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Land Reclamation Study, 2015

Background: Degraded soils are commonly found on oil and gas pads in eastern Utah. Because of this, it can be challenging establish vegetation during the reclamation process. Biochar has been shown to be an effective soil amendment in reclamation sites, especially in areas with compacted and arid soils. Because of these unique properties, we are studying whether biochar can be applied where oil and gas pads have been abandoned and reclamation is desired.

Objective: Determine if adding biochar to the soil in varying amounts will increase revegetation success, especially for sensitive native species, improve soil conditions (soil moisture, reduced crusting, compaction, soil organic fraction, CEC), reduce impacts of salinity, increase efficacy of herbicide treatments, reduce occurrence of non-native species, improve the effect of existing reclamation techniques (gypsum, snow fences, fertilizer, compost).

Partners: Questar, Utah Department of Agriculture and Food, Bureau of Land Management, Research Services LLC, Utah Biomass Resources Group