||26 IS UTAH SAHARA BOUND? in the state, but now it has no fish whatever with the exception of a few in the clear headwaters. "On two occasions and three different streams members of the survey party saw hundreds of dead trout up to three or four pounds in size floating down the flooded and silt-laden streams." Davis County Floods Floods from impaired watersheds, regardless of where they occur, mean irreparable damage through loss of soil to the areas that generate them, but the disaster is two-fold when they strike large populated centers. In 1923 several lives were lost in floods that issued from the canyons along the Wasatch front in Davis County between the towns of Bountiful and Farmington. Again in 1930 floods in the same area brought immense damage to farms, homes and highways, and boulders weighing up to 200 tons were carried into the valley from the Davis County watershed. The million dollars of property damage, together with the loss of life resulting from these floods, prompted Governor Dern to appoint an investigating committee of scientists to determine causes and suggest remedial measures.22 As part of this effort the Forest Service in cooperation with the Utah Agricultural College launched a series of studies regarding these floods from which it was concluded that "Their origin, as shown by excessive gully erosion, is traced primarily to relatively small areas, in the heads of canyons, which in recent times have been depleted of vegetation and denuded of plant litter, chiefly by overgrazing, but to some extent by fire. The torrential rains did not cause run-off sufficiently concentrated to cause gullying in thickly vegetated parts of the watersheds, regardless of steepness of slopes, although evidences of erosion on small barren areas in these parts indicate that the rainfall was,,approximately equal on both the well-vegetated parts and the depleted areaps at the heads of the canyons."1 Following the preliminary investigations of the Davis County floods, the local people took steps to acquire title to the watershed areas from which they arose and petitioned congress to give the lands National Forest status. Today this area probably represents the finest bit of flood control and watershed research to be found in all America. The facts gathered here during the past decade present a clear-cut story of the unhappy and costly consequences of watershed abuse. I now refer specifically to some facts about that portion of the Wasatch Mountain front which lies between the north rim of Farmington Canyon and the south rim of the Centerville drainage basin.* While this watershed comprises a gross acreage of 18,500, it was discovered that a total of only 1300 acres variously distributed constituted the "sore-spots" from which floods arose. Most of the area in 1930 was privately owned and the original title to the land had been secured at prices of about $2.50 per acre. Since 1850 the watershed had been grazed with intensities far in excess of moderation for this steep terrain. To date 13,120 acres of this land have been pur- *Data supplied by Reed W. Bailey, Director, Intermountain Forest and Range Experiment Station.