Coon Creek Watershed

The Coon Creek watershed is an example of how conservation efforts can be very successful in repairing the effects of erosion. The coon creek watershed is located in the southwest corner of Wisconsin and was chosen as the site to demonstrate the values of soil conservation measures. The Soil Erosion Service, which later became the Soil Conservation Service, was put in charge of the first large-scale erosion control demonstration project in the US. When the experiment began in 1933, most of the farms had rectangular fields with straight rows that induced soil erosion. The scientist conducting the study recommended the farmers to start stir cropping and stop the grazing of certain woodland areas since ungrazed areas can absorb water at a higher rate. The aim was to build up the water absorbing capacity of the soil and the changes put in place during the experiment had great results. It has been calculated that erosion has been reduced by at least 75 percent since 1934 and that valley sediment has reduced by 94 percent. The Coon Creek Watershed experiment was so successful that it contributed to the passage of the Soil Conservation Act of 1935.

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