See more from this Session: Symposium--Applying Our Knowledge: Communications Between Forest, Range, and Wildland Soil Scientists and Policy Makers
Monday, October 17, 2011: 8:45 AM
Henry Gonzalez Convention Center, Room 217B, Concourse Level
Management of private and public lands is needed to improve the quality of soil and restore its ecological functions. Soil is as vital to human survival as is air, water, and the sun; its protection and enrichment with organic matter is needed for future sustainability of our planet. Loss of soil organic matter has occurred in the past due to deforestation and cultivation of native ecosystems; great potential exists to replenish soil organic matter, because of this historic loss. Soil organic matter is a critical driver for achieving physical, chemical, and biological soil quality; as well, it controls landscape and global-level processes of hydrologic function, nutrient cycling, and greenhouse gas emission and mitigation. Adoption of various conservation agricultural management approaches is a human choice to build a positive relationship with Nature; allowing us to sustain our food production systems and improve the environment for the future. Soil conservation and restoration are investments that should be taken at the private and public levels whenever possible. Cleaner water and a more stable atmospheric composition of greenhouse gases are environmental dividends that will naturally accrue with investments in soil. Carbon trading may eventually become a marketing tool that helps broaden society’s appreciation for the inherent value of soil organic matter as a fundamental basis for sustainability.