive for irrigation so land purchasers should determine if a secondary water source is available. The difficulty arises from the fact that in the process of development, the water shares in many county subdivisions have have been reduced to only culinary water. PRWID has enough water shares to deliver water to the property owner but this is fairly expensive as it is treated water. There are options, but typically only if neighborhoods get together and install a secondary water system and obtain water shares needed for the system. Regardless of the water situation, landowners are responsible for weeds and fire hazards on their properties.
There are many places within the county that have excellent soil. There are also many places, typically low-lying places, where salts have risen to the surface. Saline soils should be avoided whenever possible. Other serious soil problems include a heavier soil texture. Usually, the heavier soils (soils with more clay in them) in Carbon County also have salinity problems, as the soils developed from blue mancos shale. A soil test before purchasing property is an excellent insurance against soil problems later down the road. Come into the Extension Office for a soil test kit--751 E 100 N, Price.
Another excellent source for soil information can be found at http://websoilsurvey.nrcs.usda.gov/app/
Regardless of whether you are seeking to purchase land or you already own some ground, few things bring more joy than having beautiful and productive surroundings. This link, http://extension.usu.edu/smac/, will take you to the USU Extension Small Acreage website. It has a lot of information that can help as you work to make your small acreage productive and enjoyable.
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