The Lytle Ranch Preserve is a remarkable desert laboratory located at the convergence of the Great Basin, Colorado Plateau, and Mojave Desert biogeographical regions. The Mojave Desert is a hyper-arid shrubland. This unique convergence of life zones endows the preserve with an unusually rich combination of living communities. The preserve is dedicated to providing students, scientist, and visitors with an opportunity to experience the flora, fauna, and ecological complexities of this living system. Brigham Young University is charged with the care and preservation of this unique natural resource.
The Rush Valley site is located near the small Utah community of Vernon, (40 miles west of Provo, Utah). It is a Great Basin (cold desert) shrubland dominated by sagebrush. The landscape is changing with invading cheatgrass and other factors like climate change, grazing, and increasing wildfire. The soil crusts in Rush Valley are a fragile and beautiful resource.