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The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby Newfie » Wed 20 May 2020, 16:58:50

This is not my field but let me try. Others here will gently correct me if I am wrong.

The historic plains were riddled with lakes and bogs, places where water collected if even seasonally. Those ponds were drained and turned into “productive” farm land.

Returning the plains to their pre-Columbian state is likely not possible but simply letting more and larger patches be would work to allow those sustainable habitats to reoccur.

What calls me is that much of the food produced in those acres are wasted either through our inconsiderate habits or through ethanol production.

The other thing is the aquifers are being depleted because this land requires irrigation. This is fossil water that accumulate over eons and is not readily replaceable.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby yellowcanoe » Wed 20 May 2020, 17:27:47

Newfie wrote:This is not my field but let me try. Others here will gently correct me if I am wrong.

The historic plains were riddled with lakes and bogs, places where water collected if even seasonally. Those ponds were drained and turned into “productive” farm land.

Returning the plains to their pre-Columbian state is likely not possible but simply letting more and larger patches be would work to allow those sustainable habitats to reoccur.


Yes, we'll never get back all the ponds that used to exist on the plains, however Ducks Unlimited has helped to restore and manage at least 12.5 million acres of waterfowl habitat in North America. I remember seeing a summary of budgets of major nature related charities in Canada and Ducks Unlimited was way out in front. 90% of their members are hunters so it seems hunters are much more willing to contribute to preserving habitat than non-hunters. Of course there aren't going to be very many ducks to hunt if the habitat they breed in has been destroyed.
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Re: The Drought Thread Pt. 4

Unread postby vtsnowedin » Wed 20 May 2020, 18:24:05

In the Dakotas a lot of the farm to market roads have been built by taking about two feet of earth by ten feet wide on each side of the road and mounding it in the center and then placing base courses and pavement on top of that. That raises the road about three feet above the surrounding prairie so the wind blows the snow off it keeping it clear of drifts in winter. The secondary effect is to make ponds of the ditches each side ten feet wide by miles long. Coming over a rise you can have thousands of ducks in season lift off and fly a circle to settle back down after you have passed.
I don't know as that was deliberate but the ducks don't seem to care. :)
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