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 is underway on Evelyn Crane’s land. It is an ideal location, easily accessed and visible from the road.  This blowout has been an issue for the landowner for a number of years, as plants have not reestablished themselves on this area of 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 will continue to expand while windblown sand from the hole may begin to cover surrounding plants. The blowout that Edwards has selected is close to half an acre in size.  

The intervention uses three different geotextiles supplied by Belton Industries: Geojute Stabilizer, Geocoir 700, and Geocoir 900. The materials are distributed across the blowout in equal measures. The textiles are pinned in place using wooden stakes in a domino pattern. No metal will be 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 can be seeded before or after installation. This is a beneficial property of the material because naturally traveling seed will be able to be deposited on the covering and fall through the open weave.

After a procedure has been proven to be 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.

Sandhills Institute is looking for volunteers to help with the installation process. If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Mel Ziegler at mel@sandhillsinstitute.com.