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Register early for floodplain soil workshop

Tuesday, April 17 at 8:45 a.m. - RUTLAND - The Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District, Vermont DEC - River Management Program, Vermont Rivers Conservancy, Vermont Agency of Agriculture, USDA - Natural Resources Conservation Service and USDA - Farm Service Agency will be sponsoring this workshop on April 17th, 2012 at the US Forest Service Building on North Main Street in Rutland. The workshop will begin at 8:45 a.m. and will address the many issues involved with managing floodplain soils. As focus intensifies on nutrient loss from farmland and resulting water quality problems, floodplains soils are potentially at high risk for erosion and inundation - over time. Alluvial soils are generally the best, most fertile soils for crop production - yet overnight flood waters can wipe out investments in seed, fertilizer and other inputs. Predicted climate scenarios point to an increase in the likelihood of catastrophic Irene type storms.

The overall goals of this workshop are to: increase awareness of serious erosion/inundation issues with alluvial soils, explore options to lessen sediment loads and protect floodplain soils with a variety of practices, and discuss tolerable soil loss in terms of water quality concerns.

Landowners are often bewildered by the assortment of conservation programs offered by numerous agencies. This workshop will delve into the many conservation options that are available. Integrating efforts and information between agencies to improve service to landowners will be illustrated.

The program will start with a demonstration of floodplain processes. Next, there will be a presentation covering soil maps, the highly variable nature of floodplain soils and phosphorus pollution from eroded sediment. We will also discuss policy issues and the lack of rating systems for measuring the vulnerability of alluvial soils. In addition, we will present successful case studies of practices that help lessen soil loss. The indoor session will wrap up with an open panel discussion that will cover the current tools available for floodplain management and areas for improvement. Comments and input from the audience will be encouraged. The afternoon will involve a field trip to get a firsthand look at conservation in action on a floodplain -- on Patrick Medeo's farm in Shrewsbury on the Cold River.

There is no cost for attendance and the workshop is open to all. Attendees should bring a bag lunch. Coffee, tea and snacks will be provided. Space is limited so register early by calling Nanci McGuire at the Rutland Conservation District office at 775-8034 ext. 17 or e-mail

Tagged: rutland, The Rutland Natural Resources Conservation District