One ambitious New Deal project sought to wrest rural families from impoverished situations and resituate them to better circumstances. The object was to move them off forlorn farms and relief rolls and then to restore the vacated properties to more productive uses. While national in scope, the Resettlement Administration oversaw this effort and gave considerable attention in the American South. The first step in this process was to create a new geography of the land that had locked farm families into poverty or to revalue the rural landscape by reclassifying lands where farming was viable as “submarginal.” 1 Declaring a landscape worthless was the easy step.