Following the devastating flood of June 9, 1972, Rapid City, South Dakota, embarked on a flood-plain management program. A “flood-way” was delineated and all homes and motels, as well as most commercial establishments, were removed from the floodway. Almost the entire area inundated by the 1972 flood is now a beautiful park, illustrating that man can live in harmony with natural processes without spending vast sums of money for hard engineering structures such as dams or levees.
From a national perspective, it is desirable to reserve flood plains for agricultural use. Unfortunately, many flood plains are being urbanized, which not only takes agricultural land out of production, but also gives impetus to dam construction that results in the inundation of more land.