Natural Resource Concerns
WHAT ARE RESOURCE CONCERNS?
The technical definition of a resource concern is “an expected degradation of the soil, water, air, plant, or animal resource base to an extent the sustainability or intended use of the resource is impaired.” Pretty straightforward, right? Probably, considering you’re currently on a website associated with the conservation of natural resources. If it’s still a little fuzzy, read on!
The “resource” refers to natural resources – Soil, Water, Air, Plants, Animals. All that which life on earth revolves around. “Concern” refers to an issue with a natural resource – a current or potential problem, deterioration, breakdown – that puts a particular natural resource in jeopardy of being severely impaired, and in extreme cases, lost. Through modern technology and conservation practices, we can rebuild and improve the state of our natural resources.
Unfortunately, this does not happen quickly. For example, major disturbances of soil can result in gradual loss of the most productive soil layer, topsoil, which reaches depths of 8-12 inches down. Soil disturbances happen through things like erosion or agricultural tilling. The continual removal of topsoil weakens the ability of soil to be productive, resulting in poor plant production for cropland, rangeland, and forestland. Even through this, all hope is not lost. Land managers can use conservation practices to help recover healthy soil. A conservation practice is a technique, process, or method that is designed to help slow or stop a resource concern from becoming a major issue. Without the help of conservation practices, natural processes can take up to 500 years to form one inch of topsoil!
This is just one example of the importance of recognizing these issues before they become a major problem. Recognizing these issues does not take a doctorate, a degree, or highly specialized training. With a little time spent looking around, your eyes will tell you the story.
A resource concern is just that – a natural resource concern.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT TO IDENTIFY
Natural resources are the basis of all life. By identifying resource concerns we can manage and sustain those natural resources for current and future generations.
The South Dakota Resource Concerns website serves to educate users about the different types of resource concerns, understand the effects they have, and allow users to communicate with their local conservation districts on which resource concerns should be a priority.
CONSERVATION AT WORK
Real Stories. Real Successes. Real Quick.
Learn about the benefits of conservation practices directly from the farmers, ranchers, and forestland owners applying them. Check out the latest 90-second video series featuring conservation practices developed by USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service.
Pick a video to watch below, or check out the playlist on YouTube to watch them all.
Waste Storage Facility
Water and Sediment Control Basin
Trails and Walkways
Grade Stabilization Structure
Forest Stand Improvement
Conservation At Work Videos
SOUTH DAKOTA'S NATURAL RESOURCE CONCERNS
River Bank Erosion
Emerald Ash Borer Damage
Algal blooms deplete the oxygen in the water and block sunlight from reaching fish and plants.
Prairie Dog Town
Ponding and Flooding
Excess Nutrients in Water