This blog will mainly discuss the importance of Bad River Basin Study which includes public concerns on adverse effect sediment deposition from the Bad River had on water quality, recreation, and fish and wildlife habitat in Lake Sharpe.
The primary beneficiaries of river basin study are the land owners of Lower Bad River basin of South Dakota. Also, society can be benefited through income generating activities from bad river watershed in the long run. Thus, if rate of sediment reduction can be maintained, it will certainly enhance the water quality and aesthetics of Lake Sharpe. Moreover, an increase in economic and environmental stability can be attained through improved conservation application. Also, it will help enhancing wildlife and fisheries habitat, improving recreational use and increasing productivity of depleted agricultural lands.
In addition, control of erosion and sediment load will help generate potential income and fish habitat in the long run. Research concerning land conservation may result in more production and new business development. Reduction of sediment will certainly help enhance the water quality and aesthetics of Lake Sharpe. Moreover, if conservation practices properly applied, it will thus increase economic and environmental stability and productivity of depleted agricultural lands. To control sedimentation, earlier project implemented numerous conservation practices in the Plum Creek Watershed such as: planned grazing systems, proper grazing use, erosion control structures, and animal waste systems. Also, Landowner and cooperators actively participated in this conversion practices due to its potential benefits. As a result, rate of erosion considerably reduced. Land may be used in commercial, institutional, recreational, residential, agricultural purposes. Conservation of rangeland to cropland in the study area will certainly help maintain environmental balance. From the earlier project, we found that due to heavy sediment load, the land use in Plum Creek Watershed was changed, because the major sediment comes from rangeland than that of cropland. Another cause for conversion of land use is due to runoff from rangeland that is considered the major contributor of sedimentation. The conversion of rangeland to cropland will certainly positively affect the economy of that community. Also, the fish habitat in Missouri river/Lake Sharpe can be improved that can generate income of the common people. Furthermore, flooding in the municipalities and surrounding areas can be controlled due to low rate of sedimentation. Thus, the local communities will get the benefit in the long run if the conservation practices are properly implemented and maintained.
A 40% reduction of total sediment delivery to the lake Sharpe from the Bad River Watershed has been achieved during the phase III of watershed projects. This data provide reasonable assurance regarding the impact of rangeland conservation practices in reducing the sediment loading in Bad River watershed. In addition, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and local watershed Conservation Districts continue supporting activities that enhance water quality in the watershed and encourage landowners to maintain management practices that have been most effective in achieving the goals of the Project. Further study on assessing the cost and benefits of conservation practices will certainly preserving land integrity for future ranchers.