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An ephemeral gully showing unacceptable soil loss from a field east of River Falls. There used to be a grass waterway there. Dan Wilcox photo

Wildside: Uncovering the dirt on dirt

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Many years ago, Dr. Milo Harpstead, my soils professor at UW-Stevens Point, began his lecture by informing us that the thin layer of topsoil that covers the planet's land surface is the foundation of civilization. Dr. Harpstead instructed that there's a big difference between soils and dirt. Dirt is soil out of place.

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