Hovenweep National Monument - Fence Line Square Tower

At the head of Little Ruin Canyon in Hovenweep National Monument, Square Tower and other nearby structures make up the Square Tower group and mark where Ancestral Puebloans once lived. Square Tower itself is three stories tall, and this group contains the most structures of the sites at Hovenweep, with as many as 500 people living in this area. Go to Photo Collection

Photo Collection

Description Along the fenceline in Hovenweep National Monument, heavy grazing has reduced the former sagebrush landscape to a few twigs and small tumbleweeds. The left side of the fence shows signs of more intensive grazing than the right side, but the presence of sagebrush stumps and invasive weeds on both sides indicates an intensive transformation of the ecosystem.
Date 1946
Photographer Balch, Paul L.
Photo Source

Description Invasive exotic mustard, cheatgrass, and tumbleweed dominate the scene. Less intensive grazing on the right side of the fence has allowed a few sagebrush and juniper to persist, while few sagebrush survive on the left side.
Date 1973
Photographer Court
Photo Source

Description Heavy grazing at the turn of the 20th century all but eliminated sagebrush here. A century later, sagebrush has returned. Dark soil biocrust indicates little trampling of the soils by livestock or humans, except for a small trail following the fenceline. The sagebrush show sign of dieback due to persistent recent drought.
Date 2013-08-22
Photographer Webb, R. H.
Photo Source USGS

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