Rangeland Soil Quality—Water Erosion
One of the ways that soil erodes is from water erosion. When soil is not anchored by trees, plants, grass, or some other means of keeping it from washing away, it can be seriously eroded by rain, runoff and other types of water flow. Once topsoil, the layer of soil with the greatest amount of organic matter, biological activity, and nutrients, is eroded, the plants which remain may not be able to recover. Thin or non-topsoil may only support less desirable plants as air, water and nutrients are less available. The sediment moved by erosion can accumulate in streams, rivers, and reservoirs, damaging water quality.
To save topsoil, it is important to use the area properly when clearing trees, plants and grass in order to create buildings or farmland. Use of land must be done in a sustainable manner which protects the land and the water. It is important that we, as a people, recognize the damage we do by our use of the land cannot be repaired. Recent reports indicate the earth is at a tipping point where we will not be able to reverse this damage if we do not stop immediately and start to rebuild. It has become critical that people recognize what they are doing and not only stop creating more problems but also start to reverse their actions.
For more information on soil and water erosion, see http://soils.usda.gov/sqi/management/files/RSQIS9.pdf and related links.