A dust storm at Point of Rocks, in the Cimarron National Grassland, near Elkhart Kansas, serves as a reminder of the Dust Bowl or the Dirty Thirties.<br />
Years of cattle grazing and farming, followed by a drought, degraded the soils and made them unproductive. By the 1930s many acres were barren. The strong winds that blow across the prairie swept up the loose soil, creating huge dust and sand storms. This area was part of the Dust Bowl, an area that covered parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, named for the great dust storms. Morton County, where part of Cimarron National Grassland is, was one of the most devastated areas.<br />
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The U.S. government wanted to stabilize the soil so the land could be used again for agriculture. Healthy grasslands reduce soil erosion and water runoff and provide a dependable supply of summer forage for livestock and wildlife. The U.S. Congress approved the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act in 1937, allowing the government to buy some of this unproductive land with loose soil. The land was first administered by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and in 1954 was turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The former Point of Rocks Ranch became Cimarron National Grassland in 1960. It is the largest tract of public land in Kansas.
  
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A dust storm at Point of Rocks, in the Cimarron National Grassland, near Elkhart Kansas, serves as a reminder of the Dust Bowl or the Dirty Thirties.
Years of cattle grazing and farming, followed by a drought, degraded the soils and made them unproductive. By the 1930s many acres were barren. The strong winds that blow across the prairie swept up the loose soil, creating huge dust and sand storms. This area was part of the Dust Bowl, an area that covered parts of Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas, named for the great dust storms. Morton County, where part of Cimarron National Grassland is, was one of the most devastated areas.


The U.S. government wanted to stabilize the soil so the land could be used again for agriculture. Healthy grasslands reduce soil erosion and water runoff and provide a dependable supply of summer forage for livestock and wildlife. The U.S. Congress approved the Bankhead-Jones Farm Tenant Act in 1937, allowing the government to buy some of this unproductive land with loose soil. The land was first administered by the U.S. Soil Conservation Service and in 1954 was turned over to the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service. The former Point of Rocks Ranch became Cimarron National Grassland in 1960. It is the largest tract of public land in Kansas.

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Date 3 Apr 2011
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Copyright: © Greg Disch Photography gdisch@gregdisch.com
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  • Elkhart Kansas
  • Greg Disch Photography
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  • Wind
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  • wind generator
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