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Permaculture on 20 acres in Southern UT

 
Posts: 51
Location: Cedar City, UTAH
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I have 20 acres in the mountains in Southern UT. It's somewhere south of Bryce Canyon NP, 30 mile NE of Kanab, between 5-6000 ft elevation.
Here is a picture:

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/miriXcsfXPSDfUeiDMOGO80vbMCtHU4HLi963MKDR_A?feat=directlink

From Cedar06



It's a fairly dry mix of the standard pinion pine and juniper with a lot of scrub oak for good measure.
This a gently sloping to the south and east lot. I have a road running along one side.
I have noticed a fairly large gulley (6'-10' deep) running down the middle of the property to a much larger gulley that runs down the canyon. I occasionally see a little trickle of water in there.
I was wondering if I should try to divert the gulley into some series of swales or small diversion ponds to slow down the water off my piece of the hill.
What would be the best way to do that?
Any other ideas for improving the productivity on such a piece of land? I am considering getting some earthmoving equipment to clear some areas and use the resultant debris to make hugulbeds and terraces with swales.


 
Posts: 284
Location: North East Scotland
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Dustin Hollis wrote:
I have noticed a fairly large gulley (6'-10' deep) running down the middle of the property to a much larger gulley that runs down the canyon. I occasionally see a little trickle of water in there.
I was wondering if I should try to divert the gulley into some series of swales or small diversion ponds to slow down the water off my piece of the hill.
What would be the best way to do that?



If the gully is that deep I expect that at certain times you will be getting an awful lot more than a trickle of water down it. If you are planning to divert it you need to take account of the possibility of large volumes of water coming through it.
 
Dustin Hollis
Posts: 51
Location: Cedar City, UTAH
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Yes exactly.
Im not sure what is the best way to divert it.

Its more difficult to get there in the winter and early spring because of the mud+snow.
I don't know what it looks like then.
I know a lot of water in the form of snowmelt covers the whole area. The next valley over gets enough to create several ponds and spring fed ponds are dotted here and there.
In summer it's pretty dry on my lot. I want to figure out a good way to keep some of that water, or at least slow it down.


 
Posts: 92
Location: 5,500 ft. desert. 13" annual precip.
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Dustin,
Is the gully washed through soil which has been deposited from erosion of the cliffs to the north or is it eroding into the parent rock/soil?
 
Dustin Hollis
Posts: 51
Location: Cedar City, UTAH
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Those red cliffs a lot further away than they look, but are certainly picturesque.
So no, the gulley is just a wash that has dug into the the land.
 
pollinator
Posts: 11804
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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We have what we thought was "just a wash" where two seasonal creeks join in the middle of our land. When we bought the place we had no idea it would become a raging torrent in flood, with 120 acre feet of water per hour (that's about 39 million gallons)!

I'm trying to implement suggestions in the book "Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands Volume 2" by Brad Lancaster.
 
C.J. Murray
Posts: 92
Location: 5,500 ft. desert. 13" annual precip.
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Dustin,
How steep are the sides of the gully as it enters your property?

What percentage of your property lies above the gully in elevation where the gully enters your property?

Are there any other smaller feeder gullys on your property?

Is the scrub oak growing in the low spots or randomly?
gift
 
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