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East Fork Of The Sevier River





Plate 268X. East Fork of the Sevier River 1943 - 1948 - 1953 - 1961 - 1979 - 2003 The East Fork of the Sevier River Photo Plot Transect was established in 1943, and re-read in 1948, 1953, 1961, and 1979. Two plot-lines were set-out from a common starting point on the East Fork approximately one-half mile north of Blubber Creek. The first line runs in a southwesterly direction for 1200 feet, while line two runs in a southeasterly direction for 600 feet. According to the 1943 narrative report, the area was once a wet meadow but as the East Fork eroded and down-cut 5 to 7 feet “the plants growing there have died out and Artemisia, Gutierrezia, Chrysothamaus, and Kochia have come in. Much of the area is still entirely barren [from overgrazing] or has valueless weeds growing on it.” Willows were described as having once been abundant along the stream, but most were killed-out by repeated browsing and the lowered watertable. Heavy grazing had “obliterated” most native grasses and the hillsides were described as “severely eroded”. In 1961, “Fresh alluvial deposits [were] common [and] drainage ways [had] deepened.” By 1979, however, “the area [showed] tremendous improvement” after much of the East Fork had been reseeded by the Forest Service during the early 1960s (unpublished reports in the range files on the Panguitch Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Panguitch, UT). Plate 268x is viewed southwest down the first leg of the Photo Plot Transect. The steel stake in the 1943 image marks the transect’s common starting point - - see Plate 269x. The spruce tree to the right of the transect starting point now blocks the distant view, so the 2003 retake was made a little further forward. Spruce, ponderosa pine, and juniper have increased on the far hillsides, while shrubby cinquefoil has increased in the foreground. Much of the meadow is now dominated by smooth brome and Kentucky bluegrass. Range conditions have improved considerably since 1943. The area had not been grazed by livestock in 2003 when the transect was rephotographed.

Photo Information:

U.S. Forest Service photographs (unnumbered) taken by Ray Davis on July 16, 1943; Walter Cottam on July 15, 1948; I.H. Johnson on June 18, 1953; I.H. Johnson on August 16, 1961; and Jim Bowns and Al Tait on July 17, 1979; retake by Charles E. Kay on August 6, 2003 - - Photo No. 5218-22A. Original photographs, negatives, and narrative reports held in the range files on the Panguitch Ranger District, Dixie National Forest, Panguitch, UT.

Vegetative Community:

Wet Meadow, Dry Meadow, Conifer, Juniper


South West: Section 25, Range 4½ West, Township 37 South; UTM of transect starting point 387350E, 4157100 N; elevation 7,120 ft.

January 2018