Soil Resources

Soils and Ecosystem Stability

Importance of Soils to Public Land Management

As the demand for and value of using public lands increases, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) must improve its understanding of soil science with regards to environmental regulations, sustainable management and productivity, biodiversity, health, and as a pathway for nutrients and contaminants in the soil. Belowground soil processes determine the structure and function of above ground ecosystems and the soil is a key component of ecosystem services, providing major support to the human factors of health, well-being and economic values as well as protection from water and air pollution, fire and floods.

Dave Montgomery’s “Dirt: The Erosion of Civilization

The movie compares the manner of how one balances income, expenses and savings as being very similar to a soil system. He stresses the importance of the balance of soil production versus the pace of soil loss from use. 

Tracing the history of ancient Greece to the expansion of our nation over 200 years ago, he presents measurements of soil depletion rates to soil buildup, looking at thresholds from how humans use the soil, sustaining their life and the necessity to sustain life below the ground. 

See how dirt is key to nutrient cycling, as a carbon storage reservoir, and its function as a valuable ecosystem service.  By minimizing disturbance, soils can be built back by applying labor and organic matter.

Dirt, The Movie” was inspired by William Bryant Logan’s book, DIRT:  The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth.

The movie tells the amazing and little known story of the relationship between dirt and humans. Dirt feeds us and gives us shelter, holds and cleans our water, heals us and makes us beautiful, and regulates the earth’s climate.

How can our most precious, living natural resource be preserved and restored to ward off starvation, drought, floods, and global warming?  Watch as global visionaries determined to repair the damage  to the soil so that the living skin of the earth will support future generations-90 minutes.


Soils and Ecosystem Stability
·Soil Indicators and Function

Soil Quality Assessment

·Soil Management
·Soil Issues
·BLM Authorized Management Activities Affecting Soil
·Organic Matter

Using the Web Soil Survey
Soils and Vegetation
·Ecological Sites and Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs)
·State and Transition Model (STM)
·STM Example
·STM Application and Use
Restoration and Recovery