2011 marks the 6th year the SCA will be collecting data on Fire Effects Monitoring (FIREMON) plots in Dixie National Forest. Due to the program’s success, the scope of plots as of 2010 has expanded to include Fishlake National Forest. With a team consisting of 1 forest service liaison, 1 project leader, and 2 corps members, the goal is to collect data on each district of Dixie and Fishlake in order to continue our understanding of fire's effects on ecosystems.
“The Dixie National Forest, with headquarters in Cedar City, Utah, occupies almost two million acres and stretches for about 170 miles across southern Utah. It straddles the divide between the Great Basin and the Colorado River. Elevations vary from 2,800 feet near St. George, Utah to 11,322 feet at Blue Bell Knoll on Boulder Mountain. The southern rim of the Great Basin, near the Colorado River, provides spectacular scenery. Colorado River canyons are made up of many-colored cliffs and steep-walled gorges.
“The Forest is divided into four geographic areas. High altitude forests in gently rolling hills characterize the Markagunt, Pansaugunt, and Aquarius Plateaus. Boulder Mountain, one of the largest high-elevation plateaus in the United States, is dotted with hundreds of small lakes 10,000 to 11,000 feet above sea level. The Forest has many climatic extremes. Precipitation ranges from 10 inches in the lower elevations to more than 40 inches per year near Brian Head Peak. At the higher elevations, most of the annual precipitation falls as snow. The vegetation of the Forest grades from sparse, desert-type plants at the lower elevations to stands of low-growing pinyon pine and juniper dominating the mid-elevations. At the higher elevations, aspen and conifers such as pine, spruce, and fir predominate.”
”The Fishlake National Forest located in south-central Utah, encompasses 1.5 million acres in Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Juab, Millard, Piute, Sanpete, Sevier and Wayne Counties. The Forest features majestic stands of aspen encircling open mountain meadows that are lush with a diverse community of forbs and grasses. Fish Lake, from which the forest takes its name, is considered by many to be the gem of Utah. The largest natural mountain lake in the state, it offers trophy fishing and bird watching. The mountains of the Fishlake are a source of water for many of the neighboring communities and agricultural valleys in the region.”