“The great wealth of the region is not in gold or precious stones, but in soil — rich, black topsoil — crop-grower and stock-feeder.” – H.H. Bennett, chief of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, 1941

The world was at war and the United States was seven months from entering the global conflict when our country’s top conservationist said a powerful enemy was gnawing at the Upper Mississippi Region.

A path from a wall of mud is reflected on the hillside in the background; flood waters in 2018 flatten a corn field between Westby and Coon Valley..jpg

A path from a wall of mud is reflected on the hillside in the background; flood waters in 2018 flatten a corn field between Westby and Coon Valley.

The hillside beyond a crop of corn in 2019 still shows a 2018 mudslide area..jpg

The hillside beyond a crop of corn in 2019 still shows a 2018 mudslide area.

A historical marker notes the establishment of the nation's first watershed district in Coon Valley..jpg

A historical marker notes the establishment of the nation's first watershed district in Coon Valley.

Excavation equipment is visible along Coon Creek shortly after the late-August 2018 flood..jpg

Excavation equipment is visible along Coon Creek shortly after the late-August 2018 flood.

The same location is shown along Coon Creek in August 2019. Some vegetation has returned..jpg

The same location is shown along Coon Creek in August 2019. Some vegetation has returned.

(Copyright © 2019 APG Media)

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