The Pariette Wetlands, an oasis of the Uinta Basin surrounded by vast miles of harsh, arid desert, provide a green, marshy home for wildlife trying to survive in the desert lands of Utah. Made up of a perennial stream and 20 man-made ponds, the marsh area harbors diverse vegetation and wildlife in a stark climate.
With more than 105 birds and mammal species, the area is the BLM's largest waterfowl management area in Utah. Pariette was also one of the BLM's first opportunities to manage this type of area in the continental United States.
When BLM biologists noticed waterfowl inhabiting limited and select areas within Pariette Draw, an idea was conceived. Why not develop several ponds and waterways for the animals' use? The planning began in 1972 and the following year the Pariette Wetlands project was born. The de-silt pond and the east dike were constructed that year. In 1975 the project was completed.
Before BLM development began, Pariette produced only 86 ducks per year and could boast of no geese. Since, production has increased to over 1,718 ducks and 55 geese. Eventually, the BLM plans to increase annual habitat capacity to 5,000 ducks and 100 geese.
The Pariette Wetlands encompasses 9,033 acres of which 2,529 are classified wetlands or riparian. These riparian areas border seven miles of the Pariette Draw, and 20 existing ponds.
- To increase wetland habitat
- To increase production of ducks and geese
- To provide an opportunity for wildlife viewing
- To provide a laboratory for aquatic ecology research
- To develop a home for special status species
- To increase biodiversity
A Gravity Fed System
One of the advantages of Pariette is that all ponds are filled using gravity as the working force. Expensive pumping is not required because water is diverted from Pariette Wash to the ponds through a series of water diversions. As the ponds fill, they overflow past water control structures designed to maintain constant water levels throughout the summer. This constant circulation of "new" water reduces the likelihood of possible disease outbreaks such as botulism.
Access - From Vernal, Utah, take U.S. 40 west to Fort Duchesne, turn south, and drive about five miles (just past the Duchesne River). At the Myton "Y", turn south off the paved road onto the dirt road and travel another 16 miles across Leland Bench to Pariette. Follow the signs to the information board and overlook point. From Myton, Utah, proceed west on U.S. 40 approximately 1 mile to the Sand Wash-Green River access turnoff. Turn south and follow the paved road 1.7 miles to the Nine Mile-Sand Wash junction. Proceed to the left and follow the signs approximately 23 miles.
Road Conditions - Travel to Pariette is by a double lane, partially graveled road. It can be driven in passenger cars except when thunderstorms and winter snows make the road impassible. Large recreational vehicles or trailers are welcome at Pariette. However, vehicle travel among the ponds is limited to designated roads to reduce disturbance to nesting birds and dikes. These are narrow, single land roads and are not recommended for RVs or trailers.
Travel Time - The 48 mile, one-way trip from Vernal can be driven in 1 1/2 hours. Plan on at least a half-day outing to see Pariette.
Tours - Group tours, including guided wildlife tours are available for schools, clubs, and similar groups between March and November. To arrange for a tour, contact the Vernal BLM District at least two weeks in advance of your desired tour date.
Facilities - Full service facilities are available in Duchesne, Vernal, and Roosevelt. Myton has gasoline and basic supplies.
Camping at Pariette - No developed camping opportunities are available at Pariette.
Hunting - Hunting is permitted based on designated seasons and restricting established by Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Please contact these agencies for further information, season dates, and current regulations.
Fishing - Regulated fishing in Pariette Wash, adjoining ponds, and the nearby Green River is permitted. Catfish is the most common variety of fish caught. Four endangered fish may occur along the Green River or in Pariette Draw. Signs identifying these species request safe release of any that might be caught. Contact Utah Division of Wildlife Resources for further information.
A Cooperative Effort
The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) have cooperated in the development of Pariette Wetlands by supplying waterfowl management expertise, equipment, and in the case of UDWR, law enforcement during the hunting season. A further example of cooperation occured in 1987, a portion of the State of Utah Duck Stamp monieswere used to match funds with Federal monies to construct a 25 acre pond. The Bureau of Reclamation is also assisting in the acquiring of additional permanent water for Pariette to compensate for water development projects losses elsewhere within the Uintah Basin. They have also acquired materials and equipments to assist in the maintenance of Pariette.
For Further Information
Vernal Field Office
170 South 500 East
Vernal, Utah 84078
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