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Grindstone Flat

Grindstone Flat

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Grindstone Flat

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  1. Grindstone Flat By: Mattie Griswold, Chelan Pauly, and Lindsay Greger

  2. The Grindstone exclosure was constructed in 1934 on Tushar Mountain (Fishlake NF) in southern Utah. A fire burned through it in 1996, and it was rebuilt in 1997. These images show what the aspen forest looks like inside the high-fenced, all-ungulate exclosure; the low-fenced cattle exclosure; and outside on Grindstone Flat, where elk, cattle, and deer browse.

  3. The understory of the elk exclosure is dense and hard to see through, indicating healthy aspen recruitment of sprouts, mid-height, and overstory trees. The understory outside the exclosures lacks diverse grass, forbs (non-woody broad-leaved plants), and shrubs; only having old aspen stems, with little to no recruitment.

  4. Inside elk exclosure, aspen with recruitment. Aspen outside exclosure, lacking recruitment.

  5. Aspen outside of the exclosures have been continuously browsed, causing the tree to become bush-like rather than straight. The leaders (top branches) in this aspen in the elk exclosure have not been browsed, allowing the tree to grow straight up.

  6. Inside the exclosure are down logs,diverse grass, and forbs in understory. A simplified “lawn” of exotic smooth brome grass isoutsideexclosure.

  7. Simplified height structures; one height grass, down logs, one height aspen outside the exclosures.. Complex height structure inside exclosures

  8. Leaders frequently browsed outside exclosures Aspen leader unbrowsedinside exclosure

  9. Dense understory around aspen trunks, various types of vegetation inside the exclosure . The understory on the outside of the exclosure surrounding the aspen trunk lacks diversity and seed heads.

  10. Downed logs outside exclosure, little biodiversity. Downed log inside elk exclosure, showing biodiversity.

  11. Elk exclosure Cattle exclosure Outside exclosure