Check Out Our Soil Crusts!

25 Apr

Very well developed biological soil crustsThis a picture of what we wish most of our desert still looked like. These are biological soil crusts that take many years to grow and only a second to destroy. If my swiss army knife were in the picture you would see that these guys are about four inches tall and took about 50 years to get that big. If not for cows and jeeps and ATV’s and bikes and any other thing trundling across the open lands, most of our desert would still be covered with and protected by these living organisms. Anyone who has spent any time over the last ten years here can tell you that there is way more dust in the air on a windy day. That’s because the soil crusts have been disturbed and can’t do their important job of holding the dirt in place. Once a patch has been crushed to dust (one footprint can be a culprit), that dust migrates with the next wind and smothers the neighboring crusts. It is a sad story that is only going to get better if people, all of us, start paying a lot more attention to detail. Every footstep, campsite, and tire track leaves a mark. There are a lot of us out there and we need to make a difference. Start now!

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