In the early 90's, with the mission of promoting wildlife habitat in the Book Cliffs, The Nature Conservancy and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation bought a chunk of land from four ranches that controlled the water sources and the BLM leases for this area (the east Tavaputs Plateau). Those two groups then transferred ownership to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR), with certain requirements that natural habitat be maintained.
Thus, this land is now protected from development. Only hunters and the occasional hiker or horseback rider venture into it. Keeping the area roadless was controversial at first, but now hunting permits for the area are highly prized. No vehicles means more and healthier game, as it turns out. Duh. That doesn't seem so surprising, really.
A (ferruginous?) hawk soared overhead.
Grass was chest high on Mischief in many places. Daisy sometimes disappeared completely.
In one spot, the trail led through two generations of fences. The newer one up front has a metal gate and fence rails put together with a drill bit and rebar. The older gate and fence are made of poles tied together with wire.
About 9 miles from the trailhead, we came across the old cabin you can see in the distance. We went closer to explore, but those photos will have to wait for my next post.