Plate 164X. Mule Flat 1943 - 1946 - 1953 - 1959 - 2003 The Mule Flat Photo Plot Transect was established in 1943 and reread in 1946, 1953, and 1959. Initial range conditions were described as poor and all plant communities were very heavily grazed. Sheet erosion in the meadow was common. All aspen suckers were repeatedly browsed by cattle and deer, as was snowberry. Range conditions had not improved by 1959 (unpublished reports in range files, Panguitch Ranger District, Panguitch, UT). Plate 164x is viewed east-northeast along the transect centerline from plot D-254. The three aspen in the foreground of the original photographs were cut sometime after 1959 in an attempt to regenerate that aspen stand, a treatment that was not successful - - see Plates 165x and 166x. Sagebrush has now invaded the meadow but native grass cover has increased, improving range conditions. Active soil erosion is no longer evident. Aspen on the distant hillside regenerated during the 1970’s when mule deer populations were low, but not before or since (Kay and Bartos 2000). In 2003, all aspen suckers were heavily browsed by elk, deer and, to a lesser degree, livestock. Cattle had not used this pasture in 2003, but elk and deer sign was abundant, especially elk, a species absent in 1943. A jeep road down the center of Mule Flat is visible in the most recent retake.
U.S. Forest Service photographs (unnumbered) by Ray J. Davis on August 24, 1943; Walter Cottam on August 24, 1946; I.H. Johnson on August 7, 1953; and I.H. Johnson on September 16, 1959; retake by Charles E. Kay on July 11, 2003 - - Photo No. 5178-27. Original photographs, negatives, and narrative reports held in the range files on the Panguitch Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Panguitch, UT.
South West: Section 24, Range 3 West, Township 31 South; UTM of transect starting point 399050E, 4217000N; elevation 9,620 ft.