By: Diane Menuz, Ryhan Sempler, and Jennifer Jones
The Utah Geological Survey surveyed 28 sites in 2014 to quantify the location and condition of wetlands on the north slope of the Uinta Mountains in the Upper Blacks Fork and Smiths Fork watersheds. The three project goals were to compare accuracy of different wetland mapping techniques, assess wetland condition at randomly selected field sites, and develop a landscape model to predict wetland condition. Field mapping resulted in 6.2% and 13.1% less wetland area than mapping conducted by the National Wetland Inventory and the U.S. Forest Service, respectively. Sites were at or near pristine condition based on most field measures, though sites did show evidence of disturbance from grazing and non-native plant species. Landscape model results indicate that sites further from roads, closer to trails, and within the wilderness boundary generally had healthier plant community composition measures. While wetlands in the study area are overall in good condition, we recommend follow-up work to better quantify the impact of livestock grazing on wetlands in the area using study sites with well-understood levels of grazing intensity.
Media Type: Paper Publication