USU class studies Green Canyon’s past for lessons to preserve its future

NORTH LOGAN — A USU history class spent the Fall semester studying how people from early settlers to today have used Green Canyon, and will present their findings next week at the North Logan Library.The object of the project, says Chris Conte, an associate professor of history at Utah State, was to examine how people have shaped the landscape of Cache Valley since its settlement, and to understand Green Canyon’s past in order to help preserve it for the future.”The canyon is a mainstay of the people of Logan,” Conte said. “They have been using it for 100 years, and only one reason is recreational.”Students collected an oral history of Green Canyon from North Logan residents, examined artifacts from a 1940s archaeological dig, reviewed historical U.S. Forest Service surveys, and analyzed the area using typographical mapping.Conte and his students will share their findings with interested area residents at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 8, at the North Logan Library. Students will speak about issues of intensive water and land use, the canyon’s health, and its chances for longevity, and hope then to brainstorm with residents on the canyon’s future.”A lot of people have very different opinions about how the canyon should be used,” Conte said. “We hope to learn more from the audience. We hope to follow up in subsequent courses.”Many of the changes the students recorded were the result of intensive water and land usage from when Green Canyon was used for sheep and cattle grazing, logging, and stone excavation. To this day, the canyon supplies much of the water for the city. But Conte says the water table is dropping, with an impact on plant life.

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