Monitoring Reports and Research

These reports and research have been generated by Dr. Carter and partners, apply to the Yellowstone to Uintas Corridor and largely relate to livestock grazing issues. They provide a detailed insight into the problem with photos and quantitative data. You may download them at the links provided.

Bear River Range Habitat Assessment - This report assessed condition of various plant communities, riparian areas and collected data on the distribution of ground cover for numerous locations. It shows that habitats are degraded, largely by livestock grazing, to a point far from potential. Ground cover is greatly reduced leading to accelerated erosion and loss of water storage capacity in the watersheds. The Maps and Photos are also available for download.

Duck Creek Allotment 2005 - This is the original assessment of current forage production and utilization by livestock showing a large reduction from potential production due to overstocking and lack of rest for plants to recover.

Duck Creek Allotment Riparian Monitoring 2008 - An assessment of riparian condition and utilization by livestock showing photodocumentation of numerous locations and stubble heights along the greenline greatly exceeding the standard. BLM never monitored the standard and did away with it after we documented the failure of permittees to ever meet it on any location.

Duck Creek Allotment Riparian Monitoring 2012 - This report summarizes the extreme utilization, stream bank alteration by livestock trampling and greenline stubble height in the second year following implementation of new upland water developments and a four pasture deferred grazing system. Those changes were claimed by BLM to reduce riparian use and allow stream banks to recover. The report documents those claims were false as anyone who studies the science would understand.

Duck Creek Allotment Summary 2005 thru 2012 - This 2013 report presents the results of 8 years of data collection demonstrating the complete failure of BLM’s upland water development and four pasture grazing system in protecting streams and streamside areas.   Use levels in stream areas remained the same prior to and following installation of water troughs and new pasture fences that further fragment sage grouse and pronghorn habitat.

Paris Creek E. Coli Investigation 2017 - Over the summer and fall of 2016, Yellowstone to Uintas Connection and Western Watersheds Project measured levels of E. coli and fecal coliform in Paris Creek, Idaho. The study found that areas downstream of livestock grazing exceeded legal levels of E. coli contamination on a number of occasions. To meet E. coli standards, we recommend the state enforce certain Best Management Practices, such as to include access control, fencing, pipelines and spring developments, and riparian forest buffers. Furthermore, the best practice to prevent excessive contamination is to fence out livestock from the stream itself.

Rich County Assessment 2001 - This assessment looked at several allotments in Rich County, Utah. It documented riparian over use, high sediment impacts in streams and other damage by livestock. It also measured current forage capacity showing it reduced significantly from potential.

Spatial Analysis of Livestock Grazing and Forest Service Management in the High Uintas Wilderness, Utah 2020 - This paper reveals the damage being done to our watersheds and the Uinta Wilderness by grazing tens of thousands of domestic sheep on steep slopes and in areas not suitable for grazing due to erosion hazard, damage to streams and lakes, and displacement of wildlife. Dr. Carter has spent decades exploring this Wilderness and surveying the damage caused by grazing livestock here. This paper and its analysis expose the Forest Service for its lack of management and protection of these values even though their own scientists first documented the damage in the 1960's.

West Fork Black’s Fork Assessment 2006 - This report presents the results of Dr. Carter’s many survey trips into the Uinta Wilderness to collect data on watershed condition and document damage resulting from grazing and trailing thousands of sheep in this high elevation and sensitive environment.   Watersheds that are not grazed by sheep are use for comparison. To date about 100,000 acres have been surveyed and additional data will be added from later surveys. Forest Service research in the 1970’s said these areas were not suitable for grazing, yet it continues.