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Friends of Pando
Science and Data Center

Monitoring, Data and Interpretation to Advance Research and Preservation

Our Work to Support Research and Preservation

Friends of Pando gathers a variety of data about the Pando Tree. Work that we hope can inform the public and promote further research of this natural wonder without compare. As a citizen-science led organization, we work to uphold and  promote Open Science principles by making our research and findings freely available to scientists and the public for study, use and enjoyment. The data has been evaluated for accuracy and, has been shared with both independent scientists and our partners to evaluate quality and control issues previous to publication.

 

On this page, you will find a collection of general resources, interpreted data, and raw data made freely available for use in study, research work, or research planning. The data we provide, is provided “as is”, and has been compiled for others to use, build upon and share alike. If you have questions, concerns or feedback, please use our Contact Us Page.

 

Please help us continue to inspire research and understanding by citing the work scientists and agencies that have shared data we build upon and are cited in the data packages. Where that is not found, by citing “Friends of Pando, et al. ” if you use our data sources.

Download Foundational Resources and Data Sets for your Research and Analysis Projects

Science of Pando Bibliography

Download our curated collection of key research papers about Pando and the land it calls home. (Various)

Pando Landmass Area Shapefiles

Download historic and contemporary shape files shape files and KML maps from various sources for your research projects. (Various)

Pando Public Transect Plot Map

Download the Pando Public Plot Map.8,542 locations set on 7m grid points each uniquely named for use in your research projects. (FOP)

Fishlake Basin Soils Map

Download soil composition maps of Pando's home, the Fishlake Basin. Includes description file and high resolution geologic features.(Fishlake NF)

Protective Fence Boundary Shape File

Download shapefile detailing protective fencing and fence boundaries used to protect Pando from browsing by deer, elk and domesticated animals. Dataset gathered May 2021.

Pando Topographic Map (2023, 1m resolution)

Download Pando landmass Topographic Data detailing Pando's landmass in 1 meter resolution. Data set gathered May of 2023.

Download all foundational data sets listed above via Friends of Pando File Store (WeTransfer).
File Size: 156 MB Zip File

The Pando Living Map Project

The Pando Living Map from Friends of Pando is a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive high quality map project documenting the Pando Aspen Tree, the world’s largest aspen clone and largest tree by weight and land mass both. A living document, this project combines historical maps, contemporary maps and timely monitoring data undertaken to study and protect the tree to ensure it can be enjoyed for generations to come.  

Friends of Pando 2023 Monitoring Data

2023 was a watershed year for research, monitoring and preservation work on Pando. Building on the successes of 2022, we launched 3 new longitudinal programs in 2023 including bioacoustic studies, soil studies and ongoing wildlife monitoring working with our partners at Fishlake National Forest and new friends from the Utah Department of Wildlife. 2023 was  year that saw a long drought broken by record snowfalls. A year of songbirds and soil probes, bats, hummingbirds and bobcats captured by new monitoring systems as they traced the edges of the tree at night.

 

None of this would have been possible without the ardent support of fellow Pando lovers at EJF Philanthropies, this years research sponsors. EJF gave freely to establish new monitoring programs that will help us realize long-term goals in monitoring and protection strategy that helps empower agencies and scientists, and allows anyone who cares, to understand Pando in ways like never before. Pando in sound and soil, contour lines and canopies, plot maps and shapes files all made freely available to advance study inspire stewardship. For that, we give thanks and offer this work so that Pando can be enjoyed for generations to come.

 

~Lance Oditt
Executive Director
Friends of Pando
November 29, 2023

Research Made Possible by:

Soil Studies Summary

In 2023, Friends of Pando worked to establish longitudinal program to understand macronutrients in the soil that sustains Pando. Targeting the time of peak regeneration for future study, we gathered 13 soil samples from across Pando’s landmass The result of this effort provides the first glimpse into the soil pH and macronutrient concentrations in Pando’s expanse. The results are informative though not conclusive, as this is a sample based approach. Despite this, as insights on soil nutrient content about Pando have heretofore, been undocumented, it is our hope the results could be used to help better focus future soil studies, help inform soil augmentation efforts, and aid future restoration efforts.

Click to enlarge summary map
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Wildlife Observations

In 2023, Friends of Pando, in partnership with Fishlake National Forest staff established longitudinal wildlife monitoring program to understand game and wildlife behavior in and around Pando’s landmass. For initial studies, we deployed 5 wildlife cameras; 2 in the Upper Pando Hill Region of the Tree, 2 on the outer fence line of the Upper Pando Exclosure Region and 1 along the the edge of the Cabins Region of the tree. These areas were selected based on previous field observations indicated heavy deer, elk and predator activity along upper the elevation of Pando’s 106 acres expanse. In an 11 week span of Summer of 2023, we documented activity of 229 mule deer, 10 Bats, 1 Elk (in September), 1 hummingbird and multiple unidentifiable predators. The results were shared with USFS Staff and staff of Utah Department of Wildlife Resources who will use this data set and, future data we collect to model game and wildlife behavior to model protective strategies. While behavioral modeling is complex and takes time, we feel it worthwhile to share, wildlife behavior closely matches what Friends of Pando staff and volunteers observed in the tree in 2021 and, 2022. Camera data strongly suggests deer and elk use a route from Fishlake Hightop Mountain above the tree (top middle of map image below) to move down into the Upper Pando Hill Region of the tree (Camer Location 1), continue down into the Cabins Region (Camera 4) of the tree along the fenceline and then cross Utah Highway 25 on their way to Fish Lake. We will continue to gather data, analyze and share it with partners and make the data freely available for study as this program continues.

