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Box Elder County Resource Assessment

Box Elder County Resource Assessment

Located in the Northwestern corner of state, Box Elder County is the fourth largest county in Utah. It includes rich farmlands, arid deserts, beautiful marshlands and portions of the Great Salt Lake. The county was created by the Territorial Legislature in 1856.

Box Elder towns west of the Wasatch front are small, agriculturally based for the most part and are isolated from the urban portions of the state by several hours driving time: Snowville, Park Valley, Yost, and Grouse Creek comprise the major rural communities of West Box Elder County. In 2003, the population for the county was 44,022. Median family income was $45,670, or 11% less than the state average of $51,022. Box Elder is a homogenous white population with minority populations significantly less than the state’s averages. Hispanics make up the largest minority group in the county (approximately 5% of the total population).

Box Elder County consists of a total land area of 4,603,90 acres, or about 5,308 square miles. There are also 663,453 acres, or 1,037 surface miles of water – the Great Salt Lake. The average freeze free season averages about 125 days (80 to 150 day range). Agriculture has always played an important role in the economy of Box Elder County. In 2003, Box Elder County was second highest county in the state of Utah in cash receipts from farming, according to the Utah Agriculture Statistics Service. In 2004, the county was third in the state.

A significant percentage of the county's land is used for agricultural purposes. Besides the standard crops of hay, grain, and alfalfa, sugar beets were also raised, starting in 1901. The Eastern and Northeastern portion of Box Elder County is rich in cultivated row crops. There is an abundance of both beef and dairy cattle. Orchards also line the eastern side of Box Elder County.

Elevations range from the 2004 Great Salt Lake level of 4,200 feet to 9,764 feet (Willard Peak). Average annual precipitation ranges from 4 inches in the Western (desert) portions of the county to over 30 inches in the higher mountains to the East.

One of the most important events in the history of Box Elder County was the joining of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific rails at Promontory Point. The driving of the Golden Spike on May 10, 1869, marked the completion of the transcontinental railway. The Golden Spike National Historic Museum is located west of Tremonton along with Thiokol, an aerospace technology corporation. Box Elder County also has a rich Native American history: Headquarters for the Northwestern Band of the Shoshone Nation are located in Brigham City.

Box Elder County Land Use Map

Complete Assessment - Land Use Statistics

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Box Elder County, Utah Resource Assessment (PDF, 1.25 MB)

Summary Assessment - Land Use Statistics

Land Use Acres
Forest 200,000
Dry Cropland 145,088
Conservation Reserve Program 92,912
Grass/Pasture/Haylands 61,000
Orchards/Vineyards 2,000
Row Crops 43,000
Shrub/Rangeland 2,300,000
Water 663,453
Wetlands 549,937
Developed 3,000
County Total 4,060,390