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About this collection

This collection of glass plate color slides depicts photographic conservation surveys completed by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service between 1938 and 1939.  Soil erosion had become a large problem in the early 1930s for multiple reasons: the negligent settlement of the Southern Great Plains, the incatious farming of the land, high winds, drought, and the development of new plowing machinery.  This caused the economic and environmental tragedy known as the Dust Bowl.  In order to combat the massive erosion and soil chemistry issues that arose, Hugh Hammond Bennett spearheaded the movement which would become the Soil Conservation Service (SCS), a part of the Department of Agriculture.  One of the duties of the SCS was to conduct research in soil erosion so farmers could be better educated in conservation methods, which is why some of these slides were originally created.  Other slides depict work sponsored by the Forest Service for the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programs.

 
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