wildlife observation summary maps
Click to enlarge summary map

Recreation Monitoring

Data collected by Fishlake National Forest Staff  found around 300,000 people visit the Fishlake Basin each year.  The cool high mountain landscape and largest fresh water mountain lake in Utah forms, what some have called and “oasis in the sky” above the hot and dry valleys below. In 2023, our passive visitor detector measured 1,729 hikers, slightly lower than in 2022, which saw 1,794 hikers, however, three factors suggest we would have seen more hikers. First, Upper Pando Gate Cabin Side (UG1), was barricaded due to a faulty gate cross bar. Second, the sensor for Upper Gate South (UG2) had to be decommisioned in mid-august. Third, Dr Creek Campground was undergoing renovations and not available for use. Thus, it is reasonable to assert that we might have found more visitors than we documented in 2022 as indeed, the number of Pando related queries “where is pando” peaked in July and again, in October of 2023 according to Google Trends which is also where we see increases in visits in the data recorded.  Based on these findings, we would project that we would expect to record more visitors in 2024 and higher demand for information servcies for and about Pando as we have seen each year in our work dating back to 2021.

Click to enlarge summary map

Fence Restoration

As in 2022, in 2023, Friends of Pando worked to restore major portions of fencing used to protect Pando from deer and elk in an round Pando. In 2023, in partnership with Utah Department of Wildlife Resources volunteers from the Dedicated Hunter Program, we supported work to restore four sections of fencing. In terms of trends, the area of fencing most suceptible to damage in 2022 and 2023, are those areas that feature large, dead trees along the Highway 25 corridor on the lower side of the road. In 2022, Friends of Pando worked with our staff and a local contractor to repair one major section of fence in this same area, but with heavier snowfall in 2023, the same area saw 4 sections nearly obliterated by winter-felled trees.

fence
Click to enlarge summary map

Bioacoustics

Building on the success of Jeff Rice’s bioacoustic work in Pando in 2022, in 2023, Friends of Pando began exploring the use of bioacoustics and sound waves to study and transmit data about the tree and, better understand wildlife who call it home. In 2023, we gathered 218 hours of bioacoustic data to begin work to better understand bird, bat and animal activity in and around Pando. Analyzing that data using Wildlife Acoustic “Kaleidoscope” software, we identified 1279 sound events, 110 of which, were isolated for further analysis and study. Building on this work, in Spring of 2024 and partnering with Fishlake National Forest and Utah Department of Wildlife staff, we will work to undertake a bird census during the Pacific Flyway Migration. We will also work to establish Bat bioacoustic stations to understand these little understood creatures of Pando’s night veil and, were not documented in the tree until this year.

Bioacoustic
Click to enlarge summary map

2022 Friends of Pando Field Monitoring Data

Friends of Pando oversees a number of longitudinal projects in the Tree during Peak regeneration season. Major Fence Restoration, Minor Repairs, Fence Fortification, Wildlife Observation and Recreational Uses.

Below, find our interpretations of data and information we collected with associated maps.

 

Below, you can find and use Raw Data Sets we used in our work, as well as resources that might be helpful in your study or research on this natural wonder.

2022 Fence Restoration Work | #3 Projects

Today, around 53 acres of the Pando is fenced in to protect it from animals. Known as an “exclosure” fence, this barrier acts to exclude wild deer and elk from entering the tree as they can destroy countless new shoots of Pando before they can mature.


Living at nearly 9,000 feet elevation in the Fishlake Basin, Pando’s land mass is straddled by two mountains that loom over the steep sides of the flat bottomed basin create a sort of natural wind tunnel where 60 Mph winds are normal, and fiercer wind gust can howl. Although Pando’s branches are uniquely adapted to survive such winds as they readily bend, they can and do break. When they do, they crash down destroying everything in their path, including sections of the 10,000 ft. long protective fence.

 In 2022, The Pando Ambassador, Friends of Pando leadership, our contracted agents and agency partners worked to restore 3 sections of the protective fence. Work we will continuing doing in 2023 and beyond to ensure Pando is protected for generations to come.

2022 Minor Fence Repairs | #10 Actions

Today, around 53 acres of the Pando is fenced in to protect it from animals. Known as an “exclosure” fence, this barrier acts to exclude wild deer and elk from entering the tree as they can destroy countless new shoots of Pando before they can mature.

