The first stop on the field tour was the Buck Pasture Canyon, a range improvement project completed approximately 10 years ago. The goal of the project was to remove thick stands of encroaching juniper, while continuing to provide important habitat for key species like mule deer and pinyon jays. Cliff rose, a critical food source for migrating mule deer, has come back in abundance across this project site, along with bunch grasses and forbs. Managers noted that after 10 years, juniper trees are beginning to move back into the project site, prompting plans to re-enter and remove trees in the future.
High on a plateau, with the red rocks of the Vermillion Cliffs on the horizon, the group stopped at the second field site of the day where post-fire treatments are beginning to show effects. The Pine Hollow Emergency Stabilization & Rehabilitation project is located in a burn scar from a 2020 wildfire. Management practices at Pine Hollow included chaining and winter seeding following the fire, which provided an opportunity to boost preferable plant growth in the years after fire.