Again they developed their herds but by the 1930's, drought, dust storms and mass erosion hit the country and parts of the Navajo land with intense ferocity.
This was the dust bowl.
In an effort to curtail overgrazing and protect the newly constructed Hoover dam, the federal governmnet undertook a livestock reduction program starting in 1934 that reduced the Churro herds by 80 percent.
When the Navajo lost their sheep, they lost their way of life.
The devasting economic disaster of losing their sheep forced the Navajo into a bare subsistence economy. By the 1950's, Navajo children were ordered by the government to boarding schools, where they were punished for speaking Navajo and taught to assimilate. Since schools were often far from home, the children missed ceremonies vital to Navajo culture. They no longer herded sheep with their grandparents, where they heard stories of their people and lived their culture. Meanwhile in the 1970's, there were less than 450 Churros remaining. The sheep were on the verge of extinction and so was the Navajo tradition with the sheep.