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Little Colorado River

Most Recent LCR Phenocam Image

This SEGA site is located within and adjacent to the riparian area and flood plain of the Little Colorado River. Located a few miles east of Hwy 89 north of the Cameron Trading Post, it is on Babbitt Ranch managed land. The SEGA Little Colorado River (LCR) site has experimental fenced exclosures encompassing two different habitat types: riparian (disturbed, with invasive tamarisk removed) and undisturbed upland desert grassland. At an elevation of 4200 ft asl this is one of the two lowest sites on the SEGA site array elevation gradient.

As well as having all the other features of a core SEGA site (i.e. pressurized water supply with irrigation system;  full met station and soil temperature/moisture probes, all streaming environmental variables back live to NAU & available on SEGA's data website), this site is also located adjacent to a resotoration experiment. The planting of naturally occurring genetic variants of native cottonwoods and willows, as part of a riparian restoration project being run by Professor Thomas Whitham with a grant from the Pulliam Trust, hence offers synergistic possibilities for researchers. .


Site Characteristics Table
Garden name: Little Colorado River (LCR)
County: Coconino County, Arizona
Latitude and Longitude: 35.72444444, -111.32055556
Nearest city: Flagstaff, Arizona
Elevation: 4,205 ft (1,282 m)
Annual Mean Air Temperature:  Minimum 43.16 °F (6.20 °C) - Maximum 82.13 °F (27.85 °C) Mean 62.64 °F (17.03 °C)
Annual Mean Precipitation: 6.0 in (152 mm)
On-site manager: No
Overnight housing: 
Parent material: Sandstones & river gravel
Water source: Water tanker delivery/possibility for some on site solar pumping from ponds
Dominant veg. type: Desert Grassland
Weed species: Tamarisk
Mammalian herbivores: Cows, horses, pronghorn antelope, deer. 
Cell phone reception at site: Yes
Other: May be bees, rattlesnakes, scorpions. 
Potential Hazards:  Lightening & access road flooding/becoming impassable during monsoon season (June-Sept) & spring snow melt.

Soil Description: 

River floodplain soil profile (shown in photo)

Upland area soil profile (photo not shown - is much shallower and very sandy)

Vegetation Description: 

Vegetation at the Little Colorado River site consists of native bunch grasses and herbs with widely willows (and formerly tamarisk, much of which has been removed) in the riparian area.

Total number of plant species: 34

Dominant Plants: Populus fremontii (Fremont's cottonwood), Allenrolfia occidentalis (iodine bush)

Main Associates: Kochia scoparia, Isocoma drummondii (Drummond's goldenbush), Xanthium gracile (slender cocklebur)

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