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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Flooding the Town of Beaver
(pg 1 of 5)

Even in the days before European settlement, when the Whitewater River in southeastern Minnesota ran through hardwoods and patches of prairie and savanna, the stream ran cloudy after heavy rains. In fact, Dakota Indians named it for its occasional chalkiness.

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But during the late 1800s white settlers of the area switched from wheat, which held soil comparatively well, to corn, which protected it hardly at all, especially when hills were plowed up and down the slope. With the advent of tractors, farmers plowed steeper slopes. Hills too steep to plant were logged and put to pasture.

By the early 1900s gullies crept up the slopes and cleaved the hillsides. Rain cascaded off the fields and pastures, washing topsoil into the rivers. Once-prosperous farms, covered by sand and mud, were abandoned.

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Valley Creek
Gulf of Mexico
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