Green River through Dinosaur National Monument

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Green River through Dinosaur National Monument

Post by tsharp » Mon Oct 26, 2015 7:17 am

Sixteen of us put in on the Green River at the Gates of Lodore Campground in Colorado on 7/23/2015 and spent six days on the river with a take out at Split Mountain in Utah. This section of Green River requires a permit to run which is obtained through a lottery system. We traversed 45 river miles with an elevation drop of 620 feet. Rapids are class 2-3 at low/moderate flows of 1000-3000 cfs that we encountered. It runs through Dinosaur National Monument and passes the confluence of the Yampa River at Echo Park. Scenery is a series of beautiful canyons ranging from 2-3,000 feet deep. Going downstream the canyons are Canyon of Lodore- 16 miles, Whirlpool Canyon- 9 miles, Split mountain Canyon- 7 miles. The Powell expedition of 1871 named the Canyon of Ladore after a familiar poem of the time. Likewise a rapid named Disaster Falls is still used to denote a rapid in which his party had a boat destroyed.
I measured a few trees at most of the stops we made along the river.

The largest of each species measured are listed below.
Fremont Cottonwood (Populus fremontii) 11.6' x 70.1' (UT), 12.8' x 39.7' (CO)
Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa var. scopulorum) # x 46.4' (CO)
Arizona Boxelder (Acer negundo var. arizonica) 3.9' x 41.9' (UT)
Douglas-fir (Psuedotsuga menzeii var. glauca) 3.5' x 41.6' (CO)
Single Seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) 4.9' x 35.2' (CO), 8.5' x 31.1'(CO)
Netleaf Hackberry (Celtis laevigata var. reticula 3.1' x 25.6' CO
Utah Juniper (Juniperus osteosperma) 5.2' @ 3' x 25.3' (CO)
Two Needle Pinyon (Pinus edulis) 1.9' x 18.8' (CO)
Singleleaf Ash (Fraxinus anomola) 2.5' x 16.5' (CO)
Blue Elderberry (Sambucus nigra var. cerullea)1.0' x 13.9' (UT)
Big Sage Brush (Artemisa tridenta) 1.3' @ 4' x 12.5'(CO)

It is somewhat unusual to get ten species in a western area to get a Rucker -10 height index. RH-10 = 33.5' which sets a record for me as shortest index i have encountered. But after all it is part of the Great Basin Desert and only receives 10-12 inches of rain a year.
The most common tree encountered was the Arizona Boxelder. If one would measure farther from the river then the Utah Juniper and two -needle Pinyon Pine would probably be the most common.
While companions were counting Bighorn sheep I was enjoying a tree I had never seen previously. That was the Singleleaf Ash. A small grove of three mature trees (all with substantial lean) and many sprouts were near the Wild Mountain camp.

Click on image to see its original size

Leaves and seeds of Singleleaf Ash

A coup;e of pictures of these beauties found along the river.

Amy in a Utah Juniper

Click on image to see its original size

Bridget in front of a Utah Juniper.

Click on image to see its original size

All trees measured were entered in the Trees Database in the appropriate State.

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Re: Green River through Dinosaur National Monument

Post by Devin » Tue Oct 27, 2015 7:41 pm

Thanks for recognizing the single-leaf ash, that is a new species to me. I know EAB has been confirmed in a Colorado county, probably from transported wood. Hopefully the remoteness and lack of host density will keep this species from being attacked.

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