In Kindersley in the 40's I still vividly remember the wet rags around the windows amidst frequent dust storms. The relentless wind blowing the Russian thistle across the bald prairie, unhampered by fences, seeding as they tumbled into the piled up topsoil that lay against the fences and into ditches.. Later, in Conquest, the PFRA planted shelter belts, 12 foot Carragana hedges (Siberian peashrub) in fields in rows every eighth of a mile apart to check the wind erosion and preserve the blowing snow drifts for precious water retention in the spring and protecting the roads from snow load when we went to school by cutter.
Many years later I couldn't imagine a mandatory course in high school that would so reflect the overarching cultural mores and direct the interest to everyone of school age to the interest in and economic importance of preservation of the habitat. I have changed my mind. The zeal we felt then has reappeared in new clothing. Dressed in today's energy toward a green revolution, and the ecological drive manifest by today's youth who are addressing a new problem with the same zeal and commitment to preserve that we had. In effect it is still the environment and still an appreciation , now as then, of the looming danger of loss.
I don't have my essay from grade 12 now, since I haven't saved my paper from 69 years ago, but I remember Bill Cybulski gave me an A+ for my report on the work of the PFRA. The changes were a matter of survival of the prairie society at that time. We knew nothing about the presence of oil or potash, uranium or the tremendous diversity of grains now grown. For me it is wonderful to watch today's economic renaissance in Saskatchewan, combined with the need for economic balance described in the care of the land we were given long ago.