PAM-12 vs. Forest Fires
It’s called PAM-12. It’s made by a company called Encap. After areas are scorched by wildfires and left susceptible to mudslides, it helps shore up the soil.
U.S. Forest Service scientists have been testing Encap LLC’s product that bonds the clay inside soil to form a “net” to help vegetation recover. Called PAM-12, it’s a synthetic chemical that looks like salt and is wrapped in recycled paper…After smoke infiltrates soil, the ground tends to repel water instead of absorb it. So rain stays on the surface and carries away topsoil and nutrients when it cascades downhill.
PAM-12 can help prevent that by causing the dirt to form tiny clumps and opening pores for water to soak into. The result is soil that’s more absorbent and less apt to be washed away, even on slopes as steep as 60 degrees…PAM-12 costs about half as much as current treatments. Agricultural straw costs about $1,000 per acre, while PAM-12 costs about $500 per acre…Soil scientists say PAM breaks down into organic material and nitrogen within about 12 months and doesn’t pose a toxic threat to people or crops. Farmers and builders have used variations of it for decades to condition soil and prevent erosion, and Krysiak said no health risks have been identified.