Reclamation and the 2013 Industry – Government Conference

FM04050008Habitat Management recently attended the 2013 Industry – Government Conference at the BLM Field Office in Rawlins, Wyoming. We would like to thank the conference attendees who took a moment to visit our booth and get to know some of our scientists. This annual conference serves to promote communication between regulators and industry to facilitate the processing of energy development permits, and improve environmental stewardship and mitigation of energy development impacts. The one-day conference covered a variety of topics ranging from rangeland health standards and special status species (threatened, candidate, endangered, proposed, and sensitive) to in-situ uranium recovery technology and wind energy development. A variety of talks were provided on compliance including spill reporting, cultural and visual resource management.

Lindsey Brandt, Habitat Management Senior Environmental Scientist, gave a presentation on Vegetation Establishment and Monitoring for Reclamation Sites. This brief talk covered reclamation planning, implementation, and success monitoring. There are several important items you need to consider when planning your reclamation, the most important of which is to define your reclamation objective. You must also consider environmental and site conditions, select appropriate reclamation species, and use an appropriate seeding rate. Successful implementation of reclamation projects depends on proper planning and appropriate timing, as well as effective reclamation methods including use of soil amendments, seedbed preparation, mulching and erosion control, and weed and grazing management.ariety of topics ranging from rangeland health standards and special status species (threatened, candidate, endangered, proposed, and sensitive) to in-situ uranium recovery technology and wind energy development. A variety of talks were provided on compliance including spill reporting, cultural and visual resource management.

It is also extremely important to keep records. When and how did you implement your reclamation projects? What seed mix, soils amendments, and application methods did you use? All of this information will allow you manage your site more effectively and learn what methods work best in your region. We frequently get requests to evaluate “failed” reclamation sites. We can provide a lot more assistance to our clients if we know how the site was treated in the first place. Help us help you and keep records of your reclamation practices! Today’s mapping and database software make this information easy to track, manage, and query.

Finally, the talk covered success monitoring. Even with a well-defined reclamation objective, sometimes determining reclamation success can be a challenge. Vegetation cover and productivity are highly dependent on precipitation and other environmental factors that are beyond our control. Using an ecologically equivalent reference area allows you to establish a reclamation goal while controlling for environmental conditions. Also, it is important to use an appropriate sampling method that minimizes observer bias and is statistically valid.

You can view the slides from our presentation, as well as the meeting agenda and other presentations on the BLM website. Feel free to contact any of our offices if we may assist you with reclamation planning, implementation, success monitoring, or any environmental management needs.

 

 

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