The Nature of a Problem by Dr. Elaine Bossard

The Nature of a Problem by Dr. Elaine Bossard
Photo by Markus Spiske / Unsplash

August 27, 1936.
Location: west central Texas to Canada,
“short grass” bounded by the Rocky Mountains,
“tall grass” delimited near the 100th meridian.

The ordinary course of civilization
created this Great Plains Drought Area –
Settlers misled by their natural guides,
mistaken public policies responsible
for over-cropping and over-grazing –
a system which could not be
both permanent and prosperous.

Primary factors:
climate temperature, precipitation, and winds
unstable and unsafe,
concentrated in storms,
not taken as warnings.

Natural and climatic conditions
can be prepared against,
but government records
are not reliable prophecy.
Millions of acres of natural cover
should never be allowed to go to waste
by any act of man.
Destroyed sod, desiccated soil,
steadily diminishing –
now passed beyond the farmer’s control.

Arrest the wastage!
There need not be,
and should not be,
conflict of interest.
There is no ambiguity.

The economic deterioration handed on
to the children of this generation
is a situation
that will not cure itself.
Time will be required
to reconstruct and rehabilitate.

To avoid a worse disaster,
the Nation, for its own sake,
cannot allow the farmer to fail.

Any other outcome
would be a national failure.

Source Material: Report of the Great Plains Drought Area Committee, August 1936