Blowout Remediation Project
TJ Edwards has created the Blowout Remediation Project to develop a cost effective way to return a blowout into graze-able prairie using materials that will decompose in the soil in a useful timeline for current owners. The project was completed October 2017 on Evelyn Crane’s land. It was an ideal location for this project; easily accessed and visible from Highway 250. This blowout has been an issue for the landowner for a decade, as plants had not reestablished themselves on the exposed sand.
A blowout is an area of rapid wind erosion in which grasses with stabilizing root systems are depleted and sandy soil is exposed to the wind. The raw area of sand continues to expand, while windblown sand from the depression may begin to cover surrounding plants. The blowout that Edwards has selected is close to half an acre in size.
The intervention used three different geotextiles supplied by Belton Industries: Geojute Stabilizer, Geocoir 700, and Geocoir 900. The materials were distributed across the blowout in equal measures. The textiles were pinned in place using wooden stakes in a domino pattern. No metal was used for the installation. The textiles were chosen based on their advertised lifespan and they are durable enough to withstand cattle traffic. All three of the textiles were seeded before the installation. The open weave of the material allows naturally traveling seed to be deposited through the covering, furthering the growth of the prairie grasses.
After a specific procedure has been proven to be most functional, Edwards will generate an instructional guide that can be used as a starting point for ranchers who would like to make their own installations.