Black Birch Canyon
Plate 425X. Black Birch Canyon 1979 – 2004 This Photo Plot Transect was established by the Forest Service in 1943 to monitor range conditions on the East Fork of Black Birch Creek below Bryce Canyon National Park. The lower two plots on this Transect are situated in the ponderosa pine type, while the upper three plots sample mountain brush communities. According to early narrative reports, this area was very heavily grazed by livestock when the transect was established and most of the shrubs were severely hedged by repeat browsing. Soil erosion was also described as common. The primary brush species included birchleaf mountain mahogany, Utah serviceberry, Gambel’s oak, snowberry, rose, and mountain big sage. Grass cover was described as minimal and consisted mostly of Indian rice grass, needle and thread, western wheatgrass, squirreltail, and Letterman’s needlegrass. Plate 425x is viewed west from the end of the Photo Plot Transect. Woody vegetation now blocks the original camera station, so the 2004 retake was made from the nearest open area at a slightly higher location. Nevertheless, birchleaf mountain mahogany and Utah serviceberry have increased markedly only to be invaded by pinyon, juniper, and ponderosa pine, as the site has not burned in more than 100 years. The area was not grazed by livestock in 2004 and wildlife use was minimal. Today, few shrubs show any sign of browsing unlike conditions when the Transect was first established.
U.S. Forest Service photograph taken by Al Tait on July 19, 1979; retake by Charles E. Kay on May 12, 2004 - - Photo No. 5296-29. Original photographs, negatives, and narrative reports held in the range files on the Panguitch Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Panguitch, UT.
Mountain Brush, Oakbrush, Sagebrush, Pinyon, Juniper, Conifer
South West: Section 15, Range 4 West, Township 38 South; UTM of Transect starting point 392750 E, 4151050 N; elevation 7,160 ft.