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Directors Message

Director's Message

In Utah, many of the big questions about natural resource and land management involve public lands because they comprise about 75% of the state. That places Utah third behind Alaska (95.8%) and Nevada (87.7%) in a ranking by the percentage of land within the states’ boundaries that is owned and managed by the federal government. It is an oversimplification to think that the challenges and opportunities of living with and managing public land are strictly Western U.S. issues, but the 12 states with the highest percentages of public land are all in the West.

In This Issue


Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism

Institute of Outdoor Recreation and Tourism researchers provide data, information, and knowledge that leads to a better understanding of how to best provide outdoor recreation opportunities.


Balancing Agriculture and Nature in Utah’s Henry Mountains

When bison were introduced into one of Utah’s deserts in the 1940s, they migrated to the Henry Mountains in south-central Utah where cattle graze on permits.


Beaver Benefit Stream Management and Restoration

The new problems caused by COVID-19 did not do away with the challenges our researchers were tackling back in March. Our faculty, staff, and students have continued to do impactful research.


Utah Forest Institue

Wildfires were once an important driver of ecosystem health in western U.S forests, but decades of fire suppression, natural and human-caused disturbances and environmental change have combined to create conditions that favor wildfires.

Tons of Microplastic Rains into Western U.S. Protected Lands Annually

Microplastic particles and fibers spiral through the Earth system, accumulating even in protected wilderness areas and national parks in the western U.S.


The Berryman Institute

The Berryman Institute’s focus is on reducing wildlife damage and resolving human/wildlife conflicts. Among the institute’s activities is a feral and invasive species initiative supported by the Utah Public Lands Initiative.

More In This Issue


Assessing Post-fire Reseeding Efforts in Box Elder County

Wildfires on public rangeland have altered the plant communities on which wildlife and grazing animals feed. Annual grasses top the list of invaders that thrive shortly after a fire including non-native cheatgrass that crowds out native grasses and other plants.

Drone Reclamation

Unmanned Aerial Systems Monitor Mine Reclamation Success

Drones equipped with high-resolution cameras capture images that allow the team to monitor changes where soils were “pocked” by a trackhoe to produce thousands of micro-watersheds and support new vegetation.

Kiln Fire

Big Box Kilns Fight Fire (Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Poor Soil) with Fire

Utah Biomass Resources Group have demonstrated a practical method for producing biochar using simple metal kilns. Why is that useful now? McAvoy says making biochar can mitigate the impact of hazardous fuels for wildfires.

bee polinating

Plants and Pollinators Shape Unique Southern Utah Ecosystems

More species of bees live in the Grand Staircase region of Utah than there are total bee species living in the U.S. east of the Mississippi River. This extraordinary diversity makes Utah an ideal place to study bees and other pollinators.

post fire

Assessing Vulnerability of Reservoirs to Post-wildfire Sedimentation in the Wasatch Front

Building structures in areas that historically burned is just one of the ways people have failed to recognize that frequent wildfires were part of local ecosystems for millennia. Decades of wildfire suppression have left plentiful fuel for fires.

Read Past Issues of Utah Science


Spring/Summer 2017

Utah Science 69-1View Edition

Fall/Winter 2016

Utah Science 69-1View Edition

Fall/Winter 2015

Cultivate Summer 2015View Edition

Fall/Winter 2014

Utah Science 69-1View Edition

Spring/Summer 2014

Cultivate Summer 2015View Edition

Fall/Winter 2013

Fall-Winter 2015View Edition

View Full Utah Science Archive

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