Date of this Version
It is the major purpose of this paper to describe the Loup River Public Power District Project, to show how it is limited by and adapted to the natural and cultural environment and to suggest some of the economic and social effects on the local region. Brief consideration is given to the relation of this project to the broader social and economic program of a wise development of natural resources. Prior to this study, no systematic description and interpretation of the Loup Project has been attempted so far as the writer has been able to discover. Aside from the preliminary engineering survey report and non-technical newepaper accounts, little mention of the project has been made in print. For this reason practically all of the investigation, including the field work, had to be done in the immediate vicinity of the project. The writer spent six weeks in Columbus and at various points along the route of the canal during the scorching days of July and August, 1936, and has since been back to the scene of the project several times to check his notes and bring them up to date. He has pored over miles of newspaper columns and puzzled over hundreds of complex engineers' drawings. He has trudged on foot over many sections of the project with shovel, yardstick, and notebook. He has conferred with administrators, engineers, superintendents, foremen, and laborers employed by the District, and has discussed the project with business and professional men of Columbus and with farmers along the route who have favored or fought its construction, depending on the nature of their individual economic interests or prejudices. From a personal standpoint, he has found the study intensely interesting. The following pages will determine whether or not he has increased the content and substantiated the claims of systematic geography.