In the late 1800's, severe flooding began to devastate the valleys below Utah's Wasatch Plateau. Farms, fields, irrigation systems, roads, power lines, and railroad lines were washed out or covered with mud, trees, and large boulders. The region's economy was in turmoil. Many of the early settlers who had endured harsh winters and wars with the Utes began leaving. The floods were too much!
In response to requests from local and state officials, the Federal Government established the Utah Experiment Station in 1912 under the direction of Arthur Sampson. The Station, which later became known as the Great Basin Experiment Station, was created as a research facility whose mission was to find the causes, and a remedy, for the summertime floods that had been devastating the communities and farms below. The causes of flooding were determined and successfully resolved. For the next 60 years the Station was in the forefront of watershed and rangeland research. In time, the researchers moved to more modern facilities in the urban areas of the state and, although the research continued on the mountain, the old station sat virtually unused and fell into disrepair.
Determined to preserve this important part of the community's, and the nation's heritage, Snow College, the USDA Forest Service, and the city of Ephraim began working together to find a way to preserve and use the facilities. Through the foresight and vision of those involved, the old station was given an expanded role and rededicated in 1992 as the Great Basin Environmental Education Center. The Great Basin Environmental Education Center provides an outstanding opportunity for students, citizens, agencies, and government officials to study and discuss environmental issues. It continues a time-honored mission of improving man's environment through research and dissemination of information.
The Station has hosted Nature High Summer Camp since 1999. The wealth of history and documented changes in the area provide a fantastic location for the camp's focus on understanding the challenges of land use and the role natural resource professionals play in our community.
The facilities offer modern conveniences: power, indoor plumbing, a fireplace in each building, living areas for after hours relaxation, a well stocked infirmary, a museum, central heating, and a classroom with highspeed internet access.