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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/212

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Fighting the Sand-Peril

���At left, the sand encroaching upon valuable fruit-growing land, stifling it to death. It travels with an utter disregard of all barriers thrown against it by man

Below, boards erected to shift the sand and prevent the railroad tracks from being covered. These barriers do not last long under such ruthless and persistent wear

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��O make a successful tight against the ever-moving sand

��dunes of the Columbia River region and at other places along the Pacific Coast, the United States must follow the plan adopted by France many years ago. It must build one great dune in an effort to eliminate many smaller ones. This is the verdict of Forest Service experts who have made a world-wide study of sand dunes and methods employed to combat the Since the planting of forests has been found to be the most effective means of checking the encroachments of sand the problem is one that comes within the jurisdiction of the United States Forest Service.

In the lower Columbia River valley, l)oth in Washington and Oregon, sand (huu's are destroying farms and orchards and are changing country of great fertility into waste land. Bearing orchards have been completely engulfed by dunes and l)uildings ha\^e been buried to the roof line. Railroads have suffered heavily and have spent large sums in efTorts to keep their tracks from being buried.

A hundred years ago France was confnjnted with a problem equally as

���serious. More than 300 miles of coast- line on the Baj' of Biscay was being blown inland by the winds of the Atlan- tic Ocean. The most fertile portion of the country was threatened. Eventually some one hit upon a plan of building a great lateral dune along the entire coast as a means of checking the movement of the sand. About sex'cnty years ago France set to work on this great task. She only startc(f the building of the tlune, howe\er, when Nature took up the work and completed it.

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