Undoing 100 years of damage to the land by tillage is a major challenge. We decided in the 60s that the plow caused too much erosion, in the 70s that minimum tillage still caused too much erosion and in the 80s found out that No-Till is the only solution to the soil loss problem for us--short of seeding everything down to grasses. In the 90s we found out that we can dramatically speed up the healing process by hauling soil back into the gullies and over areas of side-hills that no longer have topsoil. The picture below shows a dramatic view of a side-hill that has lost all its topsoil and the black soil I covered it with this fall.
These pictures show a common problem when waterways are pushed out improperly.
The soil isn't feathered out far enough so when there is runoff from the adjacent hillside the water can't flow into the waterway. Then it channels along the outer edge of the soil that was pushed out and starts a new waterway.
I removed 2 feet (depth) by 30 feet (length) of soil and hauled it back into the side-hill gully.
We plan on pushing out the existing waterway this fall and then seed a 200 foot filter strip of Native grasses next spring. It will be cost prohibitive to feather the soil out far enough to get a proper slope to the waterway so I'll haul out soil in areas like this so the hillside run-off can drain into the waterway and not run along the outer edge.