|Title||Generalizing ecological site concepts of the Colorado Plateau for landscape-level applications|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2016|
|Authors||Duniway M.C., Nauman T, Johansen J., Green S, Miller M., Williamson JC, Bestelmeyer B|
|ARIS Log Number||338464|
The Colorado Plateau is an iconic landscape of the American West— containing dozens of national parks, monuments, historic sites, and several UNESCO World Heritage Sites— including some of the Nation’ s most recognizable landmarks, such as the Grand Canyon and the Arches National Park. The concentration of outdoor destinations has led to a rapid increase in recreational tourism on the Plateau— visitation to the Arches National Park has nearly doubled over the last 15 years. Energy development (mostly oil and gas) has also accelerated in recent years, with a threefold increase in drilling rates in Utah between 2000 and 2008. Agriculture has been an important activity in the region from the prehistoric ages to modern times, with irrigated agriculture carried out in locations with suitable soils and water and domestic livestock grazing (primarily cattle) occurring across the majority of the region. Management of these co-occurring land uses are complicated by forecasts of a more arid and variable climate in the southwestern United States.