Gulleys for Grassland Restoration: #7 Best Equipment
When we divert rainstorm runoff from eroding gulleys to restore desertifying canyons and grasslands, what are the best equipment & practices? Our conclusions might surprise you.
NOTE: this post was originally published to this site on September 4th, 2017
as always, very interesting, providing hope. I have “discovered” some surprising, to me, results from my miniature version (interprete that as ‘bonsai’scale miniature compared to what you do) of a very small, shallow winding swale/drainage path, that guides water runoff from a straight-line down slope gravel road down to my 6 area pasture: using the same type of equipment to create the winding swale, the turned over soil brought sunlight & water & air to newly exposed, previously buried, native grass seeds. It’s taken a full five years, but this shallow swale is slowly filling with grasses while allowing slow water movement from downpours aways from the road to the grasses in the pasture, along with some soil movement that ends up supporting the grasses below the swale. The swale is about 150 ft long, maybe 10 inches deep. I also transplanted by hand all gramma grass clumps at the beginning of this project to the top of the ‘ridge’ of the newly dozed swale — all these plants are alive, even during these low-rain years. A small success that still requires a large amount to patience to let the water, earth and existing seedbed to re-establish itself.
I hope it’s ok that I add my experience here — adapting large scale thinking/strategies to a small acreage.
Small acreage development located between large ranches and the city of Santa Fe I think is no excuse for allowing bad land management —- here we can still greatly improve/ change water movement even when lousy road design encourages the very opposite. thanks for all you do – (and for reading this)
Thanks Pat and as they say in old Mexico, ¡No te rajes!