This is an utterly fascinating documentary.
During the Great Depression, along with creating laws like the Glass-Steagall Act to address Wall Street corruption, Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps. One of their jobs was to heal the Dust Bowl.
The Dust Bowl happened because of incorrect farming methods that virtually destroyed the topsoil. Extensive deep plowing of the virgin topsoil of the Great Plains during the previous decade had displaced the native, deep-rooted grasses that normally trapped soil and moisture even during periods of drought and high winds.
Within his first 100 days of office in 1933, President Roosevelt ordered the Civilian Conservation Corps to plant a huge belt of more than 3 BILLION TREES from Canada to Abilene, Texas to break the wind, hold water in the soil, and hold the soil itself in place.
These previously jobless young men were able to send 25$ dollars home to their families every month.
And they planted a mind-boggling 3 billion trees and helped build more than 800 parks nationwide.
The administration also began to educate farmers on soil conservation and antierosion techniques, including crop rotation, strip farming, contour plowing, terracing, and other improved farming practices. The government paid the farmers a dollar an acre to practice one of the new (yet actually ancient) methods. By 1938, the massive conservation effort had reduced the amount of blowing soil by 65%
FDR’s Civilian Conservation Corps singlehandedly saved our nation’s topsoil.