Original USDA-ARS Experimental Watersheds
Dedication Year: 2013
Locations: Dedication ceremonies for the three identical plaques took place on September 23, 2013 in Riesel, TX. Plaques are located at the Blacklands Experimental Watershed, Riesel Watersheds, near Riesel, TX; Central Great Plains Experimental Watershed, at the USDA Meat Animal Resaerch Center, Building 1, NE-18D Spur, Clay Center, NE; North Appalachian Experimental Watershed near Coshocton, OH - rededicated and relocated on August 30, 2016 at the Agricultural Engineering Building at The Ohio State University in Columbus, OH.
Plaque Wording: In the mid 1930's, the USDA Soil Conservation Service (SCS) realized the importance of hydrologic processes on agricultural fields and watersheds and determining their impact on soil erosion, floods, water resources, and the agricultural economy. In response, the SCS Hydrologic Division established experimental watersheds in Coshocton, Ohio, Hastings, Nebraska, and Riesel, Texas, and operated them until 1954 when the watersheds were transferred to the newly created Agricultural Research Service (ARS). Research at these watersheds has contributed to many significant engineering advancements including: quantification of soil erosion prevented by agricultural conservation systems; development of the SCS "curve number method", Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE), and watershed models such as SWAT; understanding of agronomic and environmental effects of tillage, fertilizer and chemical management alternatives such as no-till agriculture; and inventions such as the Coshocton wheel water sampler. The three original watersheds established the foundation for the vibrant, national USDA-ARS experimental watershed network that to this day produces sound science and engineering to protect and manage the world's soil and water resources.
Dedication ceremonies took place on September 23, 2013 in Riesel, TX
Rededication of the North Appalachian Experimental Watershed Plaque, August 30th, 2016 in Columbus, Ohio