The 1931 Dust Bowl
By Julia Benfield and Makenna Schroeder
What is the Dust Bowl?
At this time the ground had already been going through a severe drought, and lack of dry land farming methods created loose topsoil which the wind easily picked up. When this occurred, the winds formed into black dust clouds called "Black Blizzards."
What was the ecological impact?
How was the restoration effort?
The storms went on for 8 years, 1931 to 1939. In 1935 president Franklin D. Roosevelt passes the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act, which provides $525 million for drought relief. In 1937, Roosevelt addresses the nation with a second Act stating, "I see one-third of the nation ill-housed, ill-clad, ill-nourished... it is not whether we add to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." His project soon begins, it is called for large-scale planting of trees across the Great Plains, stretching in a 100 mile wide zone from Canada to north Texas. Extensive work, such as, re-plowing the land into furrows, planting trees, and other conservation methods resulted in 65% reduction in soil blowing, but the drought still continued. In fall of 1939, rain finally comes, bringing an end to the drought. During the next few years the country is pulled out of depression and the land becomes once again golden with wheat.