 

Today, the fence that protects Pando reaches 8 feet in height and traces about 10,000 feet of the outer boundary. Despite headlines that suggest fencing doesn’t work, the Pando we see today, is in fact, the result of protective fencing the Forest Service starting installing in early 1990’s. As any gardener knows, fences only do their job if they are maintained, and in 2022 the Pando Ambassador did just that, making minor repairs on 10 sections of fence.

 

In 2023, Friends of Pando will continue work making basic repairs on the fence and share that data. We also are planning work to gather resources and funding to install the the next set of permanent fencing, as well as movable adaptive fencing to help ensure Pando can be enjoyed by generations to come.

2022 Fence Fortification | #128 Actions

Today, around 53 acres of the Pando is fenced in to protect it from animals. Known as an “exclosure” fence, this barrier acts to exclude wild deer and elk from entering the tree as they can destroy countless new shoots of Pando before they can mature. Gaps form beneath the edge of the fence due to natural forces such as erosion, or, are made by animals who will dig under fence to gain entry or, to exit.

 

Gaps beneath the fence larger than approximately 8 inches were filled in with rock and other heavy debris to close the gaps to prevent younger deer and elk who try to use those those edges to gain entry.

 

In 2022, The Pando Ambassador filled in 128 gaps during peak season helping improve the fence’s protective power. Year over year, we will continue to back-fill gaps, record locations and will compare data sets to examine if patterns are revealed where patterns might be revealed to improve the fence.

2022 Observed Predator Activity | #6 Observations

Pando’s high mountain home in the Fishlake Basin along the along the 6 square mile Fish Lake, has been called an “an oasis in the sky”. Featuring one of the largest mountain freshwater lakes in Utah, the land provides ample freshwater, forage and places to move about and hide making it an attractive location for predators and prey alike.

 

Part of the 2,200 square mile Fishlake National Forest, the area shares boundaries with National Park Lands, other National Forests and BLM lands creating a 700 square mile corridor where animals can roam virtually unabated. It should come as no surprise then, Pando’s home land plays host to local and seasonal herds of Deer, Elk and Pronghorn Antelope, and those that hunt them including Black Bear and Mountain Lions as well as smaller predators. 

 

In 2022, the Pando Ambassador, Pando Corps Field Crew members and partners Snow College recorded Bear activity in and around Pando. In addition to Bear, crews working in upper portion of the tree (pictured top center) found signs of Big Cat activity including claw marks and spray patterns. Finally, in an exciting development, crews observed Fisher Cat in two locations, a revelation as they had not been recorded in recent memory.

 

In 2023, Friends of Pando plans to install trail cams and passive audio monitoring stations to document animal and bird behavior. Not only to better understand the land, but to understand how Pando is “home” to others.

2022 Recreational Hiking in Pando | #1,794 Visitors

Data collected by Fishlake National Forest Staff found around 300,000 people visit Pando’s homeland, the Fishlake Basin each year. The cool high mountain landscape features the largest fresh water mountain lake in Utah and is known to be an “oasis in the sky” to many locals. Data from recent archeological research in the area indicates Pando’s home land has been used by humans going back at least 1,500 years when indigenous peoples used the Fishlake Basin as a regular Summer Retreat as evidenced by their use of fire to cultivate Amaranth, which takes about 3 months to grow.

 

Today, all who travel Hwy 25 (built before Pando’s discovery) will drive through Pando on their way to Fishlake, or, outbound to any one of Utah’s “Big 5” National Parks. Despite human use of the land going back thousands of years, previous to 2022, no one knew how many people were actually visiting the Pando itself. Data we know to be vital to helping people understand and protect special trees elsewhere.

 

In 2022, Friends of Pando installed and monitored 4 passive visitor counters at entry gates into the tree during peak hiking season (June to October) and recorded 1,794 visitors. In 2023, we plan to continue gathering this data to identify trends and help those communing with the tree, understand and care for the tree.

Download 2022 Raw Data Sets and Summary Maps

Operating under principles of Open Science, as a citizen-scientist organization, Friends of Pando makes data serts we base our work off of, and, raw data sets we gather and interpret available to scientist and the public to review and build off of. 

 

Below, find documents to use to develop your own research about this unique botanical wonder as well as data sets you evaluate to understand information and studies we have provided information about here.

Download 2022 Recreational Hiking Data

Download raw data sets from our recreational monitoring program.

Download 2022 Monitoring and Repair Data

Download 2022 raw data from all our Pando Monitoring programs.

Friends of Pando is dedicated and working to educate the public, support research and preservation efforts and inspire stewardship of Pando, the world’s largest tree.

 

Friends of Pando is a proud partner of Pando’s public land stewards, Fishlake National Forest of the U.S. Forest Service, Department of Agriculture. Learn more about our partnership.

 

Friends of Pando and its partners are equal opportunity employers.

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Just $14 a month supports work to ensure Pando can be enjoyed for generations to come. Make a one-time or, recurring tax deductible donation today.

Friends of Pando
PO Box 12
Richfield, UT, 84701
Phone: 435-633-1893
IRS EIN: 87-3958681