Erosion and Sediment Control
Everything I Know About Erosion Control Came from the Farm
Have you ever driven by a farm field that was bleeding sediment offsite to a buffer or stream? Have you ever driven by a farm field that remained denuded for months? Do farmers get a “free ride” while the rest of the development community is regulated?
We will begin our conversation by explaining the difference between state regulators roles and the roles of the Soil and Water Conservation District, SWCD. There are significant similarities in these programs and the two rely on each other to providing environmental benefit on a larger scale to preserve our natural resources.
Please note that we are discussing work that is performed on the farm such as prepping a farm field for crops or pasture, which are exempt land disturbing activities. The clearing and early grading of a construction site would be a non-exempt land disturbing activity. Both sites will rely on overland flow with denuded conditions for a period of time. Often this time of exposure in which the land disturbing activity takes place is significantly shorter on a farm. The overland flow conditions in both of these scenarios produce sediment laden runoff. We will compare a standard size farm field to a construction site of that size and the projected average soil loss rates. The Conservationist will create a whole farm plan that addresses the erosion rate and recommend different erosion control practices to reduce the erosion rate to the Soil loss tolerance for that particular soil. When it comes to the development of an erosion control plan, there isn't a particular rate that we are targeting. We are focused on minimizing the hundreds of tons of soil loss through similar erosion control measures with different names. We will discuss some of those measures and their roles in preserving soil.
Come join us for this discussion and learn the roles of the conservationist in "selling" conservation to farmers. It may just help you sell erosion control measures to engineers for plan review and contractors on construction sites. I believe it will certainly renew your passion for work in this field and give you a sense of pride in the resources that you are helping to protect no matter what your role. The panelists are some of the best conservation salesmen on both sides of this issue. We expect plenty of questions to generate a good discussion and you will quickly learn why they are the best at what they do.