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Grand Teton National Park Report

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In support of Grand Teton National Park Service plans to restore the Kelly Hayfields to pre-homesteading conditions an inventory of soils and associated vegetation was conducted over a two year period, 2010 and 2011. Measurements from 37 soil pits and 19 associated vegetation descriptions revealed little evidence for the presence of riparian wetlands anywhere within the historic hayfields. The exception was a small area near the north eastern end of Blacktail Butte. Faint soil redoximorphic features associated with about 5% wetland indicator plant cover implies the existence of riparian wetlands at the time of homesteading. Differences in soil texture across the hayfields indicates that a mosaic of herbaceous and mountain big sagebrush/grass communities existed when agricultural conversion began. Based on these results Grand Teton National Park’s restoration efforts should focus on re-establishment of sagebrush-grassland complexes.