A Guide to Soil Salvage

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Soil salvage is a pre-disturbance technique to conserve a site's topsoil, which is critical for maintaining nutrient cycling, organic matter, soil biota and plant propagules. In some cases, subsoil (the second layer of soil material below topsoil) may also be salvaged in a second lift. Healthy soil is essential to the health and productivity of forests. Salvaged and stockpiled properly, replaced topsoil reduces the time and cost to meet reclamation objectives, particularly when natural regeneration is planned. This factsheet focuses on topsoil and is intended only for upland sites.