This page last updated February 08, 2009
Page 3: Grazing in Utah's Great Basin
by: Christopher "Chris" Christie
Disclaimer: The locations of photographs in this
album have not been determined through survey. Due to the intermingled nature of
land ownerships throughout much of the west, some photographs where the context
or caption imply or otherwise indicate government ownership may actually be
located on intermingled or adjoining private lands.
Cane Springs Revisited
|Picture 23: Cane Springs - Bovine Sewer.
This is the same spring as in picture
14, but was taken about 5 years later (July 8, 2000) looking in the opposite
direction. As mentioned earlier, BLM management has resulted in few changes
at the spring over that period, except for the addition of 3 dead cows with
skeletons bleaching in the desert sun (2 in pic, foreground and background).
New grazing "improvements" on this (East Fish Springs) allotment were noted
in the form of a water development in the uplands which will serve to expand
the damage being done.
||Picture 24: Cows and Water Development in Uplands
South West of Cane Springs (July 2000). Developments of this sort
are commonly added to spread out the cows and the damage by taking pressure
off the favored sites (Cane Springs in this case). Just as commonly, the
efforts fail. Damage is continuing unabated at the favored sites near Cane
Springs, and, because of the water development, is now being spread further
into the uplands.
|Picture 25: Cows Expanding Damage to Uplands Near
New Water Development. As the picture indicates, there is little
"forage" available in the uplands outside of the riparian spring area, which
is why the springs get hammered. The bunch grass component of this Shadescale,
Ephedra and Gutierrezia community has been nearly eliminated and the cattle
are utilizing the shrubs. Nearby sheep allotments (picture 26) shows similar
plant community with bunch grass component. The disturbance is also facilitating
the spread of noxious weeds such as halogeton. Why would anyone in their
right mind put cows out here on this desert????
||Picture 26: Bunchgrass Component of Nearby Shrub
Community on Sand Pass Sheep Allotment This picture shows the difference
in available grass between nearby cattle and sheep allotments. While the
shrubs are anything but robust, because sheep browse shrubs more than they
graze grass, the grass component of this desert shrub community, while dormant,
is still flourishing (Straw colored plants forground and background). Compare
this community to that in picture 25.