Changes of the West vs. the East

Burlington to Salt Lake City


Aldo Leopold- Comparing the Ecology and Phenology

I left the forested land of Vermont and travel out west to Salt Lake City, Utah. While I ventured out to the area that once used to be the wild west with land uncharted I was in awe of the powder dusted formations that arose from the earth all around Salt Lake City. I felt as though they were so close to me that I could reach out my hand and touch them, compared to Red Rocks Park where the beautiful sights that could be seen where there were the waters of Lake Champlain crashing on the shore or the Eastern White with their trunks stretching towards the sky. At Red Butte Canyon located above the noisy city, I immersed myself in foreign lands nature. This protected land held rare undisturbed riparian ecosystem of the Intermountain West. Every step that I took on the path I made sure of myself not to disturb the vegetation that was growing, for being so high up the flora are very fragile. The area in Vermont that I visited before was not like this new land at all. One did not have to be cautious about where they placed their feet or have such a barren landscape with no towering trees. As I began to gain elevation on the hike I had to pause to behold on a majestic furry moose off in the distance. It stood tall ears turning left and right trying to hear other animals scurrying about or visitors nearby. Large wildlife would never have been at Red Rocks Park the only animals there were grey squirrels, geese, and dogs. I then came to an abandoned historic quarry house made of red sandstones binned together by cement. As I entered the building the floors were frozen over with a thin layer of ice and no furniture or evidence of life could be seen. On the way down the rocky trail, I paid more attention to the vegetation around me for the there were a few Douglas-fir trees, but other branched of trees possessed no leaves looked as though only their skeletons remained. The grass that had a light yellow glow as though the green pigment of life was sucked out of it by the season of winter approaching.

Mary Holland- Pieces, Patterns, and Processes

In Salt Lake City, Utah the Red Butte Canyon is located on the east of University of Utah campus and this canyon, like many others, opens westward into Salt Lake Valley. The elevation in the area is around 6,000 ft and is a protected piece of land. On the land, there is a well-developed riparian zone and a perennial stream that has been preserved. However, in the land’s history, it faced a time where there was an environmental impact. The main reason this occurred was the exploitation of resources in the area since there was water from the stream and a vast amount of sandstone that was quarried for the use of construction. In the past sandstone located Red Butte and in other neighboring canyons was a very popular material for forming buildings in the Salt Lake City area. Rail cars were loaded with sandstone and pulled down the canyon by oxen to into town. One of the buildings that were created using the sandstone was the Fort Douglas at the University of Utah. The water in the area was used for human consumption and was stored at the quarry house and irrigation. As the water was harnessed began to depletion in the streams and with very little rain this lead to diminishing in wildlife species in the canyon. Through harnessing the natural resources in the Red Butte Canyon the Forest Service took over and action in protecting the land stopping the extraction of water and red sandstone.

Google map,-111.823901,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m2!6m1!1s1rfbJusRX1P5kTLhfPJxdlQBY0aFNuNyx

All photos in blog post were taken by me