Electronic Field Guide » Restoration & Goals

Prepared by Patrick Drohan (Ecosystem Science and Management)

Restoration goals should be set in the development planning stages, long before construction begins. Goals could include geochemical, ecological, climatic, and hydrologic constraints, but should be realistic for the extent of site disturbance and probable restoration methods.

Site-specific restoration goals can be developed using a comparison of the disturbed area's soil or ecosystem properties to those of an adjacent undisturbed area.  Through collaboration with a local USDA-NRCS soil conservationist, or conservation district office, conservation plans can be put in place to help guide all phases of site development, in addition to benchmarks that help define what restoration success is.

Landowners may be able to negotiate into lease agreements that additional work take place to ensure that a site's reclamation meets the landowner’s post-reclamation goals, whatever they may be. Landowners could negotiate that site restoration goals be met, as evidenced by field monitoring/testing. This data would show that a reclaimed area meets landscape, ecosystem, or soil function requirements, such as infiltration or percolation rates similar to a native condition, or that a reclaimed area does not exceed a certain bulk density, or have less than a minimum percentage organic matter.  This not only protects the landowner, but also the company from future litigation.