Rainbow Gathering Summer 1998 - Carnero Lake. AZ
Paced Transects Scores and Discussion

Prior to the Rainbow Gathering six Condition and Trend Paced Transects ( Region 3 protocol, FSH 2209.21 ) were installed and read near Carnero Lake on the Springerville Ranger District. A seventh transect was installed near Iris Spring prior to the gathering but was not repeated as the main gathering did not impact the area. Following the Gathering the transects were read again to determine if the gathering had impacted vegetation or soil stability. The table below summarizes the Range Condition readings prior to, and after the Gathering:

Prior Gathering (6/12 & 14/98)After Gathering (8/2/98)
Transect VegetationSoil StabilityVegetationSoil Stability
P250 - FAIR42 - FAIR57 - FAIR53 - FAIR
P355 - FAIR40 - POOR51 - FAIR52 - FAIR
P451 - FAIR61 - GOOD62 - GOOD65 - GOOD
P553 - FAIR50 - FAIR51 - FAIR50 - FAIR
P639 - POOR33 - POOR48 - FAIR47 - FAIR
P738 - POOR51 - FAIR55 - FAIR57 - FAIR


The increases in Range Condition rating can be attributed to the fact that for almost a month before the transects were first read the area had not received rain, therefore very little growth had occurred on most herbaceous plants in the area. Two weeks after the transects were first read the summer monsoon season began and for the entire month of July the area experienced rainfall. With the rainfall the herbaceous plants grew and therefore some of the bare spaces had plants where none had been on the first reading of the transects. The slightly lower Range Condition scores on P3 and P5 can be explained because the rain in the area increased numbers of undesirable plants growing in the area which lowers condition scores.

The areas where the transects were located were not negatively impacted by the Rainbow Family. Had we known where the high traffic areas around the Gathering site were going to be we might have been able to choose transect locations which would have shown the affects the Rainbow Family had on other locations in the area. Other areas in and around the Gathering Site are in need of rehabilitation, those areas just did not coincide with the locations of the transects.

Karen E. Stevens,
Wildlife Biologist

Paced Transects
P2 - 6/14/98
P2 - 8/2/98
P3 - 6/14/98
P3 - 8/2/98
P4 - 6/14/98
P4 - 8/2/98
P5 - 6/14/98
P5 - 8/2/98
P6 - 6/14/98
P6 - 8/2/98
P7 - 6/14/98
P7 - 8/2/98

Appendix 13