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The Canyonlands Research Center is located at The Nature Conservancy's Dugout Ranch — a gateway to the Canyonlands National Park, 20 miles northwest of Monticello. Spanning over 3,000 square kilometers with an environmental gradient ranging from 1,100-3,600 meters, the Center’s study area in comprised of lands managed by the USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and National Park Service. As such, scientists have the opportunity to study wide gradients of elevation, ecology and land-use histories, making the Center an ideal location for research on the effects of climate on ecosystem processes and community dynamics. The Center is also situated along the boundary of the southwestern monsoon climate zone, making it particularly sensitive to climatic variation.