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Institutional Adaptation to Drought and the Special Areas of Alberta, 1909-1939
Marchildon, G 2007 English

The Special Areas Board is responsible for administrating approximately 2.1 million hectares (5.2 million acres) of sparsely populated and arid land in southeast Alberta known as the Special Areas. This article traces the history of the Special Areas from the influx of farmers through the incremental establishment of the Special Areas Board. Beginning in 1917, the Special Areas suffered from prolonged droughts. As a result, farmers and municipalities were bankrupted and schools and businesses were closed. The Special Areas Board was eventually established in order to purchase and sell farm land as well as relocate settlers in order to facilitate a transition from small grain farms to large ranches. The Board also administered schools and roads to meet the needs of a shrinking and more dispersed population and was responsible for the conservation of soil and water resources within its boundaries

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