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