Tuesday, October 4, 2011
A little background on this pasture... Five years ago, this was a degrade stream. The channel itself had been incised (cut down into the ground) and the crossing (not seen) under the road had made fish passage impossible.
This poor stream was the result of the government coming in and straightening it- NOT IMPROPER GRAZING. Back in the middle of the 20th century, the army corps of engineers thought streams should be straight without the meanders and curves. Doing so, increases the amount of power behind large water events, like spring run off. Thus, they take out large portions of the bank and dig deeper into the soil, reducing the water table.
Putting the stream back on top of the meadow, and increasing the amount of curves in it, reduces the power of the water and rises the water table. As you can see here, vegetation is abundant. This pasture actually needs to be grazed much harder than it is. The grass is starting to mat and the vegetation is getting decadent, reducing its potential for wildlife habitat.