The headstream basin of the Yellow River is ecologically important to China, but it has become threatened by soil erosion in recent years. This paper examines the general situation of soil erosion on the basis of a 2002 survey by remote sensing. Analysis indicates that frost-thaw erosion is the major erosion type in the region. Water erosion occurs in the eastern mountainous areas at a generally light intensity, while wind erosion is concentrated in several areas at a high intensity. The northwest erosional area experiencing water-wind erosion is the portion of the region experiencing the most serious soil erosion of the four areas of erosion in the region. The area of soil erosion in western part of the headstream basin is relatively small, but it still poses a serious threat to the ecological stability of the basin, which is a fragile area and in which rehabilitation after major erosion is very difficult. Land use/cover change(LUCC) is discussed, with particular reference to the establishment of grasslands and wetlands as means of erosion prevention and ecological rehabilitation.