Plate 979X. Dry Flat 1978 – 2005 This Photo Plot Transect was established by the Forest Service in 1943 to monitor range conditions on Dry Flat approximately two miles southwest of Unita Flat. According to early narrative reports, the area was very heavily grazed by livestock when the transect was established, and soil erosion was a major concern. “Heavy adjustments in sheep use followed the 1945 period. Improved management such as hauling water and eliminating trailing was inaugurated about this time. The shallow soil on the ridges may require a lot less use to get very noticeable improvement…soil movement was evident around Stipa clumps even though the area is almost level. Soil remnants capped by small pebbles were common…Rill marks were conspicuous on several plots. Root crowns of many Stipa plants are one to two inches above the general soil level.” Despite an increase in the number and size of ponderosa pine, range conditions had improved by 1978 when Dr. Jim Bowns reported that the “allotment is now in good condition and the trend is up. Although numbers have been reduced, this is still a sheep allotment.” Plate 979x is similar to 978x except the photopoint is a few feet further west to avoid the ponderosa pine on the right. Ponderosa pine has increased despite logging and selective thinning. The taller shrubs in the distance are currants. The shrub in the foreground of the 2005 retake is bitterbrush. Needle and thread is the most common grass. Bitterbrush and green rabbitbrush are also present.
U.S. Forest Service photograph (unnumbered) taken by Al Tait on August 17, 1978; retake by Charles E. Kay on July 31, 2005 - - Photo No. 5495-20. Original photographs, negatives, and narrative reports held in the range files on the Cedar City Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Cedar City, UT.
Conifer, Mountain Brush, Dry Meadow
South West: Section 10, Range 7 West, Township 38 South; UTM of the Transect starting point 357550 E, 4154450 N; elevation 8,040 ft.