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How Do You Do Restoration on Bare Soil With No Water?

By   /  April 16, 2018  /  3 Comments

Restoration and soil health look a lot different in Tucson, Arizona than in the other places I’ve lived. Here’s a project that I’m working on. I’m sharing it with you because it’s interesting, you can learn a little more about me and where I live, and maybe you’ll have some ideas to share too.

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Last week I (Kathy) met with Kieran, of Watershed Management Group, at a plot of land owned by Pima
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  • Published: 3 years ago on April 16, 2018
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  • Last Modified: April 16, 2018 @ 10:23 am
  • Filed Under: The Scoop

About the author

Publisher, Editor and Author

Kathy worked with the Bureau of Land Management for 12 years before founding Livestock for Landscapes in 2004. Her twelve years at the agency allowed her to pursue her goal of helping communities find ways to live profitably AND sustainably in their environment. She has been researching and working with livestock as a land management tool for over a decade. When she's not helping farmers, ranchers and land managers on-site, she writes articles, and books, and edits videos to help others turn their livestock into landscape managers.


  1. Mark Johnson-Lewis says:

    If you haven’t already, check out the work of Geoff Lawton on Greening the Desert. There’s a series of videos. The site is in Jordan.

  2. Chip Hines says:

    Kathy, one thing I have noticed in reclaiming mine settling ponds and such is after the initial treatment of hay and cattle to get grass started, the cattle are not brought back on a yearly basis to keep the grass grazed, more hoof action, with manure and urine added to the soil. Animal action has to be ongoing. Congratulations on getting your foot in the door!

  3. Grant Goss says:

    I heard of another situation not unlike this a couple years ago, and I have since wanted to give their solution a shot.
    Chicken tractors, moved daily. Native seeds spread right before moving the tractors so the chickens could eat them, scratch them into the dirt, spread them,etc.
    It seems to me there would have to be something to keep the remaining seed from blowing away after the tractor is moved on the next day, or the next downpour from washing them away, and I do not know what that would be.
    As a fellow Arizonian, I have also wondered if the way to re-vegetate our former, very fragile, grasslands is to start at the water catches and as those start to grow green slowly march out their borders.
    I do not think, unfortunately, that our regeneration of the desert is a single generation task. However, when we in the desert get 1-3% more growth, that is along the lines of 100-300% more growth, so our returns are at least easier to notice than less fragile environments. That is encouraging.

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