Desert Experimental Range

General Information

The Desert Experimental Range, often called the DER, was established in 1933 when President Hoover designated the 87 sq mile plot as an agricultural range experiment station in Pine Valley and Antelope Valleys in southern

Millard County. The Civilian Conservation Corps constructed the headquarters, major roads and over 100 miles of fences.

In 1976, the DER was designated a Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) under the Man and the Biosphere (MAB) program with 740 ha Desert Research Natural Area as the core protected area. It currently is just one of the few cold desert biomes worldwide.


Selected Research

Long-term studies of salt-desert shrub land succession and resiliency in response to grazing by livestock.
Disturbance and successional processes in North American cold-desert plant communities, desertification, winter sheep management on the cold desert
Rodent ecology, pronghorn antelope biology and management, kit fox ecology Crytobiotic soil-crust ecology.
Avian and mammalian population dynamics
Climate variability effects on plant community dynamics

Contact Information

Stanley Kitchen
Rocky Mountain Research Station
Shrub Sciences Laboratory
735 North 500 East
Provo, UT 84606-1856
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Beaver County, 45 miles west of Milford, UT
Headquarters: Latitude. 38°40' N, Longitude. 113°45' W


55,680 acres, 87 square miles

Elevation range

1,547 to 2,565 m

Annual Precipitation

157 mm

Max monthly mean temperatures

Jan. 25.7 °F; July 73.94 °F (mean temp)


Housing for 15-20 with kitchens, bathrooms, and hot water. Generator for electricity, barn, ice house, garage. Camping allowed as well.


No on-site personnel


Long-term weather data