Soils and Land Use at the Henning’s Lonesome Apple Tree Ridge Site, Eau Claire County, Wisconsin
Running, Garry L.
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In this poster we present the results of investigations conducted at the Henning’s Lonesome Apple Tree Ridge Site (the study area) located about ten miles southeast of Eau Claire, Wisconsin. University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students investigated soil profiles across this area to provide the owners with best land use recommendations. The study area, a four-hectare parcel, currently in pasture, is located on the north and -east facing slopes of a Late-Cambrian sandstone bedrock-controlled ridge overlain by Late-Pleistocene loess. Initial reconnaissance revealed that slope steepness and position are the most variable soil forming factors at the site. In 2016, four soil pits were excavated along a north-facing slope (from summit to toe slope). Three more soil pits were excavated along an adjoining east-facing slope (from summit to toe slope) in 2018. Soil profiles exposed in each pit were described following USDA-NRCS methods and nomenclature and were compared to soil series descriptions accessed through the USDA-NRCS Web Soil Survey. The soil profiles we described are consistent with the USDA-NCRS slope descriptions of Plainbo Loamy Sand (6-12% slopes), Seaton Silt Loam (12-20% slopes), and Gale Silt Loam (20-30% slopes). These soils are erosion-prone, particularly when on steep slopes. Based on interpretive data from the Web Soil Survey we recommend land uses that don’t expose bare soils to erosion, i.e., pasture, orchards, low-impact recreational parks, and restoring native plant communities for wildlife habitat. Conversely, for fear of causing soil erosion on the steep slopes, land uses that disturb the study area, such as excavation and construction, are problematic.
Eau Claire County (Wis.)