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Sweetwater Creek




Plate 103X. Sweetwater Creek 1934-2002 Viewed up Sweetwater Creek east of Widtsoe, Utah. The slope on the cut banks has decreased and those areas are more vegetated today than they were in 1934. The adjoining bench area on the left was root-plowed and reseeded to crested wheatgrass in the 1950’s, but has again been heavily reinvaded by rubber rabbitbrush. Pinyon, juniper, and ponderosa pine have increased on the distant hillsides, and juniper has even invaded the arroyo. The dark-colored shrubs in the arroyo and primarily rose and snowberry. The area was heavily grazed by cattle in 2002. Nevertheless, the arroyo bottem is more thickly vegetated today than it was in the past. Also note the live stream in the 2002 photo, something that was absent in the earlier image. Willows are now common downstream of the camera station. The flat area to the right of the arroyo was apparently not root-plowed and that area is 50% big sage and 50% rubber rabbitbrush, unlike the area to the left of the arroyo that was root-plowed and is 100% rubber rabbitbrush. Crested wheatgrass is also present south of the arroyo, so it is likely that the entire area may have been reseeded from the air. Bitterbrush is present on some of the cut banks.

Photo Information:

U.S. Forest Service photograph 293882 taken by Reed W. Bailey in 1934; retake by Charles E. Kay on August 6, 2002 - - Photo No. 5014-20. Original photograph held by the Utah Historical Society, Reed W. Bailey Collection, Salt Lake City, UT.

Vegetative Community:

Riparian, Pinyon, Juniper, Conifer, Mountain Brush


South West: Section 25, Range 2 West, Township 34 South; UTM 415350E, 4186700N; elevation 7,900 ft.

January 2018