• Stewardship Success Stories

Past efforts….positive results!

Wasatch Shooting Star

The Wasatch Shooting Star (Dodecatheon dentatum var. utahense) is an extremely rare species formerly restricted to Big Cottonwood Canyon. Before 2007 there were only four occurrence records for this species, all within a four square mile area.

Beginning in 2007, Cottonwood Canyons Foundation partnered with the Uinta-Wasatch-Cache-National Forest, Red Butte Gardens, The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, The Utah Native Plant Society and volunteers to conduct broad-scale surveys for this plant in potential habitat sites in the Cottonwood Canyons.

During these surveys, an accumulated total of 458 acres were surveyed, 7 new populations and 15 subpopulations were discovered, and 2 known populations were expanded. This project resulted in a documented doubling of the population as well as expansion of the population range into Little Cottonwood Canyon!

Also, during the surveys, crews found two other threatened, endangered, and sensitive plant species (Jamesia americana var. macrocalyx and Cordyalis caseana var. brachycarpa) as their habitat type is similar to that of the Wasatch Shooting Star.

This project, combined with previous studies, helps provide us with the knowledge needed to develop sound conservation strategies for land managers for these and other important species in the Wasatch.

Storm Mountain Bridge Repair

Helping to maintain recreation sites.

The bridge is located in Storm Mountain Picnic area and is used mainly as a footbridge over Big Cottonwood Creek from one area of the picnic site to another. Small trucks and ATVs sometime use the bridge for maintenance work in the picnic site. Over the years, heavy run-off moved many of the rocks away from the banks and into the creek. During flooding in recent years, large rocks next to the bridge were washed away. Water would then eddy in these exposed spots and pull material away from the bridge abutments.

CCF raised funds to support work supervised by the Salt Lake Ranger District to repair and rehabilitated this bridge, maintaining access to over half of the Storm Mountain site!

Fremont Archaeological site protection and restoration

Protecting a critical piece of the Fremont Puzzle

The importance of this site lies in the fact that it is a fragile resource that is around 1,000 years old and represents a unique art style associated with the enigmatic Fremont culture. The Fremont are known for their cultivation of corn and living in semi-permanent villages. One of the missing chapters of the Fremont story is how they made use of upland resources. This site provides us an insight into Fremont hunting practices, and possibly spiritual rituals associated with the hunt. The pictograph shows what appears to be a Fremont Shaman figure holding a bow, while horned quadruped (likely a deer or elk) runs nearby. In addition to the art panel itself, the entire geological feature has archaeological value. There are likely intact buried archaeological deposits in the floor of this rock shelter; these also needed to be protected. Native American groups may have current religious and cultural association with this site.

This site also had seen an increase in vandalism and site damage. CCF partnered with local agencies install gates around the opening of the shelter to limit access only to authorized groups and planned public tours.