Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Quarterly 6:3 (Summer 1986). Copyright © 1986 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.


This special issue of Great Plains Quarterly includes the papers from the international sessions of the symposium, beginning with the keynote address by J. M. Powell, "Abideth Forever?" Global Use of Semiarid Lands in the Interwar Years." Powell's thesis is that the new nationalisms, old imperial networks, and burgeoning successes and ambitions of scientists combined between the two world wars to create new systems of land use in semiarid regions. In his introduction, Powell poses an interesting question: Were decisions about the management of these fragile ecosystems developed within the region as a result of experience, or outside the region in response to planners' hopes for the society as a whole? His conclusions are revealing and provide challenges for the future management of semiarid lands.