The 1872 mining law allows a person or corporation to acquire ownershp of any public land not classified as either wilderness or a park by "patenting" it as follows.
The mining law can be reformed by:
hot, dry climate
humid, tropical climate
humid, mild climate
humid, cold climate
|Soil Texture||Nutrient-Holding Capacity||Water-Infiltration Capacity||Water-Holding Capacity||Aeration||Workability|
A high or low ph affects the plants' ability to take up nutrients. Humus helps retain water and water-soluble nutrients, which can be taken up by plant roots.
Wind and, more commonly, water erode the soil, often pouring it into waterways. The loss of topsoil results in less fertile land and the eroded sediment, the largest source of water pollution, clogs the waterways. The water becomes cloudy, fish die, and flood risk increases. If soil erodes faster than it is formed, it becomes a nonrewable resource. Annual erosion rates for farmlands around the world are 7-100 times the natural renewal rate. We are losing 7% of our topsoil each decade; this has slowly disastrous effects on agriculture. In the US, the Dust Bowl years spurred government action to promote soil conservation. However, while this has improved the situation somewhat, it's still dire: we have lost large percentages of our topsoil over the years, and are losing vast amounts each year.
People are not aware of soil erosion because it is such a gradual process.